By Laurie Coker
Over the last few days, we have all felt a bit frozen, and what better thing to do than head to the theatre for Disney’s new animated feature, Frozen, starring the voice talent of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff and Alan Tudyk. While not a Christmas movie, Frozen will warm the heart of parents and positively please the kiddos. Memorable music, delightful dialogue and awesome animation make it worthy of a fun family outing.
An updated version of Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen, Frozen follows to sisters – one with magical powers and the other just normally adorable. After nearly killing her younger sister Anna (Bell) with her icy touch, Elsa (Menzel) locks herself away until her eighteenth birthday, when she is forced to step out as the new queen of the small Scandinavian kingdom of Arendelle. With gloves covering her frigid fingers, Anna comes out to the world, and Elsa finds love, or so she thinks. When things go awry, initiated by a hurried (Elsa to Hans) engagement and an instigating squirrel of a man The Duke of Weselton (Tudyk), Anna’s anger gets the best of her and she turns the kingdom into a freezing, winter not-so-wonderland. Elsa sets out to find her sister and restore summer, all the while things are amiss at the castle. While on her quest, Kristoff (Groff), an ice delivery man, and Olaf (Gad), an adorable and animated (as in alive) snowman join her in an adventure of a lifetime.
The story is simple, a bit far from the source material, but completely enjoyable. Gad brings a delightful sense of humor and cuteness to Olaf and my grandkids loved him. I am guessing we will see Olaf in kid’s meals somewhere. Disney does that, but Disney also creates timeless tales of good versus evil, love, friendships and family and in this case, coupled with a quality cast, they create family entertainment to watch for generations. As with many films like Frozen, the chase is far more exciting than where it finally leads, and it does have its flaws, but with this much fun, who cares? It’s the unexpected twists (including one biggie) and well-drawn and voiced characters that make it, perhaps not perfect, but definitely pleasingly unforgettable!
The multi-talented Menzel belts out some wonderful, clever tunes, as do other characters and with her “Let It Go” show-stopper, I found myself toe-tapping and humming it long after we left the theatre. I love musicals, but those who don’t like show tunes might have a bit of trouble with Frozen. Either way, it messages about self-confidence, hard-earned acceptance, relationships and trust make it worthy, as do these impressive additions to the Disney royal heroine family.
Frozen is Disney’s first female directed film, which surprised me. Jennifer Lee, a screenwriter, shares directing credit with animator Chris Buck. Bravo to the ladies. Frozen has heart and is a wonderfully charming, frosty fun frolic. I am placing an A- in my grade book. Moments after we left the theatre, my grandson announced he wanted to see it again.