Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Written by: Jennifer Lee (screenplay), Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, and Shane Morris (story). Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk
Release date: November 27th, 2013 (USA)
Official Synopsis: Fearless optimist Anna (Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (Idina Menzel), 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.
Gone are the days of the titular Disney princess. Disney’s Frozen, a musical loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, employs the same non-gender specific title formula used when renaming their Rapunzel adaptation Tangled. With Pixar’s Brave and Wreck-it Ralph (with its hidden princess) having somewhat followed suit, it’s clear the studio is specifically targeting male audiences. Luckily, Disney hasn’t just set out to appeal to males with the marketing of the film. Frozen has something to offer everyone of all ages.
For the video game obsessed dudes out there, there’s no doubt Wreck-it Ralph is a hard act to follow. No, there are no nostalgic video game character cameos in this film. There is, however, action… and enough of it to put any squirming ten year-old on the edge of his seat. There are also male characters who are, off-the-bat, truly admirable.
Disney has at times received flack for their portrayal of female characters and the mixed messages it sent to young girls. For you worried parents: Anna and Elsa are strong, layered characters who stay true to themselves and are willing to put the needs of others and the greater good first. Yes, there’s a handsome prince and extravagant parties, but the stark reality of what those things can entail are clearly laid out.
Everybody loves to laugh, and Frozen is one of the funniest Disney films to date. Josh Gad’s Olaf and Alan Tudyk’s Duke character steal every scene they're in, but each character pulls its comedic weight. This isn’t an entirely light-hearted film though. The movie packs in some serious emotional punches right from the start of the film, and there are non-telegraphed twists that will catch even adult audiences off guard.
Perhaps the longest lasting impression Frozen will leave on audiences is the music. The original songs written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon) and beautifully performed by the cast will be hummed all the way home and will surely be stuck in your head for days after seeing the movie.
This film has enormous set pieces in an even more massive and immersive world with likable and relatable characters. To compare Frozen to a non-Disney film would just be unfair. So all I’m left with to say is, Frozen is Disney animation and storytelling at its best.