Frozen Movie Review
Next time you tell your girlfriend she's temperamental, think again. In Disney's latest animated movie, newly anointed queen Elsa has some emotional issues and accidentally freezes her entire kingdom, because nothing is too farfetched when it comes to women, emotional issues and frigidity. Also, talking, naïve snowmen are awesome.
Frozen harkens to another age of Disney films, back when musical numbers struck a chord, princesses had scary-large eyes and they were a lot more fun than Brave. More importantly, it's the first non-Pixar Disney movie in a long time to introduce a supporting character that will persist far into the future. Because talking, naïve snowmen are awesome.
The movie starts off only decently, with a rushed opening and inconsistent humor. But Frozen soon finds its footing as the snow falls and the queen's full emotional wrath lays waste to her kingdom, forcing her sister Anna (Kristen Bell) to team up with handsome iceman Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) to tell Elsa to take a chill pill without directly telling her to take a chill pill, because we all know what happens otherwise. Anna and Kristoff have typical Disney good-girl-bad-boy friction/chemistry that works well enough, but it's the introduction of zany and ridiculously friendly snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) that takes Frozen to the next level of snow cone.
Olaf is one of the funniest characters to grace the silver screen in a long time, and one of the most heartwarming since Dug from 2009's Up. He elevates every scene he's in, injecting life and energy into what is a fun but otherwise standard story. His first (only?) song, where he pines for sun, warmth and the tropics without knowing what the sun, warmth and tropics do to snowmen, is downright hilarious.
Frozen has several other good songs and only one or two mild misfires; the movie sounds as much as it looks like a vintage Disney film. The songs are fun, typically engaging and, most importantly, evoke that feeling of Disney nostalgia that has only shown up occasionally over the last decade of non-Pixar Disney animated movies.
In a year of animated sequels and spin-offs, Frozen feels fresh.
Frozen isn't perfect, but it's a fun, energetic adventure the whole family can enjoy. Thanks to some terrific animation, a strong screenplay and the talking, naïve snowman Olaf, the movie is a blast. Just don't compare your girlfriend to Elsa.
Author's note: I do not have a girlfriend, and writing movie reviews like this is one of many reasons why.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.