Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee.
2013. Rated PG, 108 minutes.
Kristen Bell
Idina Menzel
Jonathan Groff
Josh Gad
Santino Fontana
Alan Tudyk
Ciaran Hinds
Chris Williams

Once upon a time in the magical land of Arendelle, there lived a princess named Elsa (Menzel). She possessed the power to create snow and ice at will. While using her powers during playtime she accidentally hurts her younger sister Anna (Bell). Knowing that she would be feared as an evil-doing witch, Elsa hid her powers by isolating herself from Anna and the outside world. However, during her coronation things get out of hand and Elsa's power is exposed. She transforms the bright, sunny day into a frigid winter night. She flees the castle in hopes of starting over all alone. Anna follows in hopes of bringing her back and ending the bitter cold her sister created. However, when Elsa's powers accidentally hurt Anna again only an act of true love can save the younger princess.

Sound familiar?

Of course, it does. It's a Disney movie about a princess, or a pair of princesses, in this case. The movie floats along the oh-so-familiar path of doing what fairy tales do. Along the way, it pauses to give us some heartwarming musical numbers that help the two young ladies explain their feelings to the audience. This includes the Oscar winning "Let it Go." Yawn. And I'm sorry, but Pharrell's "Happy" is the far better song. Screw you, Academy.

Does it sound like I'm hating on this movie?

Maybe I am. Call it a knee-jerk reaction to all the unwarranted love thrown this film's way. It's treated as if the movie's creators invented the wheel when they unleashed this thing on an unsuspecting world. This, it hardly does.

To be fair, Frozen does do something somewhat original. Though it does spend a fair amount of time dealing with a pair of Prince Charmings, it's real focus is on sisterhood. This is admirable, especially given the way most princesses are merely damsels in distress. This little bit of empowerment is welcome. Also welcome is this movie's subtle deconstruction of the notion that true love can be found instantly. Nice touch.

As far as some other things go, all the wintry landscapes make for a gorgeous movie to look at. The voice work is adequate, not spectacular. Kristen Bell fares best, being her usual plucky self. Idina Menzel is okay and shines during her one big moment, singing that song. As a whole, the music doesn't seem particularly inspired, but that could just be either the cynic or the contrarian in me talking. Our two Prince Charmings did exactly what I expected them to do and were completely bland about it. And the talking snowman generally annoyed me.

Despite all I've said, I don't think this is a terrible movie. I just don't believe that should've been gushed over by anyone over twelve. Even the bonding that occurs between females was better done just a year earlier in Brave, with a far more inventive story. Though, this one does open itself up a bit more to pro-lesbian interpretation, with Elsa hiding her true nature and later "coming out." That would be cool, to me at least, but not nearly enough to make me think this is some great cinematic achievement. Frozen is cute, even enjoyable, but not special.

MY SCORE: 6.5/10


  1. "And the talking snowman generally annoyed me."

    It doesn't get better than that.

    I was kind of down on this one too when I first saw it, but repeated viewings have made it a little better. I'm still with you though, this is the movie that the world has collectively shit it pants for? Seems silly. Hell, I don't even think it's the best animated movie of the last year, let alone ALL TIME as some would have you believe.

    Good stuff, hombre.

    1. Thanks. This was definitely not the best animated movie last year. I think Monsters University blows this and everything else away.

  2. I really enjoyed Frozen, but the world-wide hype is a little crazy to be honest. For me it was a great film, but I don't rave about it. The soundtrack wasn't as good as Tangled, and I'd still rather have the 2011 Muppets soundtrack in my car!
    Good review though!
    - Allie

    1. I actually did like it, I just don't get all the hype surrounding it. Soundtrack aside, I really don't think its a better movie than Tangled.

  3. The world did collectively lose its crap for this one...but I was one of those! I love this movie. It's been played to hell in our house (thank you children) and so I'm completely and totally tired of watching it...but the memory lives on and I consider it one of the best films of last year, regardless of medium.

    But I totally see where you are coming from, and I think having children, especially little girls, can alter the way you look at this (not sure if you have kids, so maybe I'm wrong). Most of the adoration I have for this film stems from watching my two daughters react to seeing it...watching their sisterly bond personified by their emotions while watching Elsa and Anna drift apart and then come together. It's a feeling that transcends the movie, thus making this a full bodied experience for me.

    1. I have two daughters. One is starting high school so nothing is cool enough for her. The other is almost but not quite out of the target audience, age wise. She does love it, and so does my wife. I guess we've watched so many movies together their reactions, while always a joy to see, don't really shade my opinion anymore. However, I'm still not averse to kiddie movies. I'll go to my grave saying Toy Story 3 was one of the best movies of the decade. Monsters University blew me away last year. This did not.

  4. I'm with you, I was pretty underwhelmed by this when I eventually saw it. It probably doesn't help that my son makes me watch this movie over and over and over again. I wish people were freaking out over How To Train Your Dragon 2 as much as they did this one. That film was far better, IMO.

    1. So glad my kids are beyond the stage where they make me watch things a million times, lol. I have to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 soon.