As weird as it might sound coming from me, I had planned to watch and review this film last Christmas, but choosing to watch RED 2 instead ended up putting this on hold…until now. So what can be said about the film that seems to be up there with Despicable Me, Marvel Superheroes and Dr Who as ways to keep the kids quiet while the adults enjoy all of the other jokes they missed?
Frozen is a 3-D Disney animated film about 2 sisters, Anna and her older sister Elsa, who happen to be princesses of Arendelle. Unlike her younger sister, Elsa possesses an unusual gift, a power to create snow and ice. But when some fun and games involving her power make her afraid of it, and then their parents die (It’s Disney), she decides that the best thing to do is ostracise herself from everyone, including Anna, leading to a lonely and wasted childhood. When the day came for Elsa to be Queen, her fears come true, and in the process she chose to run into the mountains to get away from everybody…unaware that she has accidentally turned summer into a winter that was getting colder by the day. In an attempt to bring summer back, Anna, with the help of Kristoff, his reindeer Sven, and a magical snowman named Olaf, travels to the North Mountain to find Elsa.
I’ll get the good out of the way first; the animation in Frozen is truly amazing, and the ice effects really do have a wow factor to them. I also consider how well animated some of the characters are (more so than others). The music is very good, and in a way there’s a thankfulness within it, as individual tunes have officially entered popular culture in a way that hasn’t been seen in many years (in other words, we remember the songs as well as the story, but for years we remembered the story but not the songs). Let It Go has been punned ever since, and Do You Want To Build A Snowman on a snowy winters day might sound odd from a 20-something, but trust me, it works. The voice acting is also quite perfect in casting choices and how they match with their designs.
What really made Frozen stand out as a film was the themes it chose to cover, and even broke some cliches that Disney themselves had both invented and stuck to since Walt himself was walking the earth. Much like the memorable line from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility”, Frozen’s themes of fear and love are approached in a similar manner, and even go as far as being of biblical proportions without reference (There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love – 1 John 4:18). Elsa’s power is beautiful and perfect when she’s fearless. But when she is afraid of it, and afraid of hurting others, and shuts out everybody in fear of hurting them, that is when her power becomes incredibly destructive. It is also a metaphor of a person’s worth. That nobody is worthless, and can affect a lot of people around them. Along with the presentation of these themes came something new to Disney…It takes a concept that was in the likes of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, and quite literally relieves itself all over them…”Love at first sight”, “Prince Charming”, “A kiss being the sign of loving somebody”, “Mr Right appearing in 1s life out of nowhere and instantly falling in love with them”, things like that. Movie-lovers, Movie-Critics and Movie-makers have been joking about this for a long time now. But it’s good to finally see it addressed by those who practically invented the cliche. I’m not going to spoil it, but it really makes a excellent point.
Is there anything bad about Frozen? I wouldn’t say bad, but I would say that’s it’s just okay. Is Frozen a fantastic film? No. Within the context of its popularity, it’s overrated. And the reason for this is its 2 major flaws…While it covers a variety of important and human themes, and addresses them in such a way that it’s inspirational to anybody. The truth is…The story is primitive and average, and even though it has memorable characters (or lets say, memorable Character Designs), there wasn’t a lot of character development outside of Anna (Who is easily the best character, despite young girls really wanting an Elsa doll for Christmas). I’m aware that it was simple enough for a 3 year old to understand the story and both amusing and surprisingly intelligent enough for their parents to not fall asleep. But it really lacked the depth and even the thrill and challenge that other Disney movies have created (Toy Story and Aladdin?). Also, regardless of his cute, friendly and non-threatening appearance and role as comic relief, Olaf The Snowman did little for me (Sorry folks).
Would I recommend Frozen? Yes. It’s good and it’s harmless fun, with an excellent message about what love can be, and what love definitely isn’t. As well as the importance of fearlessness in 1’s life (within common sense of course). I can understand the appeal that it has, especially with little girls. But there are Disney movies out there have been executed better in terms of its development of story and characters. Would I be open to a sequel? Oddly enough, yes…Yes because you really need to develop those character beyond that…and hopefully provide a stronger story…Just don’t pull a Return Of Jafar *shudders*.
Art Design: *****
Voice Acting: *****
Characters: *** (****1/4 for Anna)
Overall: ****1/4 (out of 5)