Saturday, December 28, 2013

Movie Review: Frozen (2013)

Frozen (2013) directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

We've finally taken the children to the cinema* to see their first movie on the big screen. We chose Disney's most recent hit, Frozen. We even went to a 3D showing, so they got the full treatment (except we bought chocolate instead of popcorn). Glasses are £1 to rent, so we've kept them for future cinema trips. The theatre even gave us child-size glasses!

Mommy, J, and L

I'm glad to report that the children behaved themselves quite well in the theatre (unlike some of the other children who were making comments quite loudly).

On to the review--Frozen tells the story of two sisters, daughters of the king of Arendelle. Unfortunately, there are two problems. First, the older sister Elsa has the power to make things freeze but not have full control of it. After a childhood accident where Elsa almost harmed her sister Anna, the parents have Anna's memories altered so that she doesn't remember her sister's special abilities. The girls are separated from each other and isolated from the rest of Arendelle in the castle.

The second problem is, after a few years, the parents go on a trip and die. The girls grow up in a rather austere life which is finally intruded upon by Elsa's coronation, when people are again invited into the castle. Elsa barely makes it through the coronation ceremony without her power going haywire. Meanwhile, Anna has met and fallen in love with a prince from a faraway land who has come for the celebration. He is quite charming and seems like such a good match that he proposes and she accepts. Ask Elsa for her blessing at the ball, to which she says, "You can't possibly marry someone you just met." Things escalate and Elsa's power go out of control. She flees to the mountains. Her power has caused a massive winter storm that causes perpetual winter in Arendelle.

Anna decides to go after her sister, eventually joining up with Kristoff, a mountain man whose ice-selling business is hurting thanks to the July deep freeze. They search for Elsa to bring her back home and end the storm.

The movie is quite delightful. The songs are good and the story moves along at a brisk pace. The animation is beautiful, especially the several snow and ice scenes. The 3D is fine though not remarkable.

Where this movie really shines is the relationships between the various characters, especially the sisters. Most parents probably agree wholeheartedly with Elsa when she forbids her sister to marry a man she's only known for a day. They've had a strained relationship due to their isolation from each other (which is partly Elsa's own choosing since she does not want to hurt her sister). They try to love each other but are unsure of what is best.

The theme of what is true love is well-explored throughout the movie. At one point, a group of pleasant trolls try to marry Kristoff and Anna to each other. They sing a delightful song about how Kristoff is a "fixer-upper," comically describing his foibles (both physical and social) that she needs to know about and put up with. As the song progresses, the trolls realize Anna needs some fixing-up too, and not just her dress. While highly comical, the song also points out that we all have our imperfections and that love needs to be more than idealistic romanticism. The theme is explored with a sort of depth rare in Disney princess movies.

I highly recommend the movie and my family enjoyed the outing.

*I had a bit of debate with J about the pronunciation of "cinema." He claims everyone at school calls it a "cinemer." Is it the Yorkshire accent or the fact they are young children?

1 comment: