Review of Frozen, Directed by Chris Buck
By GIANCARLO MONTEMAYOR
Disney’s new animated film is a princess fairytale based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the Snow Queen, and though we are used to this type of genre from Disney, somehow Frozen feels fresh. Maybe it is because the film is now about two princesses (Elsa and Anna) instead of one, and even though one of them finds her “prince charming,” he turns out to be not that charming after all. This movie is more about family bonds and the importance of sacrificial love.
The plot takes place in a winter paradise called Arendelle (picture the Norwegian fjords) with a Cinderella-ish castle and people dressed like the 18th century. Princess Elsa possesses the supernatural power of turning everything to ice by a simple touch, and is very close to Princess Anna, her younger sister. Then one night Elsa, who cannot control her ability, accidentally endangers Anna. As a result of the accident, their parents decide to alienate Elsa from Anna. As they become teenagers, the girls are orphaned when the King and Queen die in a shipwreck. This incident causes the village to draw their attention to Elsa as she is forced to become the new Queen, but in the coronation—almost predictably so—Elsa freezes the whole village and runs away to a mountain in isolation.
It is at this point that the adventure really begins, because Anna is as outgoing and fearless as Elsa is afraid and reserved. Her determination to find her sister and a solution to unfreeze the village is implacable. On her way she meets a solitary mountaineer named Kristoff and a goofy snowman called Olaf—definitely the funniest character in the movie because he ingenuously dreams about vacationing in the summer. The lyrics of Olaf’s song are just a funny and catchy oxymoron:
Kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz
And I’ll be doin’ whatever snow does in summer
A drink in my hand
My snow up against the burning sand
Prob’ly getting gorgeously tanned in summer
Visually, the Real 3D is outstanding in the Mickey Mouse short cartoon preceding the film, but it is not that noticeable in the actual movie. The effects and characters have almost the same spirit of Tangled. Overall, the visual effects do not dazzle the senses more than the story warms the heart.
Musically, it is obvious that the voices were carefully selected for every single character. Idina Menzel—who gives life to Elsa—demonstrates why she is a Broadway star, and Kristen Bell (Anna) has a voice that portrays the sweet and charming aspects that distinguish the princess.
It must be mentioned that while Frozen does have the feel of a typical princess fairytale from Disney, it is innovative in the sense that both of the guys in the movie—Prince Hans and Kristoff—have secondary roles. This is mainly a story about family bonds and sisterly love, which of course is a great message to a society that in real life experiences a lot of family disruptions.
Also, as Christians we can watch this movie and somehow be reminded of the gospel. We know that love is sacrificial even to the point of death (Ephesians 2), something that is portrayed and explicitly mentioned in the movie several times. Jesus told his disciples to love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34). We can at least say that Christian principles are visible in the movie and we can but rejoice in the fact that our Savior has showed us the perfect way of this commandment on the cross.
Finally, also from a Christian standpoint, we are reminded that hidden in the human conscience there is the idea of good and wrong; of the lifeless winter and the lively summer. We know from Romans 1 that humanity has a conscience that is able to differentiate good from evil. Thank God for giving us not only a conscience that is sufficient for condemnation but also the gospel that enables us to be right with God and therefore do what is right in his eyes.
This is a commendable movie. It’s a lovely story and mostly well told. Even though it’s targeted at kids, it is worth watching with the whole family. Surely your time and money will be well spent.