Many years later, and after the death of her parents, Elsa is crowned Queen of Arendelle. However at Elsa's coronation party Anna makes the announcement that she's marrying Prince Hans of the Southern Isles - a man that she's only known for just a few hours. Understandably this upsets Elsa and she loses control of her powers, exposing them for all to see. She then panics and runs away, accidentally creating an eternal winter on the kingdom in the process. Anna had no memory of Elsa's powers and now feels guilty about what she's done. She goes after Elsa and on the way she teams up with an ice salesman called Kristoff. They hope to convince Elsa to come back and restore the kingdom to summer. They must also do this before the Duke of Weselton's men find Elsa and try to end the winter by taking her life.
I saw Frozen last month and had intended to finish this review much earlier than I did - but in my excitement over The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug I ended up putting it aside. But Frozen is a brilliant film as well! Some film critics are even saying that it's on a par with Beauty and the Beast! I wouldn't go that far. I don't think that Frozen is as good as Beauty and the Beast or even as good as Tangled but I still think that it's a great film. Frozen is beautiful, moving, charming and funny. It features delightful characters, breathtaking animation and terrific songs. It has a very traditional Disney feel but it still manages to incorporate some new and refreshing things.
The songs in Frozen were written by the husband-and-wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The pair of them wrote the songs for Disney's recent Winnie the Pooh film and Ropert Lopez co-wrote the musicals Avenue Q and Book of Mormon. Their songs are wonderful and they're all very catchy and memorable. The best song in this film though is Let It Go. It is absolutely stunning! It might even be my favourite Disney song!!! It's a gorgeous song and was the highlight of the film for me. It's the Defying Gravity of the film. It's just so beautiful and Idina Menzel sings it with so much emotion and power. I reckon that about half of this song's 24 million YouTube views are because of me ;) I'll be gutted if Let It Go doesn't win the award for Best Original Song at the 2014 Oscars. My second favourite song in Frozen was the song Love is an Open Door. It's just such a fun, cute and uplifting song. I've embedded both Let it Go and Love is an Open Door below so anybody reading this can hear the songs for themselves. And I have to say that I would be absolutely thrilled if Frozen could get a big-budget stage musical adaptation! I know that an Aladdin musical is due out on Broadway soon and that a Tangled musical is supposed to be in the works but I would love to see Frozen on stage as well! I know it wouldn't be an easy thing to pull off but with an extended score and a big budget I'm sure it would be a huge Broadway or West End hit and a visual spectacle.
Let It Go
Love is an Open Door
In addition to everything that I've mentioned about Frozen already there are also a couple of cute sidekicks: a reindeer called Sven that acts like a dog and a talking snowman called Olaf. Kids will love them both. Sven doesn't talk in this film but Kristoff talks for him :) And I know that the kids will definitely love Olaf! When I went to see Frozen all of the kids in the audience clearly thought he was hilarious. I didn't find Olaf as funny as they all seemed to but he's still a fairly amusing character. And then last but not least there's the character of Kristoff. I wouldn't call Kristoff one of my absolute favourite Disney heroes (I prefer Flynn Rider and Aladdin) but he's still very likeable and his "conversations" with Sven are really endearing.
So, is there anything that I didn't like about Frozen?! Well... I'm not a fan of the Demi Lovato version of Let it Go that's played over the end credits. I don't have a problem with Demi Lovato. I think she's a really good singer. It's just that the pop-py arrangement of the song is horrible. The title of the film bugs me as well. When the Disney executives were trying to work out why The Princess and the Frog wasn't as big a hit as they all thought it was going to be they came to the conclusion that boys and men must have found the title too "girly" and therefore off-putting, so for the past few Disney films the heroine's names haven't been featured in the titles. I mean, yeah, remember The Little Mermaid? What a massive flop that turned out to be... *rolls eyes* Honestly Frozen should have been called The Snow Queen! And Tangled should have been called Rapunzel! The title might sound like a really small thing to get annoyed about it but it just irritates me. If Disney were to make Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs today it would probably be called Poisoned! I also think that it's quite sexist of Disney to assume that men and boys wouldn't want to see Disney films that feature "feminine" titles. But I do have a bigger issue with Frozen as well. It wasn't enough to ruin the film for me - like I say I still loved it - but it did stop me from enjoying it as much as I would have done.
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read) There's a twist in the film because Anna's fiance Hans turns out to evil. He has a diabolical scheme to take over the kingdom. I'm sure that some people out there will really like this twist but I wasn't a fan. This is partly because I really liked Hans up until his hidden agenda was revealed but I have another reason for not liking it. To me it felt like the writers just suddenly thought "Hey! If Anna ends up breaking off her engagement to Hans and choosing Kristoff then the audience might feel sorry for him! We can't give Anna two likeable suitors! We'll just have to make Hans evil!" *sigh* I just really hate it when films feel the need to make a character's spouse or betrothed absolutely horrible in order to "justify" them getting cheated on - even more so since the Love Never Dies musical came out! It's a really big pet peeve of mine. I just think it would have been soooo much better if Anna had actually recognised that she was falling in love with Kristoff and had then broken it off with Hans. He could have then taken it really well and said "Well... I guess it really was crazy of us to get engaged after we'd only known each other for just a few hours and I admit that you and Kristoff really do seem like a great couple". Now wouldn't that approach have been so much nicer and more mature?! Maybe Hans could have even ended up with Elsa at the end.
But leaving that issue with the film aside I still really loved Frozen and I think it's pretty clear that we're onto a new Disney Renaissance now.
Film Certificate Rating: PG
P.S. If you're as big a fan of Tangled as I am then you'll be thrilled that Rapunzel and Eugene make a "blink and you'll miss it" cameo appearance in this film. They appear during the First Time in Forever scene. Sadly I didn't know about their cameo appearance when I went to see the film but I'll be definitely looking out for them when I get the DVD. I'm really wondering what they made of everything that was going on in Frozen!