Frozen gives audience chills

Official Website

“Frozen” is the hottest new Disney movie. This latest installment to the storied franchise is a light-hearted musical adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Snow Queen.

“Frozen” is the story of two sisters in the fictional Scandinavian kingdom of Arendelle. They are Elsa (played by Idina Menzel of Wicked) and Anna (played by Kristin Bell of House of Lies). Elsa has the magical gift of conjuring ice that at first appear to be a blessing, but eventually becomes a curse. After an incident when Elsa nearly kills the younger Anna, Elsa begins to isolate herself and a rift between her and her sister forms.

When their parents die in a shipwreck, Anna and Elsa remain distant. The Castle closes, isolating the two sisters from the outside world out of fear that Elsa could lose control at any moment. When Elsa becomes old enough to be coroneted as the queen, she’s forced to open the gates for a single day. Anna is excited to experience the world, and more importantly find love. She ends up falling head over heels for the first dashing prince she meets. She immediately asks Elsa to bless their wedding, but Elsa calls this ridiculous, because they just met and can’t actually be in love. A fight breaks out, and Elsa accidentally freezes the whole kingdom. She then flees from the evil Duke of Weselton (Alan Tudyk from Firefly and Dodgeball), a Duke from a neighboring kingdom who wishes to profit off of the Kingdom of Arendelle.

The story follows Anna’s quest to find and help Elsa. She is joined by an ice seller named Kristoff (played by Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer-best-friend Sven. They are also joined by Olaf, a talking snowman who wants to experience summer.

Olaf is very clearly the sidekick who was put in place for comedic relief, a character who is almost completely unnecessary for an already comedic movie, and comes very close to being a distraction. Luckily, “Frozen” manages to avoid this, and Olaf remains an amusing, if unnecessary, character created by Elsa.

The movie focuses on themes such as friendship and family. It is well put together in that it is not thematically subtle, yet it is never once disingenuous. It subverts many of the typical Disney tropes, especially love at first sight. Disney has received a lot of criticism over the years for portraying female characters who are defined by their romantic relationships, so it was nice to see a movie that focuses on familial love over romantic love.

“Frozen” also contains the best twist I’ve ever seen in a Disney movie. When it happened, I heard several members of the audience gasp. Like all of the best twists, it’s seems obvious in retrospect, making me want to rewatch it.

But the most important part of any Disney movie is, of course, the music. “Frozen” doesn’t feature songs that are going to be massive hits like the Disney Renaissance movies of old, but the songs are catchy nonetheless. They are more broadway than classic Disney, but do give the movie a very Disney-esque feel. It didn’t have a “Hakuna Matata” or “Whole New World.” Having said that, none of the songs were bad. With two of the stars having made their names in musicals (Josh Gad and Idina Menzel) , there was little doubt that the songs would have more of a broadway song sound. The big show-stopper in this movie is “Let it Go.” Despite it feeling more like a Broadway song, it doesn’t feel out of place.

“Let it Go” is also notable because many people are saying that it has LGBT-positive subtext. It’s all about how happy Elsa is now that her secret, which she’s been keeping since she was a child, is out. Now that she’s allowed to be herself, she’s finally happy, and never wants to go back. It’s easy to see how the song could be an allegory for coming out of the closet.

The film surprisingly deals with several moral grey areas. While the villain of the film is quite obviously villainous, it’s easy to see why they act as they do. Elsa’s winter hurts a lot of people, and it’s understandable why someone would be willing to stop her. Also, while it’s clear that Elsa and Anna’s parents loved them, they’re actions clearly hurt their children emotionally and physically.

“Frozen” is one of the few movies that I’d recommend you see in 3D, but it’s not because of the movie itself. Rather, it’s because of the short film that precedes it. “Get a Horse” is an adorable little Mickey Mouse cartoon, and it employs the best use of 3D I’ve ever seen.

“Frozen” premiered in the United States on November 27. It is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. It is showing in theatres nationwide.