Frozen is fantastic. That’s the long and short of it. It hit me on a level I really wasn’t expecting to, and very much lives up to the hype that’s been set before it. I really think it’s one of Disney’s best movies of the last ten years, animated or otherwise. It’s a fun, incredibly entertaining adventure that has already become a favorite of mine.
Up until now, Tangled has always been my favorite Disney movie. But somehow, Frozen has managed to change that. With its infections soundtrack, brilliant visuals, and powerful cast of characters, it hits all the right notes and delivers a story that is just as impactful as it is entertaining.
Frozen is unique for a number of reasons, but the most noteworthy is that it stars not one, but two strong female protagonists. Sisters Anna and Elsa are both fully realized characters that are layered with just enough depth and originality to set them apart from the dozens of other Disney princesses out there.
What makes them really special, however, is the strikingly relatable relationship they share and develop throughout the movie’s running time. Seeing these two character grow and strive for a connection struck me like few Disney movies have, and it really makes Frozen stand out from the crowd.
The older sister, Elsa, was born with the magical ability to control ice and snow, but the older she gets, and the more powerful her ‘gift’ becomes, the less control she has over it. Seeing her struggle with this burden, even going so far as to hide it from her sister after a nearly fatal accident, is an affecting, powerful journey of self-discovery that really hit home for me.
While not quite as layered as Elsa, Anna is more than capable on her own, and is sure to inspire more than her fair share of young girls. She’s headstrong, quirky, fun, and adventurous, and she wants nothing more to escape her lonely castle home and go explore the world. Anna is an extremely relevant, relatable character, and seeing her come into her own is an adventure in and of itself.
She might be similar in personality to other Disney princesses, especially Tangled’s Rapunzel, but as she begins to develop meaningful relationships with with the people she meets along the way, she really starts to stand on her own. And thanks to Kristen Bell’s wonderful voice-work, Anna becomes more than capable of carrying the film’s story on her own.
Frozen might be structurally similar to Tangled, which, I might add, is something I’m okay with, but as far as the actual plot goes, Frozen has much more depth to it. I’m going to keep away from the details so as to not spoil anything, but suffice to say Anna and Elsa’s journey of self-discovery is one very much worth experiencing, and might just be one of Disney’s best.
Some of the most enjoyable moments in Frozen come when Anna is interacting with her ragtag team of oddballs that consists of a struggling ice-salesman, his reindeer, and a talking snowman (this sounds like the start to a really bad joke). Anna and Kristoff especially share a lot of chemistry, and I loved seeing the two of them play off of one another.
While Disney has had some mixed results with sidekicks in the past, Frozen fares better than most. Olaf the snowman really surprised me, and not once did I find his antics annoying, and a lot of the more quotable lines come from him. However, Sven’s dog-like personality comes across as a little too familiar, but thankfully doesn’t get as grating as it could’ve been.
And in a move that surprised even me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of Frozen are the musical numbers. There was not a single song that missed the mark for me, and they somehow found a way to marry the more comedic performances with the emotionally charged ballads that are bound to play over and over in your head.
There are a lot of great songs here, but Elsa’s ‘Let it Go’, beautifully performed by Idina Menzel, is so good that the others can hardly even compare. It’s destined to win big during awards season, and is far and away my favorite song Disney’s done in the past couple years.
All this is made even better by the fantastic voice-work done by the cast. The whole team performs great, but it’s obviously the two sisters who take the spotlight. Kristen Bell is obviously having a lot of fun with the role of Anna, and I could just go on and on about how great Idina Menzel is as Elsa. And the film’s most powerful moments often come when these two get to work together.
The only real complaint I have with Frozen is how it uses some of the more cliched plot points Disney is known for. The whole ‘true love’s kiss’ plot point has been done to death, and while I appreciated how they changed it up at the last minute, it just felt out of place here.
Also, there were a couple characters that just didn’t need to be here. They don’t necessarily detract from the movie in any major way, but they seem to exist just to fulfill a stereotype and I would’ve preferred to have seen more of the main cast.
Frozen was a truly magical experience that was made all the better by the stunning animation that actually took advantage of its 3D. Frozen uses its gorgeous imagery to help engross you in its story, and thanks to the superb directing, really fills you with this sense of wonder that becomes especially apparent in some particularly awe-worthy scenes.
Frozen is a breathtaking journey of self-discovery that is highlighted by its two incredibly strong female protagonists that have more than earned their place among the best of the Disney princesses. It strikes that perfect balance between its music and story, and somehow manages to deliver both an emotionally satisfying experience and an entertaining adventure.
I’m actually looking forward to seeing it again, and fully expect to watch it at least once more in the theater. I’m not sure how it succeeded in pulling it all off so well, but Frozen is such a wonderfully orchestrated story that it truly is one of the best Disney movies ever. I really can’t recommend it enough.