Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Walt Disney Pictures released their newest animated adventure film, "Frozen." Starring Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk, Ciaran Hinds, and more, this film is an exciting, magical, and a made-for-kids musical thrill ride. "Frozen" relies heavily on its dream-like special effects and environments, wild adventures, and humor created by the characters. Of course, like any Disney presentation, the themes of good-over-evil, true love, and overcoming challenges are deep, driving factors for the characters. Rated PG, this is definitely the kind of movie I would encourage you to take your kids to for some holiday fun!
Loosely based on the fairy tale, “The Snow Queen,” by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen is an epic tale about a princess who sets out on a journey to rescue her uncontrollable, icy-powered sister, Elsa - known as the Snow Queen - and in the process, save the kingdom from a never-ending winter. As a young child, Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) learns she has snow magic, and as she gets older, it increasingly becomes more out of her control. On the night of her coronation ceremony, soon-to-be-queen Elsa gets into a dispute with her younger sister, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), and accidently exposes her power to the guests. Panicking, Elsa runs away to the mountain, and as she becomes more distraught, an extreme winter covers the kingdom. Soon after, Anna sets out to find her sister, where she meets a few friends along the way, including a mountain man (Jonathan Groff), a talking snowman (Josh Gad), and a reindeer, who help her on her journey. In the end, Anna must find a way to help Elsa manage her power and release the kingdom from the snowy winter before it is too late.
Similar to previous computer-animated, musical fantasies from Disney, "Frozen" is pure entertainment for children as it presents a fairy tale-like, imaginary story with eccentric characters, over-the-top personalities, make believe creatures and worlds, dramatic adventures, themes of love, survival, sacrifice, temptation, responsibility, and more. Comparably, in this case, the characters break out into erratic songs and musical presentations from time to time, suddenly transitioning from normal dialogue into song and dance. There is a combination of love songs, dark, theatrical sounds, instrumental music, and more. The singing performance of the main cast as well as the orchestra-like background music is a compliment to the film. Josh Gad, along with other cast members, brings a fitting level of comedy, either from spoken playful and sarcastic dialogue, people’s reactions to certain encounters, interactions between one another, or mishaps to various characters.
I got a chance to see "Frozen" in 3D, and while not crucial to the viewing experience, it was much better than some of the overdone live-action multi-dimensional displays out there that seem to force 3D unnecessarily. The animated characters and creatures are first-rate; especially their facial expressions, and watching them walk around in groups reminds me of a video game like “The Sims.” The backgrounds are satisfactory for the most part, but often times when presented with large, far out camera shots, it can look like a miniature play set. Of course, most of these elements will go completely unnoticed to a child, and as a whole, the film looks good, equivalent to movies like "Tangled," "Wreck-It Ralph," "Epic," or other animated Disney adventures. Disney has made a variety of animated and real-live films, and "Frozen" falls somewhere in the middle.
Rated 3 out of 5 stars.
Frozen is rated PG for some action and mild rude humor. Running time is 1 hour and 48 minutes.
Hayden Pittman is a special contributor to WFAA.com and a freelance film critic and entertainment blogger out of Dallas. More of his content can be found on YouPlusDallas.com and his author archive here. He is a film, TV, and sports enthusiast, and hopes to pursue a future in filmmaking and screenwriting.
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