Movie Review: A “Frozen” Visual Feast

My daughter Signy and I are both full-grown adults by this time, but somehow we’ve never lost our love for well-made kids’ movies–especially visually lavish animated movies.

Thus, we found ourselves at a matinee of the new Disney movie Frozen, recently. And enjoying ourselves fully.

Frozen, based extremely loosely upon Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 tale, “The Snow Queen,” is the fullest merging I’ve yet seen of what I’d call the “Disney” and “Pixar” styles.

Queen Elsa’s ice palace is visually wonderful.

Visually, it’s quite beautiful.  I especially enjoyed the scenes in which Elsa, the elder sister and eventual “Snow Queen,” works her magic with ice and snow. The sequence in which she retreats from her home on the fjord to her own icy “Fortress of Solitude” on an impossibly steep mountain is a real tour de force.

That the story doesn’t follow Andersen very closely at all (there’s a magical “snow queen” named Elsa, love melts a frozen heart, and it takes place in Scandinavia–and that’s about it) is not necessarily a bad thing.

Brave‘s Merida is more strong-minded than either Elsa or Anna in Frozen.

Frozen’s story speaks to today’s ideals of female strength, although the princesses are very traditionally beautiful, at least one of them is really pining for a man, and once again they’re white girls. Merida in Brave was more unconventional, and the mistress of her own mind.

However, I did like the twist on “true love,” and the determined loyalty shown by the characters Anna and Kristoff. I wonder sometimes if loyalty isn’t undervalued in many of our media offerings today.

The music is enjoyable and well performed, and integrated nicely into the plotline. I liked that the voice actors themselves did the singing. This means the voices are fully consistent, whether speaking or singing.

It is clear that Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled have much in common with Frozen.

The movie poster I used above says, “From the creators of Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph,” and that heritage shows in many ways, from aspects of the story to the way they portray horse characters. Signy and I remarked on similarities to both of those movies while watching this one, even before we knew much of the background.

IMAGE CREDITS: What would I do without IMDB?  Various pages from that site are my source for all of the images used in this post: the Frozen movie poster; the image of the ice palace; the Brave movie poster; the Wreck-It Ralph movie poster, and the Tangled movie poster.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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