Frozen is one of the highest grossing films of all time and it appears to be highly likely that it will join the top 5. That’s pretty impressive and the film is still out in theaters in case you want to go and check it out. I’ve finally had the pleasure of viewing the film on DVD and it is definitely one of Disney’s better projects. It has a Barbie feeling to it, but with a little more danger and intrigue. Why did Frozen succeed? Well, in the words of a respectable business man turned villain…”Isn’t that the question of the day?”
Looking at the posters and promotions for Frozen; the film always looked interesting but I had no idea on what the plot would be about. Even after I read a review for the film on another site…I still didn’t remember the plot by the end. Plot is a crucial part of a film, but it can be overshadowed by visuals and character development, which is what happens in this film. It does help that the plot does involve some…plot hax. (Or plot holes if you wish. Not in continuity, but more of a suspense for disbelief issue)
The story begins with two sisters, Elsa and Anna. They were great friends until Elsa managed to knock Anna out with a single ice blast. Their parents quickly save Anna, but at the cost of her memories. Anna remembers Elsa, but she believes that her sister is a mere mortal. (Which is a fair assumption) Elsa’s parents tell her to stay in her room for the next 10+ years until she masters her abilities and no one can ever know that she has powers! Unfortunately, Elsa cannot control her powers so she never gets to see another human being until her coronation ceremony. Anna has always wanted to rekindle their friendship and she attempts to do so, but things do not work out. Anna must now track down Elsa and get her to reverse the curse that she has placed on the town. It will be a dangerous trek!
Elsa is arguably the main character although one could make a very strong case for Anna being the true main character. Elsa is a lot more charismatic than Anna and one can sympathize with her plight. I had some issues with it, but I shall address those in due time. Her ice abilities are a lot more powerful than I had imagined and she can definitely hold her own against fellow Disney protagonists. (She could possibly hold her own against the Avengers depending on how thick she can make the ice that she creates.) She also has more common sense than Anna as she realizes that any man who would claim to be in love with someone after an hour or two and then propose cannot be trusted. He’s either greedy, evil, confused or all of the above!
Anna plays a large role in this film. She is a lot more outgoing than Elsa, but she’s also a little more naive. She takes her dangerous situations in stride because she doesn’t really seem to know how much danger she is in. She was involved in the scene that made me cringe a little inside and it definitely hurt the film a bit. I will go into that scene in a short while, but it wasn’t a great moment for the film. Anna’s a good character for the most part, but it’s too bad that she succumbed to the romance part of the film. The romance itself wasn’t a huge issue, but one day is way too quick to make any decisions.
At one point in the film, Elsa creates an Ice Creature to protect her Kingdom. This Ice Monster is pretty skilled in the art of fighting as he quickly takes down a few fighters. His durability is also shown to be at a high level and he’s pretty merciless. At one point, he attempts to destroy one of the main characters and you may find yourself at the edge of your seat as you wonder if the heroes will survive. (So long as you haven’t seen a film in a while) This creature never gets a name, but fans of the film aren’t likely to forget him anytime soon!
Hans is one of the first characters to appear, but he may come across as a little cheesy. As one point, Anna bursts into song and he quickly interrupts her to say that he was thinking the same thing…and then he continues the song. I can’t buy that! Anna should have immediately dashed out of there because coincidences like that don’t work. Hans just seemed really fake and he definitely is not someone that you would want to hang out with. He is one of the fighters who goes up against the ice creature and only one of them gets to walk away. Hans isn’t a likable character and he’s definitely one of the worst ones. Why? You’ll need to watch the film to find out!
Olaf is not someone that you want to cross. Once he realized that Kristoff had gone crazy, he quickly decided to hold him off so that Anna could escape. That’s what I call bravery and he should definitely be considered as a hero. He’s easily one of the best characters in the film and he is always ready for a hug. His body is a little frail, which gets in the way of his heroics, but Olaf never gives up. He’s always ready to risk life and limb to help his friends and hopefully he gets a nice role when he returns for the inevitable sequel.
Kristoff is another one of the main characters and I can’t say that I was a big fan of him. His friends are known as the “love experts” and I really didn’t like them either. Kristoff has his “hero” moment at the end, but it was a little hard to watch. Kristoff was really mean to one of the shop owners, going as far as to call him a thief. (I believe that is the term that he used…or maybe he called the owner a crook) Kristoff has a reindeer by his side named Sven. Sven is decently cool and he’s never afraid to speak his mind. He makes sure to keep Kristoff in line and he also knows when it’s time for Kristoff to take a swim. Once again, I do have to say that Kristoff’s friends weren’t that cool. They didn’t do a great job of helping out in the opening and they had the worst song in the entire film. Their scenes tended to drag on and I believe that they could have been written out.
The one scene that hurt the film more than anything else was the Wolf scene. In it, Anna and Kristoff are forced to throw away their heroic nature as they injure a group of wolves. That was pretty terrible and I lost a lot of respect for both of them. Anna’s still a decently good character overall, but that really threw away her character development. Kristoff never recovered from the incident as well and the film’s score took a bit of a hit. The film also had a lot of romance, but that’s to be expected. I think the film should have cut it out though since it wasn’t needed in this film. If Kristoff and Anna decided to just be pen pals and if Anna and Hans had decided to stay as rivals…then that would have worked out perfectly.
Finally, Elsa’s predicament is pretty hard to believe. How she hid from her sister for about a decade by staying in her room all day is beyond me. The parents made a pretty bad decision in that regard as they left the sisters in that state as they headed off for a cruise or something. Elsa shouldn’t have gone along with this plan and she could have stayed friends with Anna through mail. (Or phone calls if those were around back then) Their first meeting at the ball room could have gone better as well if Elsa had just explained things. She can definitely trust Anna with her secret so that shouldn’t be a concern. Ah well…the plot had to get rolling somehow right?
The animation for the film is decent. The ice abilities that Elsa possessed were pretty impressive visually. Character wise, this isn’t my favorite art style. It’s the way that most American animated films look, but give me the Super Friends or the original Gundam show’s animation any day. There’s something about these visuals that just don’t strike me in the same way.
The soundtrack for the film was pretty forgettable. That is not counting the lyrical songs of course. Elsa’s main song was pretty good when she first goes to the castle in her new hairdo. Beyond that, I can’t say that I really cared for the other songs. I’m not into lyrical songs (for the most part) so that was to be expected. At least it’s not a bad soundtrack!
Overall, this was a pretty solid Disney film. I really got a Barbie feeling from it, which was nostalgic since I used to watch a lot of those films. Elsa is a solid protagonist and her ice abilities are fun to watch. The film had more action than your typical animated film and we really only had one scene that would make you cringe a little inside. I can definitely see why everyone loves the film so much and I won’t mind seeing it in the top 5. It’s a fun film and you’ll walk away remembering how much fun the songs were and hoping that Elsa will be in Kingdom Hearts III. I definitely recommend this film to all audiences. I just don’t see how you can dislike this film unless the Wolf scene is the first scene of the film that you witness.