Thursday, January 2, 2014

Frozen Review!

Still have a few days left to catch a holiday film? My top recommendation is Frozen.

A story about sisters, snowmen and growing up. Elsa has magical powers that create ice and snow but finds it difficult to control these them. After accidentally hurting her sister Anna as a child she must withdraw and hide her powers. Anna misses her sister and hopes desperately to have her best friend back. When Elsa accidentally condemns the town to an eternal winter, Anna teams up with an ice trader and his pet reindeer to find her sister and bring back summer.

For more on the best Disney film of the new era follow me under the cut!

I grew up on Once Upon a Time talking cassette books and The Snow Queen always terrified me. Now Disney has re-created The Snow Queen character for a new age and era as a beautifully complex, hurt and misunderstood woman. What's more, in this Disney film, The Snow Queen has a sister and there is true female interaction, love and friendship to go with all of the songs and magic. It's fantastic to see such different female heroes go on a quest for understanding and friendship where any love plot with a suitor takes a back seat. Elsa's Snow Queen isn't a villain, she has a power that she is scared of and cannot control and people think she is a monster. She hurts her sister as a child and ends up losing her relationships with everyone around her. Her sister Anna is delightfully optimistic and clumsy, at times naive and at others giving and wise. She is also genuinely funny. Anna puts her relationship with Elsa first and both women are brave in facing the challenges in their lives.

Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, as Anna and Elsa, perform uplifting and awe-inspiring songs to go with the spectacular visual effects and animation. One is a child's song to her sister wanting to build a snowman, another a duet about the joys and fears of discovery, but my favourite, and the song that Disney have lead the film with, is Elsa's anthem for freedom 'Let it go' as she creates her ice castle on the North mountain.

The support characters are dastardly and loveable depending on which one’s you are looking at. Kristoff, Seth and the Snowman Olaf are hysterical and support Anna's humorous escapades. Olaf’s song wondering what snow does when it's warm sets the tone for his character and the journey the group is on. The film gracefully walks the line between humour and deep existential crisis, human relationships and living life. You'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll change your life.

Frozen totally blew me away. It's warm, inspiring and a great movie for the whole family.

Spoiler comments for my favourite parts:

- The fact that the act of true love to save Anna’s life was Anna saving Elsa and not 'true loves kiss'. It is so refreshing to have the romance take a back seat while friendship and sisterly love drive the story forward and provide the solution to the conflict in the story.

- Prince Hans seeming perfect and clearly being the true villain of the story was magnificent if only because of how well he was characterised as both a hero and the villain.

- The Ice Castle - Elsa's ice castle and ice dress were fantastic and really demonstrated the transformation she was going through and the person she wanted to be. This of course softened when she was allowed to combine the things she loved from the town with her powers.

- The sister’s relationship from the very beginning is powerful. Their childhood misadventure is full of fun and love before disaster strikes. The moment when their parent’s funeral is over and they are sitting back to back against a locked door and Elsa's room is icy and destroyed is heart breaking. Their sharp words, giggles and love for one another run the gambit of sibling emotions and true friendship.

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