MRR Review: "Frozen"

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Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.
3.5

MRR Review: "Frozen"

Rating: PG (some action and mild rude humor)
Length: 108 minutes
Release Date: Nov. 27, 2013
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

As the fifty-third classic animated movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, "Frozen" is sure to be a new favorite for Disney fans all over the world. Like many Disney movies, "Frozen" was inspired by a fairy tale that is already beloved by millions of children. In this case, the original story was "The Snow Queen," a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The original story, a tale of good versus evil, was one of the most popular stories Hans Christian Anderson ever wrote. "Frozen" goes beyond that and tells a surprisingly heartwarming story about two sisters. Even though the Snow Queen in "Frozen" has plunged the kingdom into an eternal winter, she is far from evil, and the film revolves around her sister's desperate quest to save the kingdom before it's too late.

The kingdom of Arendelle has two princesses, sisters who could not be more different. Elsa is next in line to become the Queen. She was born with an unusual ability that lets her command ice and snow. However, Elsa has been keeping her power subdued since she nearly killed her sister, Anna, in a traumatic accident. Because she hasn't been working on harnessing her powers in the years since that event, Elsa loses control of them at her summer coronation. Humiliated and frightened, Elsa runs away with every intention of becoming a hermit. Her grief and anger trigger a devastating winter that freezes over the entire kingdom, including the castle. Taking advantage of the kingdom's terror, the Duke of Weselton decides to turn the people against Elsa to further his own agenda, labeling her as a violent monster.

Even in the face of impending doom, Anna has never been one to give up. Always an optimist in the bleakest of situations, Anna starts out on a journey to find her sister and make things right again. Along the way, she encounters Kristoff, a mountain man with a clumsy reindeer named Sven. Kristoff is an extreme survivalist who makes a living by selling ice to Arendelle, so he's understandably concerned that there's now a surplus of the goods he relies on to make a living. Kristoff is an incredible asset to have on the dangerous journey, but Anna, who is a little too brave for her own good, soon ends up showing him that she can take care of herself. Before long, a very accident-prone snowman named Olaf joins the two heroes and provides plenty of comic relief as the movie approaches its climactic final scenes. Will Anna's love for her sister be enough to save Arendelle, or have Elsa's powers gotten so out of control that Anna will be too late?

Like other Disney movies, "Frozen" features an all-star cast with a few unknowns to keep audiences guessing. Elsa is voiced by Idina Menzel, a Tony Award-winning actress and singer who had already worked with Disney on "Enchanted" and the "Hercules" television series. Kristen Bell, who is best known for her role in television series "Veronica Mars," uses her natural enthusiasm and wit to bring Anna to life. Kristoff is voiced by Jonathan Groff, who resembles his character to some extent and is best known for his role as Jesse St. James on hit television series "Glee." Santino Fontana portrays Hans, a handsome fellow from a neighboring kingdom who arrives to celebrate Elsa's royal coronation. Hans may not be as adventurous and wild as Kristoff, but as someone who grew up feeling invisible thanks to his twelve older brothers, he's someone Anna can relate to. Josh Gad gives life to Olaf, the bumbling snowman who was created by none other than Elsa herself during her powerful frosty explosion. Unlike most comic relief characters, Olaf is lovable rather than annoying, and his joyful personality adds plenty of lighthearted moments to the film.

"Frozen" is like many Disney movies in some ways, but it's a refreshing and unique film in many others. Viewers will feel a real sense of danger when the kingdom of Arendelle freezes over, something that's missing from many modern family movies. In true Disney fashion, "Frozen" has no trouble handling surprisingly dark themes such as natural disasters, dysfunctional family relationships, and the realities outcasts face as they're readily demonized by their peers. Even though "Frozen" may look like it was made for kids, Disney masterpieces such as this one are created for people of all ages to enjoy. "Frozen" is a fun ride for anyone who appreciates the magic of a traditional Disney movie.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5