Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Movie Review: Frozen


Recommended for: All Ages

Rating: PG (some action and mild rude humor)

Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey -- teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven -- to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

No, I did not just see Frozen for the first time. Last weekend was one of many. We just didn't watch anything new last weekend. Not that I'm complaining. I love Frozen. And even though the subject has come up on my author blog here and here and here and here and here and here, we have yet to review it over here on Shire. 

So now that I've got that clarification out of the way, I love Frozen. It's a fantastic movie with fantastic music (yeah, I know other people are tired of it, tough luck) and it has a lot of memories attached to it for me. I used to sing the songs with a girl I babysat before she moved away, because she loved it. It reminds me of our last Disney trip, because I had a Fastpass to meet Elsa and Anna and went to the Frozen Sing-Along twice and saw Jonathan Groff at the Candlelight Processional on top of all the other Frozen things in the park. It reminds me of Play Camp and singing the songs with a roomful of preschoolers and of a super cute little girl who is a bigger Frozen fan than me, and remembered me from last year even though I hadn't seen her at all between Practicums. Then there are all the times I drove down the road by myself singing Frozen quite loudly. And the movie itself.

Technical: 5/5

Disney does a good job. And I'm sure having John Lasseter in charge helped with just how well done it is. The animation is in a far more realistic style than some animation, which I much prefer. It is well written. The dialogue is fantastic, and each line is well delivered. Yes, it's just voice acting, but it was still very well cast. And having some of the actors record together, an unusual method, apparently, made the interaction between characters so much better. And there's a reason so many people are tired of the songs. They're so good that everyone sings them and plays them all the time. Guilty as charged. When trying to get a song out of my head, "Let It Go" is one of the first other songs I think of. Plus, interesting tidbit as far as technical goes, when Olaf gives Anna a minute to go talk to Elsa, it's almost exactly a minute. I saw that on Pinterest, and so last time I timed it. Pretty cool.

Setting: 5/5

Arendelle is a fictional kingdom, but it is largely inspired by Norway. The clothes are Norwegian, the architecture is Norwegian inspired. Actually, in Norway at EPCOT they have a little building full of displays which are all about how Norwegian culture influenced the design of Arendelle. I loved seeing that, and how close to Norwegian culture the worldbuilding is. Of course, the North Mountain and Elsa's ice castle are very fictional, but still super cool. And when everything is covered in snow. "Cold, cold, cold." It's more snow than I've ever seen, but then, I have lived in Georgia my whole life. A magical winter? It fits everything perfectly. And can I just say that I love the style of Anna's main dress? I like that style anyway, but...I can't make myself one, because then I'd just look Frozen crazy.

Plot: 4/5

I don't want to deduct points, but...the beginning does present a few unanswered questions. Like, they didn't try to keep Elsa's powers a secret before she hurt Anna, and so when they reduced the staff, surely some of the ones who left knew about it, and yet it was a surprise to everyone. And there were three years between their parents' death and Elsa's coronation, who ruled then? Sounds like the perfect opportunity for evil uncle. (Not that I'm complaining, Agravaine really did me in with the evil uncle bit.) But once the preliminary stuff is out of the way, I see no plot holes, nothing to make me dislike the story. It’s rightly called “A Tale of Two Sisters” because, while Elsa and Anna are rarely together, the story revolves around their relationship, or lack of one. Anna wants a close relationship. She doesn’t understand why Elsa pushes her away until her powers are revealed. And then still all she wants is her sister back. With Kristoff and Olaf along for help, she sets off to find Elsa, and get her to end the winter, as they encounter strange hardships and evil from unexpected places on their quest. Probably no one is unaware of who the bad guy is, but all the same, just in case, I won’t spoil it.

And what Frozen is really all about is true love. I'm not talking about cliche "true love's kiss" prince and princess happily ever after true love. While there certainly is a romance in Frozen (which honestly kind of makes fun of typical Disney princess romance), that's not the true love it's all about. It's about real love. Putting others above yourself. Sacrificing your wishes to help others. Some people are worth melting for. And that, I think, is one of the main things which sets Frozen apart.

Character Development: 5/5

Fantastic. I talked about Kristoff and Anna in my Favorite Screen Characters post, because I love them so much. I love Kristoff because he's honest and upright, has good morals, is down to earth and ordinary, while having realistic flaws. I like Anna because she's fun and quirky, determined and stubborn, loyal and forgiving. And while she did agree to marry a man she just met that day (I love Kristoff's reaction to the news), she wizened up and managed to get out of a bad situation. I like Elsa because she's a protective big sister who wants the best for her sister and kingdom, even though she is kind of misdirected about what that best is. And you can't help feeling sorry for her. I like Olaf because, well, who doesn't like Olaf? He's kind of stupid, but he's really funny, and he gets some great lines towards the end when he's telling Anna what love is. Plus "Hey, Sven, I don't know if this will help, but there's a staircase leading right where you want to go." and "Go on. Knock. Why isn't she knocking? Do you think she knows how to knock?" And Hans is well developed too. Don't like him. But he's well developed. Even the Duke of Weaseltown--'scuse me, Weselton. He's annoying, but, well, he's the Duke of Weselton. And Flynn and Rapunzel even have a cameo!
So, here's just a little bit of why I love Frozen. It's so popular that I doubt anyone who reads this hasn't seen it, but if you're one of that small demographic, get Frozen. Watch it. You'll be singing the songs too. I love it very much. And yes, I do intend to see Frozen 2 in theaters. Why do you ask?


  1. I really enjoyed this one. I didn't think I would half way through, but by the end I loved it

    1. I was kind of skeptical at first too, since I had super high expectations because it's so popular, but I obviously ended up loving it.


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