Distributors: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Production Companies: Walt Disney Pictures & Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directors: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Scriptwriter: Jennifer Lee
Main Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad & Santino Fontana
Released: November 22 2013
Running Time: 102 Minutes
The 2013 release of Disney‘s Frozen would usher in one of the all-time great family Christmas movies. As is often the case with Disney, the amazing visuals and stunning soundtrack are most memorable. But a compelling story, fun characters and a good dose of comedy are also integral. Hence why, seven years on, Frozen remains a classic, as I will now explain.
We learn early on in this 3D animation that Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) has magic powers, which she uses for playful reasons alongside her little sister Anna. This has a detrimental effect which forces their parents to essentially brainwash Anna into forgetting that her sister has the ability to create both snow and ice. Elsa, however, is still more than aware. After their parents go missing in the midst of a storm, Elsa and Anna are left alone to rule. During that time, though, a rift develops between the sisters which seemingly destroys their once-unbreakable bond.
Fast-forward to Elsa becoming the new Queen of Arendelle. But she has great concern in case her kingdom ever learn of her magical powers. The issue becomes more concerning when Anna (Kirsten Bell) resurfaces, and she simultaneously falls in love with Prince Hans (Santino Fontana). When Anna and Hans wish to wed, Elsa refuses to endorse this, which leads to a major argument that has disastrous consequences. In the process, Elsa unintentionally demonstrates her powers, causing havoc. And this forces Elsa to abandon her own castle.
But when Elsa heads to the North Mountain, she not only acknowledges the power she possesses, but she embraces it. This leads her to build her own ice palace in isolation (more on this shortly), while causing her previous kingdom to become permanently frozen (hence the title). Anna goes in search of a resolution, but this then becomes a mission in its own right. Meeting Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an iceman; his reindeer Sven; and Olaf (Josh Gad), a snowman along the way, Anna feels that only by trying to mend fences with Elsa will things return to normal and hopefully improve.
In the meantime, though, there is the additional problem of the wicked Duke of Weselton (Alan Tudyk), who plans to take over the kingdom himself by sending minions to kill Elsa. All of this while Elsa seemingly leaves in bliss, despite the rest of her kingdom living in a state of frozen shock. How could these matters be resolved? You have to watch the rest of the movie to find out.
Frozen has an intriguing tale that captures one’s attention and maintains it from start to finish. There are numerous arcs that keep viewers guessing, as well as the relatable nature of two sisters drifting apart. And at this time of year, the messages that emphasise the importance of family and good wills are particularly noteworthy. As is always the case with Disney films, though, the characters themselves leave a lasting impression. Elsa and Anna are the most recognisable at costume parties, but the comical Olaf provides the most laughs. He may not be as central to the plot, but the snowman’s contributions are the highlight from an entertainment standpoint.
Let’s be frank, though. When it comes to Frozen, the animation is what truly leaves a lasting impression. It has colour, excitement, darkness and emotion, along with moments that will make younger audiences go “wow!” The dresses for the princesses add to the eye-catching presentation. And while it may not be groundbreaking from a visual standpoint, the scene where Elsa creates her ice palace is the stuff of dreams. It’s a moment that effectively sums up the movie as a whole, despite it being much later when story arcs are tied up.
And that’s partly due to the soundtrack. Without question, the most memorable track is Let It Go, sung to an incredibly high standard by Idina Menzel during the ice palace creation. If anything, people recognise the song more than the movie itself. But hearing it with the scene in progress is breathtaking and almost enough to bring a tear to the eye. Other songs including Do You Want To Build A Snowman are also meritious.
Every Christmas, when someone suggests to watch a movie, the usual old-school favourites come out. Frozen is one of those: it’s a modern classic which perfectly encapsulates the magic of the winter wonderland that is the kingdom of Arendelle, as well as perfectly encapsulating the magic of Disney itself. Regardless of your age or whether you’ve seen it once, a hundred times or never, make sure to make time for Frozen this Christmas.
Target Audience: Ages 3+
Content: Infrequent Mild Threat
Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect