Starring the voices of: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk.
Rated: PG. Animated. Running Time: 1 hour 48 minutes.
If you follow MRSRAG at all, you know that we see a lot of kids movies with my son Ethan. You also know that Maria longs for the musical animated classics of her childhood: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King. Well, her wish has come true with the amazing Frozen. During the very first scene when we meet the two young princesses Anna and Elsa, discovering that one has the gift of creating frozen wonders with just the touch of her hands; I was rolling my eyes when they broke into song. I’m not the fan of the musical genre that Maria is (I found the recent remake of Les Miserables unwatchable), but quickly Frozen won me over in a huge way. In predictable Disney fashion, they killed off the parents, The King and Queen tout de suite, orphaning our two heroines. That is the last predictable thing about Frozen, the writers expertly use our preconceived notions “against” us, and we’re left with a delightfully witty, funny, twisty tale that is sure to become another Disney classic.
I loved it. I’m not a huge fan of musicals either, but Disney musical? Oh yes, thank you. I have been missing all the wonderfully written little ditties that used to be the signature addition to any ’90’s Disney feature. I am so happy that they waited until they had a tale worthy of featuring some musical accompaniment. The songs were funny, poignant and impressively belted. The story of these two sisters who are so much the same and yet very different has an effortless charm. It beautifully depicts the depth of love, hostility and confusion that make up sisterhood. You can believe that assessment coming from the youngest of six children, three of them being girls. Frozen follows these two young royals as they venture on the path of finding out who they truly are as individuals and they end up finding out a lot about each other as well. Of course, Disney includes a sweet love story, a couple of bad guys and a few surprises along the way. My favorite thing about Frozen is that it follows along a similar path as Brave. It portrays its female characters as two strong and independent women. We are no longer being poured into the mold of damsel in distress. And it focuses on the bond of sisterhood and the importance of family, something that I personally believe will benefit the children who are lucky enough to view it. Even if the themes are over their head at this point, they may find a lasting appreciation for the movie and rediscover it again in later years. It was as close to a classic as anything I’ve seen in years.
Earlier this year we reviewed Despicable Me 2 (which will be released soon on DVD), and I felt that movie was a leading candidate for animated film of the year. I still feel that way and would recommend you rent or buy it this Xmas season, but Frozen is now easily my new frontrunner. While the cast list of many of Pixar and Disney’s animated offerings are loaded with A-List movie stars, a quick peruse of the Frozen crew yields nary a one. No need to fret, every voice was perfectly cast, with my personal favorite (and I’m guessing most who see it) being the plucky, hilarious, heroic snowman Olaf (Gad). Sure to join the likes of Zazu, Apu, Tow Mater, Donkey, The Genie, King Julian, et al, as a beloved sidekick for the ages. He sings a solo about his eagerness to see summer that will leave you in stitches. Far from a one man show, Anna (Bell), Elsa (Menzel), and Kristoff (Groff) carry us along on this non-stop, action packed, laugh-fest with heart and soul. The songs don’t get in the way, they blend seamlessly with the story. Animated movies just don’t get better than Frozen, young, old, girl or boy, you will all love it. In my opinion, a lock for the Oscar.
I agree with everything that my writing sidekick has said. Olaf was hysterical. I haven’t laughed this hard at one of the kid’s movies in ages. I don’t want to ruin anything for our readers, but a line from one of the songs has stuck with me throughout the weekend. “I’m not sure if I’m gassy or just elated.” What a clever touch it was to have one of the girls sing out this gem. Another great lesson for children: chicks fart. The animation was not to be ignored either. Technology has come a long way since “Steamboat Willy”. Frozen embodied all the best things about children’s film: great moral value, emotionally evoking storyline and incredible fun. This movie is a must-see, especially for the family. It has certainly kicked off our holiday cheer this season. Happy holidays…and do yourself a favor – go see Frozen and melt away any holiday blues.
Ross’ Rating: 5 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Maria’s Rating: 5 Gummies.