Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review: ‘Frozen’ features memorable songs, story

By James A. Molnar
TGK Editor

Disney has anthropomorphism down to a science.

Not since Frosty himself have audiences experienced such a friendly and loving snowman such as the one featured in Disney’s latest animated fairy tale “Frozen.”

Olaf is an odd-shaped snowman; no spherical balls of snow here. Voiced by Josh Gad, Olaf has a comic flare reminiscent of Martin Short. He’s easy to fall in love with and helps move the story along.

Reindeer Sven, sidekick to extreme mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), is also easy to love and adorable. He’s the perfect sidekick, keeping in line with classic Disney.

Talking snowman and affable reindeer aside, “Frozen” really shines with its two princesses at the center of this Norwegian story.

Sisters Elsa and Anna live in the kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa, the elder sister voiced somewhat mismatched at times by Idina Menzel, is in line to be queen. Both sisters are opposite personalities (kids will enjoy picking which princess is their favorite), but there is great chemistry between the two.

And both can sing.

Anna, voice by Kristen Bell, beautifully belts the memorable “For the First Time in Forever” with Elsa. (Who knew Bell could sing so well?!)

“Let It Go” is the anthem of the entire movie with the vocal styling of Idina Menzel’s Anna (and later Demi Lovato in the credits).

Disney has found quite the song-writing team in the husband-wife pair Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Both did work for Disney before with “Winnie the Pooh” and Walt Disney World’s “Finding Nemo – The Musical.” Robert received Tony Awards for co-creating “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q.”

These memorable songs audience members will be singing well after the movie drive a compelling story. (Look for Original Song Oscar nominations for sure.) 

Olaf's visual development.
Seventy years in the making, “Frozen” is based on the classic fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen — there is even a prince in this movies named Hans.

Andersen also wrote a story about a snowman falling in love with a stove, called “The Snowman.” This seems fitting, given Olaf’s tribute to heat with the song “In Summer.”

Most songs in the movie seem to fit, except one, “Fixer Upper,” which has a distinct DreamWorks look and feel to it.

Overall, audiences haven’t seen such an enjoyable princess since Rapunzel in 2010’s “Tangled.”

The latter movie here is the better all-around movie over “Frozen.” But the snowy story features some knockout songs that give “Tangled” a run for its money.

The visual style of this movie is also beautiful, especially with the effects of ice and snow. (This will be a strong contender for Animated Feature at the Oscars.)

Make sure to see this in 3-D, especially for the style-bending short film before the movie, “Get A Horse,” which features Walt Disney’s voice as Mickey Mouse. It also features a cameo by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

There is also a special scene after the credits.

/ 5

Official trailer:

Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor.
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  1. i wanted to love this film, but I couldn't. very generic in many areas, plus menzel is very disappointing in her dialogue delivery (and the way the ice queen is written is also underwhelming). everything else i really liked though. yes, the songs and the animation are top notch.

    1. Animation and music will contend for the Oscars for sure.

      Thanks for the comment, Candice!


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