Note: This review was written August 3rd, 2014.
Frozen is a 2013 American animated musical fantasy-comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney. Now, I don’t need to head into any information about what they have done, but I will say that it was directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Buck is other-wise notably known for directing Surf’s Up, while Jennifer Lee is known for co-writing Wreck It Ralph.
The film features the voice-acting talent of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, and Santino Fontana, amongst others.
The film received critical acclaim from most critics, and was an amazing box-office draw, making over 1.2 billion dollars in theaters. It became the highest-grossing animation of all-time and the highest grossing movie of 2013.
I wanted to see this movie in theaters when I first heard some of the reception that it was seeing. Unfortunately, my friends didn’t seem as eager to spend eight-dollars to see a Disney movie about two Princesses. And, not wanting to be the eighteen year old gentleman heading to the theater by himself watching Frozen. It didn’t end up happening.
The film was nominated and won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.
The film tells the story of two sisters that become estranged over the years when the oldest sister is separated from her. Basically, Elsa has powers that she can’t control and her parents start feeling. Years later, the film follows Prince Anna traveling in a journey alongside an iceman, his pet reindeer, and a snowman to find her sister, who accidentally trapped the kingdom in an eternal winter.
The charm of the cast is really what brings this film to the table. Kristen Stewart legitimately comes off as one of the most lovable characters that I have seen in an animation. The film doesn’t promise nor does it deliver on wit and cleverness, but achieves something particularly special through charm. (I did think that the song with the Snowman was clever, but I am looking at it overall.)
The songs are also well-performed and genuinely enjoyable. “Let it Go” has actually become extremely popular in its own right, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it seems like a song that would be popular on the radio and not simply in an animated film. It definitely has a lot of energetic rhythm and enthusiasm about it that makes it unique from a lot of others being released.
The animation is also stupendous, if there is one thing that you can count on from Disney, it is to provide impeccable visuals and color.
The premise is entirely generic, however.
The film is often credited for being a reemergence of the Disney Renaissance, a time when films like The Lion King, Beauty in the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid were released. There is a reason that comparisons are struck to other films, and that’s because it feels like the exact same story with a different coat of paint.
The epic-journey isn’t nearly as epic as the plot-summary would suggest, in-fact, it feels like nothing happens except for the introduction of each character. I don’t really feel the impression that I went on an adventure with the characters, not really, I feel like I was introduced to the characters, enjoyed meeting them, and then came the end. The end of the film is also cheesy. Every bit of it’s predictable, but there’s certain twists and resolutions that either didn’t make any sense or were downright stupid.
What holds everything together, the story, is severely lacking in flushing out. It feels simple and whimsical, but as a script, it induces a feeling of deja vu. I also feel like a lot of the things that were built up to, certain ‘happenings,’ were anticlimactic.
I don’t mean to come off as too negative, or like I am bitching for the sake of bitching. I realize that they wanted to come off with a simple and whimsical approach, but I really do believe that the story took much of a backseat. This isn’t necessarily too bad of a thing, at least not particularly with this film. Nobody will be too negative about this film, and with a lot of reason. There are plenty of amusing moments and although they tread waters having long-since been tread, they do it with enough flash that the result feels almost infectious.
Frozen has a lot of charm with its characters, and with the songs and animations, the characters are able to broadcast their emotions to a high medium. I simply wish that they were broadcasting had a little more substance.
Thanks for reading…