Disney’s Frozen is Red Hot

Written by Norman Gidney. Posted in Features

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Published on November 24, 2013 at 3:00 am with 39 Comments

Halfway through Disney’s new animated feature film, Frozen, I realized I had no idea what was going to happen next.  That was about the same time I realized that what I was watching was something pretty special.  This is a Disney movie.  You pretty much know how it will end.  But this time around, you may not have a clue how it will end up getting there.

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The film begins with the story of two sisters, Anna and Elsa, the princesses of a Norwegian kingdom, Arendelle.  Elsa, the older of the two has the gift of creating snow and ice.  After an accident that puts Elsa’s sister Anna at risk, the king and queen are advised to hide Elsa’s special powers.   The main story picks up years later, as the girls are both grown and actively ruling from a closed off castle.  Through a series of events, Elsa (Idina Menzel). is forced into exile due to her powers.

Elsa runs to the mountains for refuge and belts out the movie’s first memorable tune, “Let it Go”  from Robert Lopez, who won Tony awards for “The Book of Mormon,” and his wife, Kristin Anderson-Lopez. In fact, this movie is all musical.  Even more so than the most recent Disney movie musical, Tangled.  Music comes and goes as naturally as dialogue. And, while much of the music isn’t memorable, it is good and it helps keep the movie moving forward without boring lulls.

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If Arendelle could be sufficed to let Elsa run off into her icy exile, that would be the end of the story.  But Elsa triggered an eternal winter upon her exit and it is then up to younger sister Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) to try and reach the frigid sibling.  What to do?  Younger sister Anna sets off into the frozen but artistically stunning wilds in a hope of ending the freeze.

Along the way, Anna enlists the help of handsome Ice Harvester, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven (who reminded us very much of the horse, Maximus, in Tangled). It is also at this point that we meet Olaf (Josh Gad), the animated snowman.  Based upon the terrible trailers featuring this character, we were looking forward to seeing him in the actual film about as much as you might enjoy a root canal.  Thankfully, he comes off quite well and is likely to steal the show with young audiences in much the same way the Genie did in Aladdin. Watch for his show stealing number in which he laments his desire to enjoy summer (you’ll also see this scene featured prominently in Disney California Adventure’s holiday version of World of Color).

Aside from the solid characters, perfect voice casting, solid tunes and action packed storyline, there’s one other thing that this movie has in spades, visual beauty. There’s a point in the film, during a rousing musical number by Idina Menzel, where you realize that you are witnessing one of the most jaw droppingly beautiful animated segments ever produced. The art direction of this film is brilliant and will no doubt help cement this film as a future Disney classic.

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There are two other things that Frozen has going for it that you might not otherwise consider when going to a movie. This is a 3D film, and it works wonderfully. There are very few obvious 3D gags, it is instead used to provide visual depth and add atmospheric elements (such as snow) which greatly enhances the feeling of being in the picture rather than just watching it from a distance. The other huge plus to this film is the short feature which runs before it entitled Get A Horse. In some ways, it’s almost as strong an element as the main feature itself. This is a classic style Mickey Mouse cartoon which uses characters who have long since passed into memory such as Horace Horsecollar, Clarabelle Cow and Peg-Leg Pete. While it may look like a vintage short to you at first, that notion is soon dispelled when the characters burst forth from the screen in CGI modeled 3D. This is a full on prank filled Mickey Mouse slapstick short as Walt Disney himself would have done. Clever, clever, clever and NOT to be missed by any Disney fan. And here’s a little item of note, the character voices are original and were sampled from the actual classic shorts. So, that’s really Walt Disney you’re hearing!

Here’s just the first part of the short which is in black and white. You’ll just have to see Frozen to see the rest of the short, which will amaze you and leave you chuckling.

After all is said and done, the emotional thread of the film leads to a rather poignant finish.  There is no cheat in the dramatic structure here and everything leads to a logical climax.  Mark my words, Frozen will be a big hit, one that will stand the test of time.  While the music isn’t the most hummable, it is good.  The characters are engaging and sympathetic.  On top of it all, there is plenty to entertain theater-goers of every age. Frozen is destined to thaw hearts and steam up the box office this holiday season.

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Are you planning to make Frozen part of your holiday this year? Let us know your interest in the comments below and please rate the film for us in the survey below.

About Norman Gidney

Norman Gidney, also known as Fishbulb, produces and edits many of the articles on MiceChat. Tune in every Tuesday for the Orlando Parkhopper and every Friday for In The Parks. But you'll also find his photos in the Weekly Round Up, SAMLAND, and numerous other columns on the site.

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39 Comments

Comments for Disney’s Frozen is Red Hot are now closed.

  1. Ever since I’ve heard that Frozen is about sisters, I’ve made plans to go. I’m going tomorrow and am super excited!

  2. Do the theaters have small, kid-sized 3D glasses? A friend of mine said he won’t go to 3D movies because, last time he tried, there was only one size of 3D glasses and they were too big for his kids to wear.

    • I believe I saw a box of kid-sized glasses at my theater, but if it’s a priority I’d call ahead to double-check.

    • Yes they do.

  3. I saw this today, and it was every bit as wonderful as the review states. Also, after ‘Get a Horse!’ I heard several kids (and their parents!) comment aloud that they never knew Walt did Mickey’s voice. Between that and the Steamboat Mickey Disney animation slate, it feels like the company is saying ‘we haven’t forgotten where we started’, which is nice.

  4. Again to echo everyone here who has seen the movie: you are doing yourself a disservice not to see this movie in the theaters assuming you like anything Disney has done in the past twenty years. This is up there with the best of them. And I saw it in 2D (can’t waIt to go back for the 3D). And I too prefer the idea of hand drawn animation…but Walt was into progress too and the visuals are nothing but fabulous animation. Walt would be proud. I think that aspects of the movie could be better for my preferences but I’ll judge that on repeat viewing.

    • You really need to see it again in 3D. The short before the movie is a wonderful piece of art that really deserves to be seen in 3D and make your jaw drop at how awesome it is

  5. I wrote my review in the forum thread but to summarize it

    Frozen is a gorgeous film, beautiful animation, solid story and great characters.

    The short before the movie is a spectacular work of art that really needs to be seen in 3D. People will be amazed at what Disney animation has done with the black and white Mickey short. That literally comes out of the screen and becomes part of the theater. Best use of 3D ever including any Disney attraction.

    Also make sure you stay till the end of the credits because Disney animation added an extra scene that is sure to make you chuckle

  6. Okay, I went to see it.
    Can I nominate Olaf as the worst charachter ever? I think he beat out Jar Jar for this one.

    It would have been an amazing movie otherwise.

    • Careful what you say on here! You might be labeled vitriolic or small minded. I’m gonna see it this weekend…..with an OPEN mind. (But so far, agree with you) :)

      • it was a great movie otherwise. It was a Disney movie without being a cliche.

        But who put him in there.

        I saw the World of Color with him and was just sickened. Now that I’ve seen the movie…. What a horrible character.