November 29, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 35°F


Review: Freezing movie warms up hearts


Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

Sweet-hearted snowmen and clumsy reindeer star in an enchanting winter wonderland in Disney’s animated-movie musical “Frozen.”

Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” Disney has pumped out this overdue fairytale, updated for the 21st century audience, and it does not disappoint.

Kristen Bell lends her voice to Princess Anna, the determined and ambitious heroine who sets out after her sister, Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel), after Elsa accidentally transforms their fictitious Scandinavian kingdom, Arendelle, into a frozen wasteland. Out of selflessness, she hides herself away, frightened by the thought of harming the innocuous because of an ineffective ability to control her rather dangerous powers. The ice-delivery man, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), is put out of business by this oncoming blizzard, so upon meeting Anna, he decides to serve as her sidekick in the quest to bring back the summer season.

Of course, there is no forgetting that this is a musical. Composer Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, wrote the score for “Frozen” and set out to showcase the main cast’s unparalleled talents. Menzel bellows the movie’s building, violin-driven anthem, “Let it Go,” as she constructs her fantastical ice palace. Later, Bell and Menzel sing the heartwarming duet “For the First Time in Forever” as the sisters reunite after an entire childhood of giving each other the cold shoulder.

The film’s cinematography is visually stunning, and though critics argue the style is somewhat resonant of the character design in “Tangled,” this should not, by any means, discredit the complexity of the animation. “Frozen’s” colorful 3-D animation has an aesthetic appeal to it, transporting audience members into Arendelle and further mesmerizing them through the seamless choreography between Elsa and her undulating ice creations.

The story has all the typical elements of grief, betrayal and romance — after all, the main conflict is rectified by the all-too-familiar “act of true love.” However, the plotline offers some refreshing surprises. Jennifer Lee’s script delivers accessible characters the audience can relate to, and in the end, moving viewers emotionally. The story becomes less about the journey Princess Anna must embark upon or the magical powers Princess Elsa possesses, but instead it emphasizes reconstructing the broken relationship between two sisters, reflecting the feel-good familial theme Disney is often praised for.

“Frozen,” in the most ironic sense, will warm audiences’ hearts, and this holiday season would be simply incomplete without seeing the film in theaters.