Friday, December 13, 2013

Frozen

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad
Director: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Running Time: PG
Rating: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Upon seeing "Frozen," I'm 8 years old again. I'm transported to the innocent world of soprano-voiced princesses, Barbies, gowns, long hair, jewels, castles and dashing princes that every young girl fantasizes about. I've been waiting for this movie, it's the epitome of Disney - stunning visuals, soaring ballads - but there's much more to it than that. This time, though there is magic, the antagonist isn't an evil sorcerer, witch, colonist, what have you - it's the "self." Yes, Disney gets deep.

Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel bring sisters Anna and Elsa to life. Growing up, the girls are best friends, and relish in Elsa's ability to freeze things with her hands. A late night game quickly ends in a near-death experience for Anna, resulting in the separation of the two girls for the remainder of their childhood. Anna has no recollection of the accident, and grows up down the hall from her sister, who has become a stranger. The sadness here penetrates the screen.

When she becomes Queen, Elsa's ability to control her powers spirals out of control, and a harsh winter is cast upon their village. She retreats into the woods, singing (and nailing) "The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway." We've been waiting to Idina to belt like this since 2005's movie version of "Rent." Surprisingly, Kristen Bell gives Idina a run for her money, but I think it's because she has more solos. Idina is still queen.

The film is absolutely beautiful. I saw it in 2D, and the colors and effects still practically jump out at you. I hadn't seen an animated movie on the big screen in quite a while, so I was almost wondering if it was supposed to be quite SO "in your face." Though it further separates her from the world, we can't wait for Elsa to use her magic and create another ice sculpture. The frozen palace she builds is breathtaking. (Pun intended - this movie gave me the shivers! It's funny how watching characters in the cold snow will make you reach for your jacket.)

Supporting characters are especially noteworthy. Olaf : Frozen :: Dory : Finding Nemo. Voiced by Josh Gad, Olaf is the most lovable snowman, who has no idea that he will melt when the winter curse finally ends. His much anticipated one-liners will make you laugh out loud. The Duke of Weselton (jokingly mispronounced as Weaseltown) was also standout in his dance sequences, as his toupee flopped on and off his head.

This story is a unique concept. It is heart-warming for kids and the young at heart alike. I would have liked a few more songs, though they weren't all up to Disney standards, but you should see this movie. You'll be beaming for the entire thing.

**Golden Globe and SAG noninations are out!!! Award show season is upon us!!


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