Tuesday 10 December 2013

Today's Review: Frozen

It's Disney time again, and I'm always in the mood for a new Disney movie, especially with the gold they've been pumping out the last few years. This time we have Frozen, a movie based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, a story I'd never heard of. But hey, it's Disney, what could go wrong?

Frozen follows sister Ana (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), princesses of Arendelle. Elsa, by a twist of fate, has the power to create and control ice and snow, a power that starts to grow beyond her control, resulting in her injuring Ana. After years of being shut away to hide Elsa's secret from the kingdom, the castle doors open for one day for Elsa's coronation. But when her powers are exposed, Elsa flees, a dangerous fate befalls the kingdom, and Ana steps up to find her sister and save the day.

This is the formula for good old classic Disney, the golden years that brought us The Little Mermaid and Beauty And The Beast. Classic fairy tales with a Disney magic twist. It already worked fantastically for Tangled a few years back, and many critics are hailing Frozen as the best Disney musical since the late 80s/early 90s. In some respects they're not wrong, Frozen is an extremely well crafted movie. There's a great cast of talented voice actors, singing some nicely written songs absolutely fantastically. It's also a beautiful movie, from the ultra-realistic snow effects covering the beautiful landscapes, to the perfect facial expression of the characters, particularly Ana. This movie is a fantastic portrayal of the revitalised Disney that has developed under the watchful eye of John Lasseter.

Ana in particular is a fantastic heroine. Think Rapunzel from Tangled, but more adventurous and mischievous. Kristen Bell does an amazing job in both singing and speaking roles, and while every character is unique and wonderfully cast, Ana is a fantastic addition to the roster of Disney princesses. The songs, while fantastically sung, do feel a little bit off to me. They seem to be written more for a Broadway show for a movie, lacking the tight writing and relying more on layered harmonies and melodies. On stage, these songs would be perfect, but they just seem a bit of an odd fit on the big screen. Still, that may just be me, and I certainly still have tunes swimming round my head several hours after the movie ended.

Frozen is a beautifully crafted movie, filled with great characters and packing a lot of heart, and is a great sign of the high standard that Disney are working to nowadays. Even the short before the movie was fantastic, so just go and see it.

My rating: 5/5

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