I absolutely love that I can attend a horror movie festival all weekend, be stuck in a world of blood-drenched reviews, and then go right into an animated Disney movie with singing princesses and still love every adorable second of it. Nope, the voices in my head haven’t had a chance to take over (yet) thanks to the power of love, whimsy, and Disney’s enchanting storytelling.
Coming off their video game themed smash-hit Wreck It Ralph (which got robbed of an Oscar in my opinion), Frozen is a fun departure that gets back to what Disney does best – dynamic storytelling through song. While I figured that we were probably in for a song or two, once the tunes started grooving, there was no stopping the infectiously catchy rhythms. Like I said, only a few days ago I saw a character killed on screen by having his…well…since this is a kid friendly movie, I’ll keep my review kid friendly, but you get the picture – despite my other cinematic ventures, it couldn’t have been easier for me to fall in love with this winter wonderland.
Frozen tells the story of sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), two princesses growing up in a lavish castle. While Anna is a normal girl, Elsa has the power to conjure freezing temperatures that create snow and ice, which threatens those around her. While playing with Anna one night, Elsa accidentally injures her sister, and the gravity of her powers is discovered. Locking Elsa away in a separate room, Anna stops seeing her sister, but has no idea why because the only way to save her was to erase her memories of the magic.
Fast forward years later and we meet Elsa at her coronation, where she’s to be dubbed Queen (after the death of her parents) – marking the first time guests are in the castle. All appears to be going well, but after an argument between Anna and Elsa, her special powers are discovered with dangerous implications, and Elsa flees into the woods leaving Arendelle in a state of eternal winder. Can Anna retrieve her sister and save the kingdom with the help of some new friends before it’s too late?
Most noticeably, the animation work in Frozen captures all the natural beauty of the winter season, creating snow-covered landscapes that sparkle and glisten thanks to slick, blue icicles, pearly white snowflakes, reflective glares, and whipping winds that swirl the snow in a beautiful dance number. There’s a moment where Anna is covered in a heap of snow, falling off a tree, and I swear the puffy material looked exactly like actual snowfall we’d see in real life. What these animators achieved was actually quite astonishing, building a gigantic, intricate palace out of ice that stands as a modern architectural marvel. On a visual scale, Disney once again delivers jaw-dropping scenery that actually warrants the 3D price tag.
Considering our story about sisterly bonding, and of course finding true love along the way, it’s very typical of a Disney children’s fairytale – but that’s the simple beauty of it all. Of course audiences will focus on the heartwarming tale of two sisters fighting to keep one another safe while trying to also reform their close bond, but Anna’s quest for love is still an important side-story, and there are also strong themes about embracing your differences that children can absolutely latch onto. Anna and Elsa’s story is sweet, funny, emotional, and absolutely lovely, warming our souls like a steaming mug of deliciously decadent hot coco.
Don’t forget Olaf and Sven though! There’s plenty of laughs to be had thanks to our goofily humorous snowman Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, perfected as he sings a song about being excited to experience summer (because we all know what happens to snow in the heat – except Olaf). Our snowman is the typical comedic relief that comes along with a Disney movie, along with Kristoff’s (Anna’s love interest) reindeer Sven. These two characters break tenser moments with a joke or an unexpected action, making a continually light-hearted atmosphere easily achievable.
Frozen is a perfect family film for the upcoming Christmas season, capable of melting even the most frosted of hearts. All the actors display phenomenal singing voices, as you’ll be unwillingly humming these sing-along tunes for days, and create characters that are far more than insignificant cartoons. Disney once again boasts a feel-good thrill-ride for the whole family, running the gamut of emotional highs and lows while dazzling us with winter terrain out of the most detailed holiday story. Despite the frigid material, Frozen will warmly envelop you like your favorite down comforter, leaving you happily toasty and feeling all too good to even contemplate moving.
If there's something wrong with a grown man confessing his adoration for Frozen, then I don't want to be right.