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Frozen (animated film)

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Frozen: Rated “PG” (100 minutes)

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Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana

Directed by: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

You are going to hear this quite a bit over this holiday season, but Frozen is quite possibly the finest animated Disney film ever made. It is executive produced by John Lasseter so you know that it is quality material. But before we even get there, the film comes complete with a classic Mickey Mouse animated short that cobbles together bits from several unused and used shorts to create a new, delightful film that harkens back to the days of cell animation.

Now, about Frozen, the 3D computer animation is so realistic that you would swear that some of it (especially the opening sequence) is actually live action, not animated. The story is taken from several Hans Christian Andersen tales and revolves around a pair of sisters, one of which has the power to freeze things. Her parents see this as a problem (especially after she, as a young child), accidently freezes her younger sister’s head.

The older sister, Elsa, is voiced Menzel, while the younger sister, Anna, is voiced by Bell. After the incident, the girl’s parents (the King and Queen of the realm) take the girls to a family of trolls to revive Anna, which they do, but at the cost of removing all memory of Elsa’s power from Anna, and essentially condemning Elsa to living the rest of her life in seclusion so that no one will know of her powers and she won’t ever hurt anyone ever again. Unfortunately, this just isn’t to be, as the King and Queen are called away on an ocean voyage and pershing at sea in a terrible storm. (hey, what would a Disney film without one or both parents tragically dying?)

Upon reaching adulthood, Elsa is crowned queen, unfortunately, at the ceremony something tragic occurs. Anna meets a young prince, falls in love with on the spot, and declares her intention to marry him, a request that Elsa as Queen refuses to allow. This sets of an argument between the sisters accidently causing Elsa to inadvertently revealing her abilities before the entire kingdom, frightening everyone, and forcing her to run off in shame and fear. As a side-effect of her evolving power, Elsa’s unfortunate display of her powers cause the entire kingdom to be cast in to a frozen wasteland of eternal winter. Being the loving sister, Anna pursues, attempting to convince Elsa to come back and to de-freeze the kingdom.

In addition to being animated, the film is also a musical, with the cast breaking out into song at various points of the story. As you can expect, this is a wonderful story for kids, but like so many Disney classics that have preceded it, it is also a great film for adults as well. There is humor, drama, real emotion, a great plot twist that you should see coming, but probably won’t, as well as all the pathos, and human emotion that makes for a memorable film. Check it out this holiday season. Oh, and stay through the credits as there is a Marvel-style end trailer that runs.

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Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.

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