Review: “Frozen” will warm your heart

Most Disney kids movies involve a spunky hero or heroine, a love interest who swoops in and saves the day, and an evil villain whom the hero/heroine must beat in an epic battle. “Frozen,” the newest kid’s movie in theaters, defies most of the traditional guidelines of an animated Disney princess film.

The story, based off of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” tells of two sisters who are the princesses of a kingdom. One of the sisters, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) has a magical power that enables her to make ice and snow out of thin air. However, it gets worse as she grows up, and she cannot touch anything without it freezing over, so Elsa spends the rest of her childhood locked in her room, away from the world and her worrying sister Anna.

Anna (Kristen Bell) heads off to find her sister after Elsa accidentally puts the kingdom in an eternal winter and runs away when she and Anna get into a fight. During this argument, Elsa unintentionally shows off her powers because of her anger.

During her journey, Anna meets Olaf (Josh Gad), a hilarious snowman who has come to life, and a man who sells ice for a living (Jonathan Groff). They help her on her way up a huge mountain to find her sister.

Unlike many Disney princess movies, the love interest does not take priority in the plot. It is simply a cute addition to the story. The plot revolves completely around the sisterly bond between Anna and Elsa. Viewers might expect a prince to save the day, but an astonishing twist near the end of the film leaves the audience pleasantly surprised.

Another difference from traditional Disney movies is that the problem does not arise because of the “villain” (whose identity and relevance comes as a total surprise and plot twist very late in the movie). In fact, the villain does not even play a major role in the film. The conflict arises because of a mistake of a protagonist, who is only trying to protect her sister throughout the movie.

Like most animated films these days, the CGI was beautifully rendered. Each piece of clothing looks and moves the way real clothing does. The girl’s hair flows and whips around in the wind as real hair does. Everything appears realistic, while still looking like actual animation.

Each snowflake that Elsa makes is unique. Viewers cannot see this, as the snowflakes are very small and quick, but the animators still took the time to make each of them different from one another.

Many musical kid’s movies have songs that are out of the blue and do not have any relevance to the plot. The reason songs in musicals exist is because what the character has to say is just too important to be spoken, so it must be sung. “Frozen” does a fantastic job with its music because it fits the mood completely. It sparingly uses music, and there are only a few songs when they are really needed instead of many kid’s movies that have a song every five minutes.

The voices, of course, are beautiful. Idina Menzel played Elphaba in the original “Wicked” on Broadway, so Elsa is a departure from her usual repertoire. Menzel voices her beautifully with a strong yet caring voice.

Anna’s charming song “Do You Want To Build a Snowman?” only features Kristen Bells’ voice for a few lines because the story takes the audience through Anna’s childhood. However, with Bells’ few lines, she manages to capture Anna’s caring, funny, and adventurous nature  (while perhaps making the audience cry).

All in all, what could have been a typical Disney kid’s movie turns out to be a charming, surprising, heartwarming, and beautiful story. See it with your older siblings, younger siblings, parents, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend, anyone. I promise it is totally worth it and you will not regret it.

Our grade: A

Rated: PG

Length: 108 minutes

Genre: Animation, Musical, Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy

Directors: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff