This past Wednesday, I had the fortunate experience to be able to see a preview of Frozen at my local movie theater. Going into it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The trailers hadn’t done much to wow me. They played up the funny gag aspect of the movie, but it didn’t seem to have a lot of depth. But I’m a sucker for princesses, so I was kind of excited to see what our newest princess would be like.
By the way, the movie started out with a short that was totally adorable. It literally combines the old school classic animation with the trends of today, with Mickey and his friends going in and out of a classic black and white frame. It was really fun, and I recommend that you see it in 3D if you have the chance to, because that really added a lot.
As for Frozen, I don’t want to give too much away, but here’s a very basic synopsis of the story (skip this paragraph if you’d prefer to know absolutely nothing about the plot). Sisters Anna and Elsa grow up very close to each other, until one day when an accident happens due to Elsa’s ice powers that she recently discovers she has. The parents convince her to fight her powers and try to be normal, and Anna doesn’t remember anything of the experience. Then, when Elsa comes of age she is crowned Queen, but loses her cool on the day of the coronation and causes a huge snow storm in their town. She runs away, and her sister Anna goes off on a journey to find her. Anna leaves her new fiancé, Hans, behind in Arandelle to run the place while she’s gone, and on her way to find Elsa and bring her home she meets a new companion, Kristoff, and his reindeer Sven. Completing their group is the snowman Olaf, who “loves warm hugs.”
I’m guessing that the whole Anna/Elsa story got downplayed in the previews because they wanted the movie to appeal to boys as well as girls, but the two females are really what the story is about and what makes it strong. I liked the characters a lot – they had some depth, for the most part, and they were interesting. Elsa in particular I found to be fascinating. And okay, girlie moment – her snow queen dress was gorgeous! They need to make that as an adult costume and I will be sure to buy it. My husband really liked the character of Olaf, the snowman. He enjoyed how he was a funny, comic relief character, but there was also more to him than just that.
The story itself was surprisingly good. It was a little predicable at times, but there were enough twists and turns that it didn’t feel cliché. Some of it you could guess, but some of it came as a surprise to me, which I appreciated. For me personally, in terms of plot I would rank it somewhere between Wreck-It Ralph and Brave. Wreck-It Ralph blew me away with its plot and twists, whereas Brave was a decent story but I found it to be very predictable. This walked a good line down the middle. It was also funny. There were a few jokes that were definitely directed only at kids that made me groan a little, but for the most part the gags were the ones that Disney does so well, fun for all ages.
I can be a little cheap at times, so we generally tend to just see 2D movies instead of 3D. The 3D is cool and all, but it usually doesn’t make a huge difference to me. This time, though, I noticed the 3D a lot – and in a good way. I really thought they did a terrific job of using that to their advantage to add to the experience. I would recommend seeing it in 3D if you’re debating about it. The movie is visually gorgeous 3D or not. I think most would agree that ice is a beautiful thing – just picture a winter wonderland scene. I think this will aid in their merchandise too, because there’s a lot of potential there. The artwork used on items to sell would be truly stunning.
One of my absolute favorite parts of the movie was the music. I was impressed right from the beginning, and it only got better. I absolutely can’t wait for the soundtrack to come out so I can buy it. Without a doubt the showstopper for me was Elsa’s big song, “Let it Go.” It’s performed absolutely brilliantly by Idina Menzel. I wanted to applaud once the song was over, even though it was a movie. The rest of the songs were really good too. The kind that are very catchy and make me want to get up and sing along – just like a Disney song should be! You can check out a live preview of Let it Go below:
Frozen is a really solid effort put back by Disney this year. Does it have the staying power of, say, a Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King? Perhaps not, but I think it’s going to rank right up there with Tangled. In fact, it had a lot of similarities to Tangled, in more ways than just the animation style. I think Tangled was a bit stronger, but this one has a lot of potential. I’m excited to see what everyone else thinks about it, and I hope you love it as much as I did!