Frozen (2013)
Reviewed by Mitchell Burns

Director: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee                         
Starring the Voice Talents of: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, and Alan Tudyk

In the last decade Pixar has been making huge waves, with Finding Nemo, Up, Wall-E, Toy Story 3, etc. Audiences clamored for Pixar, turning out in droves and eating up anything Pixar had to offer. Disney may own Pixar, but its different people/studios working on separate movies entirely. 

So, while audiences packed the theatres for the Pixar movies, Disney fell by the wayside. I know of many people who completely dismissed Disney, talking greatly of Pixar and trashing its owners, Disney. 

When the last time a true Walt Disney animated movie was was truly bad? 
Wreck-it Ralph? 
Winnie the Pooh? 
The Princess and the Frog?
All Good movies! 
Meet the Robinsons…Chicken Little…Home on the Range… Okay… You lost me Disney. It looks like that string of bad movies made way for Pixar to take its place, and people to dismiss Disney’s main animated artery all together. I don’t think anyone would call any of those five Disney movies listed above bad movies, I happen to LOVE three of them! Well if you’ve dismissed Disney, or if a video game hero, Winnie the pooh or Rapunzel just aren’t your thing, I have just the movie for you…
Frozen opens with some gorgeous animation as men cut ice chunks out of a frozen lake, our male lead Kristoff (Glee’s Jonathan Groff) is just a youngster and so is his pet adorable pet reindeer, Sven. As the men sing, we’re transferred to the castle of Arendelle, where the king and Queen of Arendelle are sleeping. The king and Queens youngest daughter Anna is waking her older sister, Elsa, to come play. We learn that Elsa has magical powers; her powers allow her to control ice and snow. While the daughters play that night, Elsa accidently hits Anna in the head with a dash of her magic. 
Her parents quickly rush an unconscious Anna to some nearby trolls, the trolls are able to help Anna but they advise the king and queen to keep Elsa’s magic from everyone, including her sister. The king and queen have no choice but to lock their poor daughter in her room, away from everyone. 
Thirteen years later and Elsa (Idina Menzel) is to become queen, it’s her coronation ceremony and everyone is invited from all over. For the first time in thirteen years the gates to the castle are open-ended, guests are welcomed in to usher in the new queen. Anna (Kristen Bell) is excited to have people around, but above all, excited to see and spend time with her sister. Elsa is nervous, because her powers are almost uncontrollable, and she can’t let anyone know. 
Things go terribly wrong, and Elsa accidently unleashes a frozen winter upon the town of Arendelle, and she hides away into the mountains. It’s up to Anna, with the help of her new fiancé Hans (Santino Fontana), Kristoff and Sven, and a talking snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), to battle the cold, find her sister and try to put an end to this sudden winter. 
I said it above, and I’ll say it again, the animation in Frozen is outstanding. It has a nostalgia feeling of the classics, but the animation can stand up to anything Pixar has to offer, it’s beautiful. 
I didn’t realize Frozen was such a musical, its musical moments harken back to the days of Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Having Broadway master Idina Menzel, from Broadways Wicked and Rent and TV’s Glee, doing the voice of Elsa is a huge bonus, she is a powerhouse. Idina isn’t the only Broadway talent on hand, Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon), Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) and Santino Fontana (Billy Elliot the Musical) all sing their hearts out. Although, it was Kristen Bell who surprised me, she sings a few songs, and she sings them quite well. 
I haven’t seen such developed animated characters in quite some time, Anna and Elsa are two very different sisters, both with interesting personalities. Frozen would most definitely pass the Bechdel test, ten times over. 
The humor in Frozen is woven in perfectly, it’s not pushed on us to strong, and it’s never weak. The filmmakers decision to save the hilarious snowman Olaf for about the halfway mark was timed perfectly; we have reindeer Sven to wet our appetite until Olaf shows up. The movies funny, but like most Disney movies, it’s sweet and emotional. Frozen has a few messages that kids (and parents) can take away from this movie. 
Frozen is occasionally disjointed and scattered, it has repetitive moments and it almost borders on chaos at one point. I was convinced the movie was going to lose it in the final act; everything I had loved about the movie would be flushed down the toilet with the last half hour. Suddenly, in a surprise twist, the movie pulls it together and exceeded my expectations. I can’t explain in spoiler free detail at this moment, but the last act of the movie won me over completely. Frozen not only shot up a few grade points, but will most likely make my top ten movies of 2013. 

My Grade:  A

Thanks for Reading,

Mitch Burns, The Hollywood Persona


I’ll quickly touch on two points in my brief spoilers section here: The villains, and the end. 

1. The villains were unneccessary, and luckily barely present. Hans reveals himself in the last act to be a “bad guy” , while the whole movie we have this Old, little man walking around, who acts evil but doesn’t really have any motives. Both of these “Villains” could have easily been written out of the script, the movie has a Man Vs. Nature aspect already, and the conflict betwen the sisters, there was more than enough to go on. 

2. The ending of the movie, the moment when Elsa’s love for Anna was what unfroze her, was spectacular. I was at first angered with the movies idea of Kristoff having to give Ann true loves first kiss in order to wake her up. Disney has years and years of women needing a man, or “Prince Charming”, in order to live their life, it was refreshing to see something more forward thinking and different. 

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