What makes Frozen a tremendous film is the feeling you get while watching it. Something that resembles watching films like Lion King, Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. What could have been seen as the apex of Disney animation in the 90s has dwindled down to nothing and those films just don’t seem to exist anymore.
Although Disney is making money hand over fist they don’t seem to have the charm and grace that they once had in the animation department during the early 90s. Sure Pixar is still a major part of Disney and they have made some outstanding films during their time, but with Brave and Monsters University not really hitting the mark they way Pixar is use to. We have been lacking that feel good Disney animated film that really makes us feel like a kid again.
Several years ago Disney revamped their animation department and reintroduced the family friendly Disney films we loved. With films like Tangled and Wreck-It-Ralph being both box office hits and loved by critics overall it seemed that Disney was ready to reintroduce there classic animation style to a new audience.
Now they bring forth “Frozen” which completely embodies the classic Disney charm. From the whimsical characters to the musical numbers it is covered with the classic Disney family feel.
The film is a re-imagining of the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale “The Snow Queen”. It tells the story of two sisters from Arendelle who lose their parents at a young age. One is Anna (Voiced by Kristen Bell) who loving, caring and would do anything for her older sister Elsa (Voiced by Idina Menzel). Now Elsa was born with a gift or a curse in which everything she encounters turns to ice. This leads to an accident which leaves Elsa to live most of her life in solitude separated from Anna.
The separation takes a strong toll on Anna as she grows into a naïve and hopeless romantic who is frantically looking for love. On the day of Elsa’s coronation Anna meets a young prince named Hans (Santino Fontana) who she falls madly in love with. This leads to an argument between the siblings in which Elsa can’t control her ice-making powers and exposes them to the kingdom. Once the kingdom sees this they are convinced she is a witch and drive Elsa into the mountains turning Arendelle into a frozen shell of itself during the middle of summer. Anna in a panic runs after her not sure what the frozen forest will consist of.
Along the journey she encounters some interesting characters in the form of an Ice Salesman (Jonathan Groff), Sven his trusty pet reindeer and Olaf (Josh Gad) a snowman infatuated with the idea of summer.
The voice acting in the film is absolutely phenomenal especially when Olaf is on screen. Josh Gad brings a charm to the character that will put a smile on your face every time he speaks. Kristen Bell plays up Anna’s vulnerability and charisma to the perfect point and Idina Menzel makes us feel for Elsa and understand her pain.
The film also shines in the musical department. From the score to the song choices everything seems to work in tandem with one another. With strong conviction I can say that Menzel’s “Let it go” will surely be nominated during Oscar season and Gad put his musical chops to the test in the song “In Summer”.
The story written by Jennifer Lee as a whole is told very well, but I would have appreciated a bit more insight into Elsa’s abilities. We never get a real understanding of where they came from and the film does lack the darker tone that the fairy tale eludes to surrounding Elsa.
“Frozen” will go down as by far the best animation film of the year and will earn the respect that Disney’s animation department has been lacking. It shows that just because they are moving away from their classic 2d animation it does not mean that they are leaving the charm behind. Sure the journey may be one that we have seen before, but it’s one that has just enough differences to catch both children and adults by surprise. The best film to come out this weekend just happens to be one of the best films of the year. It is the perfect family film to watch during this holiday season.