Oh Wanderers, Wanderers. I’ve been putting off writing this review, much to the Editor’s dismay, but I had to get past the over excitement. I saw Frozen last week, and I can’t get it off my mind. With beautiful animation, stunning music, perfect matching of voice actors to characters, and a message not often received from a Disney film, Frozen is a breath of fresh air.
Sisters Anna (primarily voiced by Kristen Bell, but also by Agatha Lee Monn and Katie Lopez) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) are princesses of Arendelle, a Scandinavian nation, ruled by the typical perfect king and queen. Elsa is blessed (or cursed) with the magic of ice and snow, and the sisters love to play in the castle’s great hall in snow drifts and ice rinks formed by Elsa’s power. That is, until the time Anna gets over excited and Elsa is unable to control her power, which results in it striking her sister in the head. Their stricken parents take them to see the trolls (adorable balls of rock and grass who will invade your heart and never let go) who heal Anna, but in doing so remove all memories of Elsa’s power from her. This begins a lifetime of hiding for Elsa, and she learns that she cannot be herself. The king and queen lock the gates, and hide themselves and their daughters away from their people.
Tragedy strikes the family again when the king and queen are lost at sea, and three years pass before Elsa comes of age. The castle is opened again for the coronation, and all goes well until Anna meets the visiting Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) and decides she’s in love with him. Asking Elsa for her blessing on their marriage pushes Elsa over the edge of control and she flees the kingdom, leaving it icebound and in confusion. Desperate to save her sister, Anna pursues her.
Along the way she meets Kristoff, his reindeer Sven and a magically alive snowman named Olaf, who attempt to help her find and save her sister. Meanwhile, Prince Hans is giving in to his sly nature and is attempting to take over Arendelle in the sisters’ absence.
Wanderers, there is so much I could say, but I don’t want to give the game away (believe it or not the above summary is only parts of the beginning of the plot – I have never known a Disney feature with such a complex, in depth, and twisted plot). This is a film you do not want to miss.
With animation based on the same models developed for Tangled, it is hardly surprising that there are some similarities in appearance between the two films, but this has been taken one step further; during one scene it is possible to see Rapunzel and Flynn in the crowd at Elsa’s coronation.
I’ve already hinted that the music is stunning, and it is. The matching of Idina Menzel to Elsa was inspired, and only serves to emphasise that the music in Frozen isn’t your typical Disney music. The tracks have more of a stage musical feel, and although they do burst into song at random and unexpected moments (and some inappropriate ones), they are all beautifully scored and performed.
Wanderers, if I go on for much longer about Frozen, I might end up accidentally revealing something I don’t mean to, but there is one last thing I need to say: don’t go into this film expecting wedding bells and a white gown – the message of true love is relocated much closer to home, contrary to most of Disney’s plots.
So, why would I ask you to watch Frozen? Because I wouldn’t want you to miss the stunning animation of the ice. Because the music alone deserves to be listened to. Because sometimes it’s important to remember that true love exists in places other than wedding services.
Hannah Carter (wants to run through the halls belting out Let It Go…)