Synopsis: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. (source: imdb.com)
Voice Acting: ★★★★★
Prior to its release, Frozen was far from the number of movies I wanted to watch during winter break solely because of the marketing. When I first saw Olaf the snowman, played by Josh Gad, I thought: “What is this?! Why does this snowman look so strange?!? How is this in any way related to Hans Andersen’s Snow Queen?!?!!” After the release of the film and reading reviews how Frozen is on par with the Disney classics, I swallowed my presumptions and went in to the theaters with high expectations.
The execution in storytelling is a bit similar to the film Les Miserables: singing… building up anticipation through dialogue and then BAM, cue dramatic solo/duet. Not that this is a bad thing because many Disney classics do that. In fact, I adore the soundtrack. I mentioned before of my disdain for Olaf. Well, his solo “In Summer” made me fall in love with him because the lyrics and animation were utterly hilarious. “Let It Go”—sung by Tony Award winner Idina Menzel who plays the Snow Queen Elisa—is chilling and is filled with so much emotion that it gave me goosebumps. Plus, the lyrics is inspirational and uplifting.
My only gripe is that there wasn’t too much character development (or it might have happened in a 3-minute song) and the plot lacked substance. There are a few plot twists but they were predictable enough that my friend and I knew who the antagonist is when the character appeared on screen. Another friend and I agreed that Anna, Elisa’s younger sister who is played by Kristen Bell, is incredibly similar to Tangled‘s Rapunzel. No surprises there considering Frozen is produced by the same team. While I do appreciate the naivety and clumsiness Anna embodies and I like the juxtaposition of personalities between the two sisters, I would like to see different personalities… if possible. I guess I just want another Belle or Tiana.
There are other issues regarding Frozen such as sexism and lack of racial diversity. I do not believe the former is true at all, but I have to agree with some tumblr posts regarding race. If the story is very loosely based on The Snow Queen and it takes place in a fictional setting, why aren’t there a lot of different ethnic backgrounds? I by no means am saying Disney is racist, but if you’re given a lot of freedom with a story, the sky’s the limit, no?
In the end of the day, Frozen is a movie aimed towards children/family, so analyzing to this extent may be a bit ridiculous on my part. I do adore the soundtrack—even as I’m typing this, I have Love is an Open Door stuck in my head. Heck, the other day at work, the song started playing. I passed by one of my coworkers who I watched the movie with, and we both started cracking up. It’s so cheesy, actual cheese pales in comparison (okay, bad pun). Joking aside, I’m really glad it’s earning the recognition it deserves and I’m excited that there is going to be a broadway version.