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on February 3, 2015
***This review may contain spoilers.***

Most unexpectedly, Disney’s “Frozen” (hereafter “D’s Frozen”) subtly reconfigures and directs the seemingly tiresome tropes and conventions of their romantic “princess movies” into uncharted “Marvel comic” territory and themes. The main protagonist (AND apparently antagonist) Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) is far more than your run-of-the-mill glamorous elder princess, then (Snow) Queen of the kingdom of Arondelle. She possesses nearly unlimited, almost magical power to control and shape ice and snow.

In a Marvel comic, she’d be considered a mutant with the combined powers of Ice-Man and Storm. Unfortunately and tragically, she lives in medieval times and does not have the guidance of a Charles Xavier-like mentor to help her harness the power for mankind’s benefit. Well, there IS a (literally) stone troll king, Grand Pabbie (voice of Ciaran Hinds) who is aware of the extent of Elsa’s powers. However, all he can recommend to Elsa’s father (voice of Maurice LaMarche) and mother (voice of Jennifer Lee), King and Queen of Arendelle, is cruel, complete isolation from all humanity until she is mature enough to ascend the Arondelle throne.

Part of the reason Elsa is held in quarantine is because in childhood, while using her powers to create a winter playground for herself and younger sister Princess Anna (adult voice of Kristen Bell), she accidentally injured her head. Although non-superpowered and “normal”, Anna heals with the Troll King’s help. Having no memory of the incident, Anna is distraught and perplexed as to why Elsa cannot come out to play. Still, the coronation day comes, and Elsa seems to be in emotional control of herself and her abilities. Not for long. Elsa gets upset when beautiful but impulsive Anna immediately intends to get hitched to comely Southern Isles prince Hans (voice of Santino Fontana), a guy she met only minutes before in a boating “mishap”. Already tense and anxious, Elsa unleashes an ice age on Arondelle and flees the shocked citizenry for the lonely refuge of the mountains.

Anna may be a mere mortal, and a bit clumsy, but she is unswervingly determined to locate and reconcile with her sister and convince her to thaw out the kingdom. This sounds like a straight-arrow objective, but many complications come into play. One, Elsa finally finds peace and the freedom to be herself in the mountains, which is celebrated in the ubiquitous, destined-to-be ageless ballad “Let It Go”, and literally carves out an ice palace for herself. Two, although Anna teams up with loner ice-delivery man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his faithful, dog-like reindeer Sven, and a wacky snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), they at first don’t seem to be much help. Kristoff, like Elsa, just wants to be left alone, and Olaf keeps falling apart and foolishly wishing he could move to the tropics. But, with Sven’s urging, Anna’s tenacity and persistence bring this odd duo around. Third, some in the coronation party, like the Duke of Weselton (‘Weaselton”) voice of Alan Tudyk) and others, consider Elsa a monster and want to eliminate her. Fourth, Elsa accidentally causes Anna to suffer a “heart freeze” that could prove fatal. Can Anna achieve this miracle and save both Elsa and herself? According to the Troll King, true love is the key. But what is this true love?

“D’s Frozen” continues the Mouse House’s rise above older cartoon sentiments and happily-ever-after resolutions and marriages (mostly) and explores more advanced, modern emotions and themes. In Marvel Comics “X-men”, mutants deal with adolescent anxiety and confusion about their powers, their fear of losing control of their powers and causing death and destruction, and the prejudicial hostility of a society that can’t and won’t understand them. Elsa faces these same dilemmas. “D’s Frozen” moves beyond superficial, helpless romantic puppy love (like that of Anna and Hans) into more substantial love and friendship like the one within a family and between sisters. It also moves beyond conventional villains (although there are a few, and at least one unanticipated one) to show that our own worst enemies are our inhibitions and fears. “D’s Frozen” also continues the relatively recent Disney movement to create independent, self-assured women who do not automatically need men to face and overcome danger and obstacles. And naturally, most importantly, “D’s Frozen” helps us figure out what that true love is, with, amazingly, the help of that “wise fool” Olaf. True love is captured in the phrase that begins, “No greater love hath a man [person] for another than to….”.

Best of all, “D’s Frozen” achieves the weighty themes mentioned above with excellent visually artistry, suspenseful and sometimes heart-thumping action, naturally funny slapstick and verbal humor, dazzling musical numbers, satisfying character development, and happiness that is not deus ex machina, but hard-won. Not bad for this Disney/Marvel collaboration. Not bad at all.

P.S.: If you have the patience to wade through the end credits, you’ll find a funny disclaimer addressing Kristoff’s opinion about men and their noses, and the final fate of the abominable snowman Elsa creates to protect herself from attack.
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on February 9, 2016
It's been a little over two years since this movie hit the theaters, but I have to say, it took me until last month to finally get caught up in the "Frozen Fever" (ha) that has taken over the hearts of children everywhere.

The movie starts with two young sisters, Princess Elsa and Princess Anna, having a bit of late night fun with Elsa's ice powers. When an accident befalls Anna at Elsa's hand, the sisters are forced apart for Anna's safety and the gates to their castle are closed off to the public--until Elsa's coronation day. There's a huge ball in honor of her coming of age, and people from all over the kingdom come to celebrate. They day goes without incident until Anna and Elsa get into an argument over Anna's quick engagement to Prince Hans. Elsa's powers are revealed to everyone in an emotional outburst then and she flees the castle, unknowingly shrouding the land in a fierce winter behind her on her way to the North Mountain. Anna goes after Elsa and meets a gruff iceman named Kristoff, who she recruits to help her get to Elsa so they can bring Elsa back and bring back Summer.

All of the characters are interesting and multi-dimensional. Anna is a particularly great character in that she's unabashedly awkward and honest. I feel like most children feel awkward at some point in their lives and Anna is a great role model for them. My nieces and brother love the movie and it's family fun for all of us.
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on April 13, 2014
I'm with nearly everyone else: this is the best Disney animated film in years and may be the best since "Beauty and the Beast." A heartwarming tale of separation and devotion between sisters, Disney undoes 80 years of damage to girls' psyches by redefining "true love" as something other than the kiss of a handsome prince. Whose heart doesn't ache at the dilemma of Anna and Elsa? Who doesn't thrill to the action sequences and laugh at the hijinx of the adorable snowman Olaf? The actors bring all the characters vividly to life. The casting of Kristen Bell as the feisty, optimistic Anna and Idina Menzel as her gifted but troubled sister Elsa is fantastic. Visually stunning, the color schemes and special effects rock. The songs are short, witty, hummable and always enhance character or move the action forward. "Let It Go" has become a rather annoying earworm from constant radio play but is perfect in the context of the film. Although the female characters are cinch-waisted with little button noses, they are active, powerful individuals. Elsa struggles to understand and control her powers while Anna is directly engaged in every effort to save her sister. "Frozen" is a wonderful change of pace for animated films. Its messages of enduring love and female empowerment are a positive influence, especially for the young audiences flocking to see it. Thanks, Disney!
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I really must admit that I wasn't sure what to make of Frozen in the months leading up to its release. That first trailer, while funny, told us nothing of the story. And just what was it going to be about? After it opened, I started hearing good things about it, but still I hesitated. I was stupid.

The movie tells the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses. Elsa is the older sister, and she has a power - she can create snow and ice all on her own. When playing one day, she accidentally injures her younger sister Anna. From that day forward, she hides from her sister and tries to learn to control her gift.

Things really pick up on Elsa's (voiced by Idina Menzel) coronation day. For the first time in years, the palace will be opened, and Anna (Kristen Bell) is thrilled to actually get to spend time with people. But then Elsa's secret gets out, and she flees. Anna sets out after her, but can she find her sister in the frozen world that has been created? And will Elsa be willing and able to reverse the winter wonderland she's created?

This movie is a bit different from your ordinary Disney movie. While yes, there is a villain, the main conflict comes from the sisters, how they view the world, and how Elsa's gift affects them. I realized this when the villain's comeuppance wasn't really the climax of the piece. But I think that actually worked well for the movie. I certainly am not complaining.

The film is so much fun. I was laughing within the first few minutes but then I was feeling emotion just a couple of minutes later. That continued for the entire course of the film, and it's easy to see why audiences are so drawn to this film. It is storytelling at its best.

And that comes from the characters. Elsa and Anna are both very real, and that makes the story that much more alive. The rest of the characters are good as well, with Olaf the Snowman completely stealing the show. Again, it's because of the characters you care about the outcome and are feeling the joy and sorrow of the piece.

The voice actors are outstanding. They never miss a beat going from comedy to drama flawlessly. You forget they are there and focus completely on the story and the characters they are bringing to life.

I can't leave out the songs. Like the movie itself, they range from the purely comic to the heartfelt character building and will leave you humming as you go out the theater. All of the cast sings their own songs. Kristen Bell is not known for her singing voice, but she should be. Considering she has duets with Broadway powerhouse Idina Menzel and more than holds her own, she needs more chances to shine.

The animation is stunning. The winter landscape created for the movie is beautiful to look at - you can almost feel the cold creeping off the screen as you watch. The ice castle is amazing to behold.

I don't necessarily go to the movies looking for the themes - I mainly go to be entertained. And yet there are some great themes to this film as well. Since they come out of the plot and struggle the characters grow through, I don't want to give anything away. Just keep yours eyes opened and you'll pick up on them by the end.

Finally, I have to mention the Mickey Mouse short that starts things out. It's a mash up of old and new animation. I wasn't sure about it at first, but I got quite a kick out of it by the end. Plus I loved to see Mickey's old pals Horace and Clarabelle being used in it.

While I blamed a busy six weeks on not having seen Frozen sooner, I should have tried harder. This movie is charming and funny with some great themes. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on March 2, 2017
My daughter loves Frozen. Getting this for her meant that she could sing for hours with the sing along disc and we can take it in the car with us. What I love most is that it's about two sisters. Although there is a love story, it's important for little girls to have something else to refer to in Disney movies. The sister plot just reminds me of my younger siblings and I. The bond between sisters are a beautiful experience to share.
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on May 3, 2014
if you are one of the 15 people worldwide who have not yet seen this movie then………..

let me start by saying i have 3 children and they all LOVE this movie.
let me continue by saying that the 2 adults in the family also LOVE this movie. ok. so maybe their daddy doesn't LOVE it, but he certainly tolerates it with a smile and doesn't run screaming from the room each time it is played -- and it is played a lot.

why, you may be asking yourself, is there such a hullabaloo about this flick? why the multibillion dollar buzz??
well…..because the script is good, the animation crisp and lovely, the songs so catchy you can't help but sing along, the characters are great, and most importantly, OLAF!! yes, that wacky looking snowman is so damn funny he, in my opinion, makes the movie. his lines are hysterical. the girls, of course, love Elsa and Ana -- and act out their songs and scenes. the trolls, the reindeer (Sven), and even the Duke of Weasletown are all wonderful moments.
and this mama loves the message: you don't need a man to save you. you need to be kind and generous and loving towards others -- that will save you. AND, OF COURSE, YOU DON'T MARRY A MAN YOU JUST MET!!!! oh dear god please make sure THAT one sinks in!! ;-) lol

order the movie. watch it. then watch it again. like a fine wine things only get better. the songs and characters more familiar. and the funny one liners by Olaf somehow get funnier.

all around a great job by disney.
$$ well spent.

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on December 25, 2016
Really fun movie that I believe will stand the test of time because it doesn't rely on kitschy pop culture references. Lovable characters and surprising villains, plus really well-written sings and an ending that brings a tear to the eye.

I wish I could deduct half a star for just one thing though: near the end (no spoilers for the two people in the world who haven't seen this yet), a female character punches a bad guy in the face. The crowd cheers and laughs. This is not OK. The bad guy was no longer a threat and the violence against him was unnecessary and in my opinion sent a bad message. Far better to just have the queen tell her guards to take him away to await trial.

Overall, a great movie and one that I don't mind watching over and over again. Which, if you have kids, you will be watching it over and over and over...!
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on April 16, 2014
Truth be told, I think my five year old daughter knew all the songs before we had a chance to watch it. She even had an Elsa doll before watching the movie. The great thing was she, nor my husband and I, were ever at any point disappointed. The animation is beautiful as always, but the story is what drives this movie. It's about love and sacrifice. But it isn't focused on the love in a potential suitor but rather the love of family.
I am by no means one of those that gets their undies all wadded up over a princess movie with a prince and princess falling in love and even has the prince *GASP* rescuing the princess. After all, I don't rely on a movie to teach my daughter self worth. She loves playing as a princess but also loves grabbing her toy sword and slaying the dragon. She enjoyed every bit of "Frozen" and talked about how much Elsa and Anna loved each other. She's an only child but she told me that families will do anything for each other. This is all stuff we have talked about and instilled into her long before the movie came out and it just reiterates that.
The humor is a wonderful balance of those simple things that get the kids rolling as well as the jokes that they are oblivious to, but have the parents looking at each other and laughing. The characters are amazing and are voiced perfectly. Also, look up the "Frozen"/"Tangled" story cross and be prepared to have your mind blown. (There's an Easter egg in Frozen that is a brief cameo of Rapunzel and Flynn that supports the theory). Wonderful movie and well worth the five stars given.
Oh, but here is a warning (and spoiler alert) for those that find a male rescuing a female offensive: Princess Anna does in fact get rescued from a locked room, as she is close to dying, by a male character!!!
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on August 10, 2014
For a movie made by coldblooded machines, not artists, it isn't that bad. It looks pristine, the colors are alarmingly bright, the images stunningly perfect, flawless, impersonal, frosty, entirely without the human element, exactly what you'd expect from a computer. I do like this movie; it's just that I grew up watching Disney animation done by genuine artists. Somehow, they were more relatable, more personal, real. CGI movies tend to look plastic, mass produced, cold.
I gave it an A - because it is practically perfect. My favorite characters are Olaf and Sven. My least favorite character is the Duke of Weselton (an unnecessary villain relegated to a couple of scenes as plot demands); his presence feels arbitrary. I'm also not crazy about the Disney people continuing with that alarming practice of making movies that kill off one or both parents. At this point, it feels like an agenda. It's also more than a little weird that the story promotes isolationism and that children who are deemed different should hide their differences, conceal don't feel. Neither are particularly healthy views worth promoting.
I loved the music so I had to buy the CD.
This film has a lot of charm and humor to offset that it is overly girly and not a little grisly (the humongous snow monster and the duplicitous Hans).
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on April 30, 2014
This was one of those films that caught me a little off guard. For months I had heard some minor plot lines from friends and family and then when I finally got around to viewing it, I found myself taken off guard. It didn't seem as though it was the same movie they had seen. I'm not saying that in a bad way, it was just like drinking orange juice while thinking about milk and confusing your mind and taste buds...

Overall, I found the plot refreshing. The idea of magical "wintering" powers was fun - I often wondered if this was the cause behind the my personal non-stop winter wonderland.

The one thing I love about Disney/Pixar movies is the subtly injected "adult humor". It keeps us entertained in the background as the kids are enjoying talking snowmen.

I give this 4 stars because I felt like the plot was a little jerky. Granted, it flowed pretty well and it resolved the major issues, but there were many times where I'd wonder why they chose a certain point in the movie to talk about something versus a different point in the movie. There were some places where answers came too soon or not soon enough. Granted, this is a kids movie and for the most part they probably don't care, but I still think it's important from a writing/entertainment perspective. It was a bit like plot whiplash with no explanation at certain points.

I still highly recommend this as a fun family movie for any time of the year! Though maybe wait until the summer to watch this if you don't want to be completely annoyed by versions of "Let It Go" on the radio right now.
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