The House of the Mouse returns with another animated flick set on freezing the competition. Frozen tells the tale of two Nordic princesses, high-spirited Anna (Kristen Bell, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Veronica Mars) and older sister Elsa (Idina Menzel, Glee, Broadway’s Wicked) who secretly wields the power to create ice and snow.
After Elsa reveals her icy secret and places the entire kingdom under a permanent winter, Anna sets off with the help of a mountain man, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff, Glee, Broadway’s Spring Awakening), to confront Elsa and end the eternal winter that she had created. Does this new take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen deserve the title of “Disney Classic,” or is this one lame Popsicle of a movie? Read on!
The Good: Wow, the animation is spectacular, and it truly dazzles in 3D. The story is top notch, flipping the whole notion of the Disney princess on its head and giving us a new definition of what she should be. And the songs by Robert Lopez (Broadway’s The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, are worthy; heck, we haven’t heard anything as memorable as these songs since the ’90s!
The Gay: Um, this is like a Broadway queen’s wet dream. Take a hit Broadway composer, Lopez, and mix in the hottest Broadway stars, and boom! Instant musical hit! Menzel, Groff , along with other stage stars Santino Fontana (Broadway’s Cinderella) as Prince Hans, and Josh Gad (Jobs, Broadway’s The Book of Mormon) serve up Broadway realness. And Bell holds up vocally as well, with a surprisingly pleasant vocal timbre.
And when Elsa delivers her big belter “Let It Go” (which is by far the best Disney princess song to date), the dress she transforms into is totes glam. Not to mention the amazing snow castle she builds. Who needs a man when you got a fabulous dress and a pad to die for? Preach.
Now is it wrong that I kinda got the hots for some of these animated dudes? Anna and Elsa’s dad was a sexy ginger king! Not to mention hot ginger Prince Hans and burly blonde Kristoff. Wow. I’m so lonely.
The Bad: There are some clunky lines here and there, but overall this movie works. The good far outweighs the bad. Plus Groff could’ve been given a longer song to sing, seeing he’s a Tony-award nominated actor. Just saying.
The Fugly: Snowman sidekick Olaf, as funny as he was, looks more wonky than cute. I guess that’s the appeal, but I don’t find his character as visually cute as some other past Disney sidekicks. Still, Gad gives a hilarious performance and provides necessary comic relief during the most unsuspecting moments.
Frozen: Fabulous or frigid? Finally! After subjecting us to a frozen wasteland of uninspired films over the past decade, Disney has conjured up some of its magic of yesteryear and brought us a film that dazzles and delights. The animation is stellar, and it’s worth the extra dollars to see it in breathtaking 3D. With brilliant songs and storytelling, Frozen brings a flurry of joyous entertainment that is heartwarmingly worthy of the “classic” moniker. Snowshoe over to the cinema and buy tickets now!
The Grade: A
While both Frozen and Hunger Games: Catching Fire got an A from Jay Catterson, audiences are spending more time at the latter. Which did you prefer?