I’ve followed this particular production, “Frozen,” on and off throughout the years, having been in high school when first viewing the concept: art. At first it was touted as an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, “The Snow Queen,” but then deviated as time when on, as we saw the titular Snow Queen change from a villainess to a tragic character.
It’s clear that the film has nothing to do with that story, but coming out of it, I’m pretty satisfied with what I got, despite some of the issues I have.
“Frozen” follows the tale of two sisters, Anna and Elsa, voiced by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, respectively. The latter of the two is the elder sister, who was born with the magic ability to create ice and snow. While playing with Anna late at night, Elsa accidentally freezes Anna, nearly killing her. This leads her parents to take them to the trolls, who heal Anna by wiping her memories of Elsa’s abilities and keeping Elsa hidden away.
Things go south when the parents die while at sea, leaving Elsa to inherit the throne. Her powers go haywire during the evening celebration plunging the land into eternal winter. Elsa retreats to the mountains out of fear, and Anna must go on a journey to find her. Along her journey, she runs into a young ice vendor named Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff, and a living snowman named Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad.
The story is slightly better than I expected, as it manages to carry some of the modern comedic aesthetics from films such as “Tangled,” while at the same time carrying some of that classic Disney magic we’ve come to know and love in years past.
There are a few moments that poke fun at some elements that would’ve been common tropes in past Disney films, leading to some good banter between characters.
It’s also worth noting that the film does go to a fairly dark place during the second and third acts and leads to a surprisingly creative payoff at the end.
There is one thing I take issue with, and that would be the music. It doesn’t really decide what genre it’s supposed to be, and outright abandons the musical motif altogether midway through. Some numbers clashed with the darker tone, although not as bad as we’ve seen in films like “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” But they are definitely odd enough to warrant some eye-rolling here and there.
The songs themselves are pleasing to hear, but not very memorable, save for the recurring theme, “For the First Time in Forever,” which, while having a memorable melody, doesn’t have very memorable lyrics.
Overall, it’s a Disney film both in the best and worst senses of the colloquial term. A great deal of effort was put in to emphasize the stronger elements while keeping the elements that would’ve been detrimental as subdued as possible. While it doesn’t really warrant the Lion King comparison, that the marketing team’s been so desperate to push, it’s at the very least entertaining and pretty much meets the expectations of any Disney fan.
“Frozen” gets a 4/5.”