Disney Animation Studios’ latest, Frozen, is a charming piece of originality by a studio that has been on a roll with delivering animated films that are high in quality and endlessly entertaining. Frozen is that return to Disney magic that I’ve been waiting years for. It’s funny, exciting and original.
Ever since birth, Elsa (Idina Menzel) had special powers. She couldn’t quite control them, so her parents banished her from the rest of the world, forcing her to face these problems alone, without the help of her loving sister Anna (Kristen Bell) or anyone else. Since then, Elsa’s powers have grown and she’s faced even more difficult times trying to balance them and not let the general public see them.
But now she’s an adult and she must take the crown as the Queen, which means interacting with her people. Things go badly and her powers to create snow and other winter problems for the kingdom become known, causing her to put the town into an ice age. She runs away and now her sister Anna must team up with an ice cube seller named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his reindeer and a snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad) to go and convince her sister to turn the world back to normal.
Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen is another fine film in a continuous line of entertaining and thoughtful animation films to come from a studio that has been overshadowed by Pixar in the recent years. Tangled put them back on the map not too long ago and Wreck-It Ralph helped the world remember that Pixar wasn’t the only top dog animation studio to deliver quality films and now Frozen proves that those past two films weren’t strokes of luck. Disney Animation Studios has possibly soared over the incredibly high heights that Pixar has reached with their animated films.
Frozen is a thrilling adventure, stopping rarely for moments that aren’t necessary for the plot to progress in a smooth and exciting fashion. Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck do a fantastic job leading the film, with visuals that are engaging, creative and beautiful. Seriously, folks that live in cold climates that usually complain about the snow and the winter are going to be begging for snowfall after seeing this film, because Lee and Buck have created such a heartfelt and fun world, full of magic and excitement.
The 3D effects are of high quality, with the entire film using the format to its advantage. Plus, the short before the film manages to wow and impressive the entire time, showing just how much an extra dimension can add to a story and its effectiveness.
Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad lead the voice work, with Gad’s adorable and funny snowman taking up most of the film’s comedic bits. Gad is a master of timing here, making the snowman one of the most memorable on-screen works of animation of the year. Screw the minions in Despicable Me 2, because Gad’s snowman is actually one of those cute and cuddly afterthoughts that has something to say and that has the ability to drive the story further in a natural fashion. He doesn’t just drop quick and dumb one-liners, but instead continuously contributes to the film’s momentum.
Bell and Menzel give fantastic voice performances, lending the film more than one memorable song. You’ll be singing at least one or two of the film’s songs on your way out of the theater for sure. I’m usually not one that cares too much for musicals or singing in general, but Frozen knows exactly where to place a song to help move the movie along in proper fashion and the voices of the talent absolutely pop and come to life through song. I’d have no shame in buying the film’s extensively energetic soundtrack at some point.
Frozen isn’t just another likable family animated film to drag the kids to during a down moment during the holidays. It’s a highly original and fun piece of animation that’s full of thought and meaning and exactly the kind of film that we’d normally be praising a studio like Pixar for. It’s Disney Animation proving yet again that they’ve got just as good, if not better, stories to be told and it’s a reminder that a good story with well written characters is always going to triumph.
Frozen‘s ability to bring fantastic 3D animation to the table, plus great music and endless amounts of entertainment and joy is impressive and the exactly why you should be checking it out come this holiday season.
Frozen – 8/10