Feature Presentation: Frozen

frozenFrozen starring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, and Alan Tudyk

Walt Disney Animation Studios, 2013. Rated PG

Synopsis: Growing up, Anna and her sister Elsa were very close. Then after Elsa hurts Anna while they are playing, she is kept away from her sister so that her ability to create ice and snow can remain a secret. But when Elsa turns her little kingdom of Arendelle into a winter wonderland, Anna must enlist the help of Iceman Kristoff, his reindeer Sven, and a snowman named Olaf to convince Elsa to melt the snow and come home.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Snow Queen, Frozen draws from its original source materials to create a distinctly Bavarian feel to the scenery and harkens back to its Disney predecessors and turns the story into a charming musical about selfless love and doing the right thing. There is a certain spell cast by this movie even before it begins, and if it were to be solely judged on the animation, it would be getting high marks. The setting is both beautiful and dangerous, as the viewer comes to understand what Elsa can do when her powers are out of control. The image of a glowing ice castle set into the side of a mountain and the idyllic scenes of snowy woods and isolated chateaus give the setting and scenery a bit of a tourist-in-the-frozen-North sort of image and in some scenes adds to the humor of the story. The relationship between Anna and Elsa is special, as we can tell from the first scenes, but when Elsa is whisked out of Anna’s life, it is her pleas for company (“Do you want to build a snowman?”) that are the most heartbreaking. Anna is a very determined young lady, willing to do anything for her sister and to understand why she has been kept at arm’s length. Elsa lives in fear of becoming the monster she believes she is, and this fear is what drives her character for most of the film. She is so afraid of hurting people that she can’t seem to let in the one person – Anna – that she needs to help curb the fierceness of her powers. Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf are a great comic team: Kristoff might be kind of a weirdo (he has conversations with Sven, who it would appear can ‘talk’ back), but he shares Anna’s spirit and desire to do the right thing; Olaf is a snowman that likes warm hugs who wishes for summer and is adorably clueless as to what can happen when something cold is exposed to heat. It’s a sweet story that is fun for the whole family.

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