Disney invited me on a press trip to attend the white carpet premiere of FROZEN in Hollywood last week. Travel, accommodations and activities were covered by Disney, but excitement and opinions about the film are 100% my own.
It’s been a long time since I have raved so enthusiastically about an animated movie. Don’t get me wrong – I have seen many, many excellent movies over the years that I have thoroughly enjoyed (and others that have kept me mildly entertained) but Disney Animation Studios really outdid themselves with Frozen. I am so glad that I can finally share my excitement for the movie (don’t worry – I won’t share any big spoilers in my Frozen review!).
Disney’s Frozen is loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Snow Queen. If you know the classic story, it’s probably best to forget it now. Instead of being centered around two young friends and a distant Snow Queen that lives high in the mountains, Frozen is centered around two sisters, Princesses Elsa and Anna. Elsa, the older sister, was born with the ability to create snow and ice. After an accident, young Elsa is locked away – to protect herself and others she might come in contact with. Little Anna doesn’t understand why her sister won’t come out to play anymore.
Fast forward several years – Elsa has come of age and it’s time for her to be crowned the Queen. The sisters, both isolated from each other and the rest of the world for so many years, react differently to the opening of the gates…and to interaction with all of the people who come to participate int he coronation festivities. Anna is excited for the adventure. Elsa is terrified.
After another accident – this time much more public – Elsa flees to the snowy mountains, but not before she leaves the entire kingdom covered in snow and ice. Anna follows her sister to try to bring her back – and save everyone else from an eternal winter. Of course, she gathers a few helpers along her journey that add to both the humor and the heart of the movie.
The characters of Frozen:
Frozen is full of lovable characters, from the naive and playful Anna to the strong and isolated Kristoff to the silly dreamer Olaf the Snowman. I loved that there was not an evil “witch” or step mother. Although the original Snow Queen from Hans Christian Anderson’s story is pure evil, Frozen’s Snow Queen, Elsa, is just scared. She doesn’t know how to control her powers and so she tries to hide who she is – from everyone else and from herself. I loved that Anna is a normal, relatable, flawed girl. She’s not perfect. She makes mistakes. But she acts out of love.
I also loved both of the lead male characters. Prince Hans, with whom Anna falls instantly in love, is flawed and silly and a dreamer just like Anna. Kristoff is strong and quiet and quirky. At first he doesn’t seem the “hero” type, but he shows his true colors in the end. I loved his relationship with his life-long friend – a reindeer named Sven. But I especially appreciated that Anna doesn’t wait for either one of the male characters to come and rescue her. She sets out on her own horse, determined, brave, and acting out of love for her sister.
Olaf is a snowman that Elsa created when the two girls were young and he’s just as funny as the trailers lead you to believe. Olaf is sure to send the kids into fits of giggles, but at the same time Olaf will find his way into everyone’s hearts. He is sweet and loyal and is so much more than comic relief.
The music of Frozen:
Frozen takes Disney animated musicals back to the days of Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. The movie includes 8 new top-notch songs as well as a full score of music throughout the movie, one reprise, and one remake by Demi Lovato. I have listened to the soundtrack so many times already that I’ve memorized all of the songs. Idina Menzel (as Elsa) gives a stellar performance in the song “Let It Go” – she’s incredible! Kristen Bell (as Anna) shines in “For the First Time in Forever” (with Idina) and in one of the most FUN love songs I’ve ever heard, “Love is an Open Door” (a duet with Santino Fontana, voice of Hans).
I can’t say enough good about Frozen, and I am counting down the hours until I’m taking all of my kids to see it. it’s a perfect movie to welcome in the holiday season!
Should you see Frozen in 3D or 2D?
A few people have asked me whether or not it’s worth paying the extra money to see Frozen in 3D. This is one of the few cases where I am actually recommending that people spend the extra for the 3D ticket. Frozen is visually magnificent, and the animated snow and ice is spectacular in 3D. However, I mostly recommend seeing Frozen in 3D because of the very entertaining (and totally surprising) new short that is playing in front of the feature film. I’ll be talking about the new short, “Get a Horse” next week, so today I’ll just say this: “Get a Horse” is a surprising treat that everyone will love…and it just wouldn’t be the same without the 3D.
Whether you see it in 3D or 2D, though, take the WHOLE family to see Frozen! Kids and adults alike are going to love it!
Check out my FROZEN activities that you can do at home with the kids:
FROZEN is in theaters NOW!
Frozen stars the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk and Ciarán Hinds and is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee with original songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
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