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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Frozen [Blu-ray]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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I went to the theater expecting the usual dumb kids movie, and was blown away. I LOVED this film and instantly added the DVD to my wishlist. Honestly, my favorite movies are The Hunt for the Red October, Galaxy Quest, Pixar's Incredibles, Princess Bride, Ponyo, Sound of Music, and Lord of the Rings Extended Editions. I gravitate to no particular genre, but only to what I find are the absolute best movies. Frozen is up there with the best movies I have ever seen. Period.

Why is this film so good?

1. It teaches real love. Love is about putting the other person's needs first. Love is shown in your actions not your words. I am so floored that a kids movie actually taught this and even took the time to point out you never get engaged or married to a guy you just met. WOW... a Disney film not about being swept off your feet by a guy in 3 seconds? Its about time.

2. The side kick characters are not annoying.... seriously!! Its like the difference between Jar Jar Binks and R2D2. These side kicks are more like R2D2 whereas past Disney sidekicks were like Jar Jar Binks. These side-kicks from the reindeer to snow monster were done exactly right. They add humor to the show and dimension without ever getting in the way of the story or you wanting to strangle them. Way to go Disney!!! Any way you can retroactively edit sidekicks in older films?

3. The plot themes are serious yet with enough humor that it doesn't feel too serious AND without the humor taking away from the story line. What a great balance to hit just right. Ok so the story line is a bit simplistic because its a kid movie, but it still has twists and turns. I did not find the story predictable because I was expecting another one of those princesses falling in love movies.. and this was not typical. The story teaches important themes like what love really is, the weight of responsibility, how to use power rightly vs. wrongly, and empathy for others.

4. Great music. The opening song grabs you and whisks you away to another world. Every song helps you connect more deeply to each character... and pulls you deeper into the story. I have never felt so much empathy in a musical since Fiddler on the Roof... and I'm not that emotional of a person.

So if you have daughters, grandchildren, nieces, or work in childcare... get this movie. You will be able to watch it over and over without going insane. The kids will learn what true love really is and what to watch out for in love.... its not what all those other princess movies teach. So you can rest easy.
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on January 31, 2014
Another example of the current lack of imagination at Disney.

This film suffers from an inherent flaw. There is no clear central protagonist and, therefore, no clear hero quest. Rather, we have two sisters, Elsa and Anna. Which is the main character? Whose quest are we on? Sometimes it seems like Anna. At other times, Elsa.

Why does Elsa need to hide her powers from Anna? This doesn't make any sense. When they are children, Elsa hits Anna in the head and the cold is sucked out of her head by a stupid looking troll (really... this is the best troll Disney could come up with?). The troll also says that she will forget everything about Elsa's powers, or needs to forget, or some such nonsense. As they grow older, Elsa then locks herself away and her powers are hidden from Elsa. So I repeat... why? Anna sees Elsa's powers eventually, right? Does it hurt anything? No. There is really no reason why Anna couldn't be aware of Elsa's powers. Elsa, and her parents, just decide for some reason that it needs to stay hidden. Ok fine, but it doesn't make any sense.

I was actually willing to give this movie a partial pass until the stupid snowman appeared. One minute Anna and the elk boy are running around in the woods... the next minute out pops the dumbest looking character I've ever seen in a cartoon. Ask yourself this question - when did it become a necessity to put stupid comic-relief characters into kids' movies? Huh? Have we become so stupid as a society that we need to throw a moronic jester character into every film? Did "older" films have these characters? Heck no, because they are ridiculous and stupid. Is this snowman supposed to be Frozen's version of Shrek's donkey or something? It looks stupid, talks stupid, and acts stupid... expect that donkey is sometimes funny. The snowman is just stupid all the time.

As I often do, I try to imagine the meeting a Disney when they came up with this idiot. Who was the tool at the conference table that decided the film didn't work unless they inject an annoying snowman with buck teeth? Who were the other tools that thought "Yeah! That's a great idea!" I mean really.... Why wouldn't you take an attempt to make a "classic" Disney type film and treat it like watching the Simpsons over beers on Friday night at the trailer park?

Also, the trolls were particularly ill-conceived. Ask yourself another simple question - wouldn't the film be better if the trolls were more like the Ents from Lord of the Rings? Wouldn't this film carry more weight, and be more meaningful if the trolls were old and wise? Wouldn't you have more respect for the trolls and the majesty of nature if the trolls were... well... like traditional trolls? What possible advantage is there to making them look like stupid little round fools? What advantage is there to giving them silly little voices? None. I can't think of a single thing.

Also, was the stupid dance/song routine the trolls did in order to get the elk boy and Anna to marry each other really necessary? It struck me as just a lame song and dance for the sake of having a song and dance. Hey look! We are stupid looking trolls and we sing funny songs! Weeeeeee! Pass the popcorn!

If you want a referendum on the decline modern civilization, look no further than old Disney films versus new Disney films. Compare a classic like Snow White and Cinderella to this pile of crap. Which was better, the Dwarves in Snow White or the Trolls in Frozen? Consider the difference. 100 years from now, people will still recognize the Dwarves and sing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho." Can the same be said of the trolls in Frozen? Well... you know the answer to that don't you...

UPDATE 2/28/14

Since my original review I have watched Frozen 7 more times. My conclusion is this - the snowman was not original to the film. The snowman was added in after the fact.

Yes, you may think I'm crazy but read this post and then go watch the film again.

I suspect that the film wrapped production and was reviewed by corporate executives... maybe even some kid focus groups. Coming out of that process, I believe that the suits at Disney thought it was too serious... maybe even too adult in some of its themes. They needed to lighten it up. The comic relief was actually the reindeer, but they needed more... so the snowman was invented and added after the fact.

I'm sure you are scratching your head, but go back and watch the film. The snowman doesn't even appear until half-way through the film. Also pay very close attention to how the snowman is used in scenes and how he appears in scenes. Notice how he is rarely part of the action. Notice how he is separate and off to the side. Notice how the characters don't acknowledge his existence even if they are on scene together.

For example, I'll point out two scenes with Anna. In one, they are meeting the trolls with Elk boy. Elk boy is talking to the rocks and we see Anna and Olaf watching him off to the side. Olaf is saying that Elk boy is crazy and that she should run while she can. Question - does Anna do anything that would indicate Olaf is actually there? Does she speak to Olaf? No. Does she motion in any way to Olaf? No. Does she even look at Olaf? No. If Olaf wasn't there at all, the scene would still play out exactly the same... it is like he was added in later.

Is Olaf part of the song and dance routine with the trolls? No.

Also, take the scene near the end when Anna jumps out of the castle window and rolls down the snow bank. Olaf follows her. Again - does she acknowledge his existence? No. Does she help him up out of the snow? No. Does he help her? No. Does she look at him? No. She slides down the snow, jumps up, and takes off as if Olaf isn't even there. Does Olaf add anything to this scene? No. Would the action be the same regardless of his existence? Yes. Hmmmm... it is like Olaf was digitally edited in after the fact...

Also, watch closely how Disney manages the dialogue when Olaf is speaking. Notice how often we see Olaf is a cut scene... just Olaf himself saying something... before the picture cuts back to the other characters. An easy way for Disney to edit in dialogue without having to place Olaf in the same shot.

Now of course there are a few scenes that include Olaf as an integral part. The scene in the Castle with Anna by the fireplace is one. The scene when they meet Olaf in the forest is another. My theory is that these scenes were created after the fact and added in to replace other content for the final product.

If you have seen the original Star Wars remakes by George Lucas, Olaf follows the same pattern. Lucas went back and added a bunch of junk into the original films. Just extra stuff placed on top of existing scenes. In a few instances, like when Han Solo meets Jaba the Hut in the 1st movie, Lucas added in a scene. I think Disney did the same with Olaf. They took a film that had a serious side and added Olaf later in order to make is more lighthearted.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that would be the first time ever.
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on December 16, 2013
*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Maybe because the critics were desperate for a Christmas time blockbuster that wasn't an action film (like Thor, The Hunger Games, or The Hobbit), that's why this average Disney animated musical, ended up receiving a multitude of accolades. In my view, however, it was overrated; not at all because of the music and special effects, which were quite good, but rather for the weak narrative.

'Frozen' is very loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, 'The Snow Queen' but bears little resemblance to the original classic tale. In the original, the two children were male and female; here there are two sisters of royal stock: eight year old Elsa who is afflicted with magical powers and her perky younger sister, five year old Anna, who live in the kingdom of Annendale (which in part bears a resemblance to a 19th century Norwegian fishing village). When Elsa can't control her powers (which involve turning everything into ice when she points her fingers), she accidentally injures her sister while they are playing. The result is the very awkward scenario of having Elsa locked up in her room until she's crowned queen as a teenager, following the demise of her parents, who are lost at sea during a storm.

The demise of the parents is handled quite nicely before we arrive at the big coronation scene but children may find it disturbing that the film's scenarists opt to dispose of the parental figures and leave the two young girls as orphans. There is some stupendous 3D animation throughout the film, especially the interior shots of the palace (dig the Bruegel-like paintings on the wall, for example).

The best part of 'Frozen' involves Anna's infatuation with the duplicitous Prince Hans. The whirlwind courtship between the inexperienced Anna and Hans, is undoubtedly meant as a cautionary tale for young women who are too easily taken in by good looks and facile words fashioned to manipulate, as opposed to proposals infused with sincerity. Elsa, on the other hand, sees through her sister's inexperience and refuses to give her blessing (as well as permission) for Anna to wed Hans, after a few hours of superficial courtship.

Unfortunately, the rest of 'Frozen' is downhill. Anna strikes out on her own to try and find her sister the Queen, who's fled because again she is unable to control her own magical powers. Anna is aided by good guy 'Kristoff' the ice dealer and his trusty reindeer, Sven, and wouldn't you know it, Anna falls in love with him (after of course Prince Hans outs himself by revealing that his true intentions was to marry Anna and take over the Arrendale throne). That reversal is a nice twist but Hans is a minor villain in the pantheon of 'Frozen' antagonists, which all can be described as 'minor'.

The problem with 'Frozen' is that it basically lacks an antagonist. Instead, the scenarists rely on Elsa's INTERNAL CONFUSION to move the story along. There is no evil 'Snow Queen' for the audience to root against. Instead, we merely are dragged along until Elsa inevitably gets herself together. But one wonders why she can't get herself together sooner. Instead of fighting an external villain, Elsa becomes an unlikeable loser who ends up creating a monstrous snowman, that almost hurls sister Anna and her soon-to-be boyfriend, off a cliff (also please include dopey Olaf, Anna's childhood snowman, who gets taken apart and put together again, ad infinitum).

The all-powerful Elsa, is then somehow subdued by a few martinets and imprisoned in a jail cell with iron mitts. If she's such a powerful 'sorcerer', why does it take so long before she's able to 'freeze dry' the mitts and escape the jail cell? That's actually a minor contrivance compared to the climax when Elsa 'realizes' that Anna has sacrificed herself to save her. When Anna thaws out of her frozen state, that's when (duh!) Elsa realizes that only true love can set her own self free and also save the kingdom from eternal winter. Again, why does it take so long for (clueless) Elsa to realize the power of love? It's only hinted at (in the first few minutes of the film) but some kind of malevolent force has played with her self-esteem. But since that 'force' never manifests itself as a tangible entity, Elsa is reduced to being an ineffectual neurotic (hardly much of a crafty villain or heroine, we can root for!).

As noted above, 'Frozen' has some great animation and the songs are bouncy and tuneful. Idina Menzel, of 'Wicked' fame, belts out the Elsa numbers and does quite well, especially the most catchy number, 'Let It Go'. Demi Lovato reprises 'Let It Go' on the end credits, but doesn't have as warm a voice as Menzel (and arrangement #2 doesn't help either). For years Disney attempted to adapt Han Christian Anderson's 'Snow Queen' as an animated feature without success. The difficulty in adapting such a sophisticated story is apparent in the current failure entitled 'Frozen'. Should a sequel be in the works, it would be best to create an actual Snow Queen antagonist, which could then propel this new adaptation, in a more efficacious direction.
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on December 12, 2013
I am a huge animation buff, and this review is aimed at my fellow adult animation fans. Just wanted to clarify that up front! If Frozen was not one of a plethora of animated movies which target adults as well as kids, I wouldn't have bothered writing a review of it. Nor are my complaints due to its being a fantasy; my favorite fictional genres are fantasy and sci-fi, and I understand that fantasy by definition has many surreal elements. And like any genre, the quality of the story it tells can vary. The plot should still hold together and make sense within its fantastical context. I don't usually get so analytical or write reviews on ones I don't like-- usually I just say, "meh, it was OK" and leave it at that. But the problems with this movie in particular bothered me more than usual because of all the amazing potential it had which I was disappointed that it didn't reach, and also I've been puzzling over why it's so wildly popular.

Frozen has a lot going for it--inspired by a beloved classic tale, engaging characters, stunning visuals, and great music--but a muddled plot drags it down. There are things I definitely enjoy, and things I appreciate more now after repeated viewings courtesy of my young daughter, but the story problems still keep me from loving it. A few media critics have made this same observation. The Seattle Times said "the important thing that glues all this stuff together--story--is sadly lacking." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in "Frozen is Pretty but Pointless," said that "Whereas the great Disney (and Pixar) flicks are rooted in story, "Frozen" makes almost no sense. ...The images are crystal clear, but as a story, "Frozen" is mush."

Walt Disney constantly preached and enforced that a great story is required to make a great film, hacking hours of work if it was tied to a weak story. Frozen's plot is all over the place, trying to be too many things at once, and it has too many holes. I have a pretty high tolerance for plot holes (like, how did Flounder get that huge statue of Eric into Ariel's grotto?), but in Frozen there are so many things that don't add up that the story seems patchy and forced, which kept me from getting caught up in the emotion. There are a couple of refreshing twists, but it still uses many staid old archetypes. There are good messages in it but they seem contrived. It all seems so contrived toward specific unrelated ends that it doesn't make sense as a cohesive whole. And many aspects of the movie seem to have mercenary rather than artistic motives, which adds to the story problems.

I think that the decisions made for the basic story arc are at the root of the inconsistencies and holes. It's really regrettable that the studio could not find a way to do the original story of The Snow Queen, which features a plucky little girl and a wonderful villain, but for some reason, Disney Studios has been unable since the '40s to find a good way to "make her work" for a movie. So instead, they used the story as loose inspiration for another story which stars not one but TWO royal females, and also tries to appeal to boys/men (who are underestimated in their scope of tastes, as are girls/women). The character demographics are where the marketing motives really show through, especially when compared to the characters in The Snow Queen. They tried to create an original story with good marketing/merch value but still give a few nods to Andersen's story, and those two goals clashed. Even if they couldn't find a way to put Andersen's story on film (though I bet Hayao Miyazaki could), I'd like to think Walt Disney would have required a tighter story than the one in Frozen.

Here are the specific problems I saw with the plot. If you love Frozen, I am glad (and envious)! And you may want to stop reading now just so some of the points I make won't mar your enjoyment! Some Frozen fan friends of mine who read this said, "Oh yea, I never thought about that!" to several of the points.

*Alert: spoilers in this list!*

- There is not enough development of the sisters' relationship before their estrangement. With only one very short scene showing them together as young children, after which they are estranged, it's really hard to find the rest of the story, which hinges on their deep love for each other, as believable. I would have loved to see the demo song "We Know Better" in the movie, which is all about the sisters' relationship as youngsters, growing together to seemingly older ages than 5 and 8 (the age they are when their estrangement happens in the movie). That song is great in another way because they sing about princesses not having to be poised, coiffed and proper, but rather fun, messy and goofy, and sometimes inappropriate and misbehaving. Instead of that song, the opening song is "Frozen Heart," a chant by big manly ice miners shadowed by the young orphan Kristoff, foreshadowing the movie’s events. I have no doubt that this choice was made to add some testosterone to the movie to offset the princess theme.

- The king and queen were ridiculously hapless parents. They had Elsa try to stifle and hide her power instead of learning how to use it. The troll had said she must learn to control it, but that could have been achieved through practice rather than stifling. He also said that fear made it more dangerous, and the king made Elsa more fearful rather than less. (The queen basically never opened her mouth.) And if the trolls knew so much about Elsa's power and how to heal its effects, wouldn't they have some resources to help Elsa learn how to use it? Why did the king and queen apparently leave Anna to fend for herself and be alone for years while Elsa stayed hidden from her? Why couldn't Anna have still known about Elsa's power and have just been told to keep it a secret? Why did they leave on a sea voyage without a contingency plan for Elsa, saying merely, "you'll be fine"? How did they not realize that, besides being sucky parenting, all these things would lead to disaster? And of course, the only reason they had to die was so that Elsa could become the Snow QUEEN. And also I guess because if they had been alive when Elsa ran away they would presumably have sent an army after her. And because, you know, parents just simply have to be absent in fairy tales. Sure, bad parents abound both in real life and in fiction, but their decisions were so bad that they seemed to be done purely so the rest of the movie could be the way it was. (For a wonderful take on the parents, look up the funny video "How Frozen Should Have Ended," which touches on all of this--I watched it a few months after writing this review... it's good to be validated!)

- How did Anna and Elsa manage to avoid seeing each other while living in the same house? Did Elsa have her own wing? Did the family never have dinner together? Didn't any servants or former servants remember Elsa's powers, or have to interact with her? Didn't any courtiers ask about Elsa, the heir to the throne, and wonder why they never saw her? People only seemed to care after the parents died; as Anna tells her, "people are asking where you've been."

- Anna's staying cooped up in the castle and seeking closeness only with Elsa for 10+ years is unrealistic even for a fantasy. A 5 year old would almost certainly have looked for friends elsewhere. If they had been older when the accident happened, it would have been more believable. After she does leave the castle to look for Elsa, Anna is plucky and somehow quite socially adept. Why didn't she just go outside and make some friends and look for adventure prior to that time? It's just really odd for her to have willingly stayed isolated for over a decade. If she was forbidden by her parents to go out anywhere, or see any friends or family, it's hard to believe that she would have submitted to that, and it just reinforces the fact that the king and queen were idiots. They ruined both daughters' childhoods, and almost doomed the whole country, through trying to hide Elsa's power from everyone including her sister. Amazing that the girls came out as well as they did, and survived their own near deaths.

- After Elsa runs away, Anna gallops off to look for her, refusing help by saying she needs to "do this alone"-- "this" being trekking up a winter mountain without supplies or directions. Why did her people let the only remaining heir to the throne set off alone into danger with just a cloak and a horse? (At the end, the officials don't let Hans leave to look for Anna because it's too dangerous and he's "all we have left.") Good thing Anna stumbled across a supply store and a (luckily honorable) mountain man or she wouldn't have survived for long.

- Why was it OK for Anna to trust the mountain man she just met enough to travel alone in the mountains with him, but not to say yes to a fast marriage proposal (about which she gets razzed repeatedly by the mountain man)? That seems a double standard. The filmmakers acknowledge this double standard when he asks her if her parents taught her about strangers, in reference to her fiance, and she edges away and says, "yeeess" nervously. But instead of making jokes to gloss over a plot hole, it would have been better not to have the hole! Maybe, like Rapunzel, the audience is to assume that Anna can defend herself, though unlike Rapunzel, no evidence of that is shown. I do like that Disney pointed out that fast courtship is foolish, which was probably their way of rescinding the messages from most of their past fairy tale movies in which the couple spends only a few hours with each other before getting married. I love it when Anna tells Elsa of her engagement and Elsa is totally baffled.

- If Elsa was truly so concerned about not wanting to hurt Anna or anyone else, why did she create a huge snow monster that almost killed Anna and others? She basically hurt Anna out of fear of hurting her, which doesn't make sense. Maybe we're supposed to see deeper motives, such as perhaps Elsa's shame of her power or her desire to no longer be restricted in its use. But if those are her deeper motives, one wonders why they didn't overtake her before now... how would she have tolerated imprisonment in her room for over 10 years if not motivated primarily by love? Maybe this was the closest they could get to making her like the Snow Queen. Or maybe Disney just needed to inject something really scary, as they almost always do. I have long wondered why almost all the princess movies have terrifying scenes in them!

- When Kristoff takes Anna to see the head troll, even though Anna needs help urgently, the other trolls don't wake him up from his nap right away but instead spend several minutes singing about Kristoff and Anna's romantic potential. Sure, we've got time for a musical number, let's go for it! Of course as soon as the jolly song is over, the head troll manages to wake up and tell them how dire her condition is, Anna collapses and Kristoff frantically tries to get her back to town, racing against every second on the clock.

- I liked the plot twist of an 'evil prince,' but concealing Hans' duplicity until near the end meant that the audience couldn't have any hint of Anna or Kristoff's feelings for each other, which made their admitting feelings at the end seem forced and sudden. It also made some of Hans' actions at the beginning not make sense. They had to add incongruous elements in order to keep fooling the audience. At least the 'act of true love' was between the sisters and not romantic, which was refreshing.

- The country's officials were far too quick to make Hans their new leader. They had no proof of anything he told them: Anna's death, Elsa's treason, or his exchanging marriage vows with Anna. They accepted his word on all of it without question and without checking on Anna (whom they could have easily found still alive in a nearby room), and begged him to take over.

- Elsa suddenly learned how to control her powers with no explanation other than, "Love! That's it!" and a lifelong problem was solved. She was so full of love for Anna and her entire kingdom that she hid herself away for over a decade, so why was that not enough before? Maybe it was the 'love drives out fear' principle? Maybe it was realizing how much she was loved? Maybe she realized she had to consciously focus on her love? Whatever it is, I hope she passes the revelation on to the trolls, who strangely knew everything about her powers except how to control them.

Edited to add: After some dialogue in the comments below, the answer to all these questions finally hit me! The parents, knowing they'd have to isolate their kids, time traveled to 2014 and brought back two laptops with access to the future internet. With those, their daughters were able to happily live in their rooms, not have much human contact, and learn everything there is to learn about the world, including fractals, the word "totally," and how to be sexy. It all makes total sense now!!

P.S. A note about the characters, which is mainly about what influence they have on kids: They are likable and relatable, with quirkiness and flaws, and great sidekicks (Olaf steals the show!), but their demographics could have been more diverse and unique in a way that would have made this movie even more refreshingly different than its not being about romance.

- Fancy teen princesses...AGAIN. Why do we need yet more princesses in the already bloated line up? We don't; Disney just wants the revenue. For 50 years there were only 3 princesses; in just 24 years they've added 9 more. As a wise uncle said to his niece about the Rapunzel merchandise, "Disney made a new movie so that they can sell you more dolls." (I predict their next movie will be "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," maybe called something liked "Blistered.") I bet that if Gerda and her friends (from The Snow Queen) had been used, girls would have loved them AND would have been enriched for it. Girls love Merida for her youth, spiritedness, strength, skill, normal looks and unkempt hair, but Disney decided to do a "princess" makeover on her anyway for the merchandise, making her older and sexy--which caused an uproar among parents, girls, and even the creator of Brave. (If you go to the Princess page on Disney's site, you'll see that all of the princesses have been subjected to a glamming-up makeover... except Merida! That's because of the uproar!)

- A whiter shade of pale. Diversity in film matters for many reasons, but here's just one: "Disney is the largest media conglomerate in the world, and the Princess brand is one of its most successful marketing tools. ...In 2009, two doctors, Sharon Hayes and Stacey Tantleff-Dunn, did a study on animated characters and young girls' self-image. After watching clips of cartoon characters who were princesses, the participants were asked what made a 'real princess.' The results might be different from what you would expect: these girls, around the ages of six and seven, generally did not report having a desire to be thinner after studying and watching the narrow-waisted princesses. Instead, when asked how they could become a princess, many of the girls reported that they would need to change their skin color. They responded with things like 'I'd paint myself white' and 'I would change from brown skin to white skin.'" (From SPARKsummit's excellent article "Bright Like a Diamond, White Like a Princess.") With Frozen, there are now 8 white Disney Princesses vs. 4 non-white, and unbelievably, 3 of those 4 have been lightened in the Princess merchandise! (The porcelain-skinned Elsa, being a queen, may not be an 'official princess,' but I'd say she's #9, because little girls really love her. AND her hair and skin got even lighter after her transformation.) The humans in their last nine feature films were also all Caucasian (i.e. white-non-Hispanic). In fact, the humans in 80% of Disney's feature films since 1970 are Caucasian (33 Caucasian, and 8 non-Caucasian), and for no good reason; there are plenty of places where non-white characters could have been used and weren't. Tumblr's "This Could Have Been Frozen" highlights the lack of diversity in Disney characters. Recently my (white) daughter brought home a coloring page of Elsa and Anna, on which she had colored Elsa's skin a very light beige, and Anna's peach--the slight difference in their skin color was something she noticed. She always colors characters with their actual skin and hair colors; she colors Jasmine, Tiana, Pocahontas and some of the fairies brown, so I'm glad that those characters exist. But more diversity is definitely needed in Disney movies. Memo to Disney execs: Europe is not the only source of great stories, culture, princesses, or fairy tales. Caucasians make up 60% of the U.S. and just 16% of the world.

- Gender imbalance and stereotyping. The supporting cast is all male. True, the two main characters are female. But why make all of the rest of them male? It was probably to try to appeal to the male population whom they presumed would have no interest in a mostly female and royal cast, which I'm sure is why the movie's name, trailers and posters weren't feminine... sneaky marketing strikes again! As for the two lead females, while they do show resourcefulness and strength of character, they also still retain some negative female stereotypes. Anna, though brave, plucky and selfless, is also naïve and ditzy, desperately wants a man, and has two men highly interested in her throughout the movie. Elsa is strong-willed and self-reliant, and fortunately not given any romantic interest, but she is dysfunctional and over-sexualized. My 5 year old daughter and her friends love Elsa because she's "so pretty" when she turns into the snow queen, but I was bothered by how vampy Elsa becomes in that scene, with more makeup, swaying hips, high heels and a skin-tight dress with a long slit. Wow, a 19th century Norwegian suddenly channels Dolly Parton! Were they trying to appeal to males in another way? Or maybe they were trying to give her some 'bad girl' flair for that number. (It's certainly not the first instance of a sultry female in a Disney animated feature--Esmeralda's pole dance, Jasmine and Jessica Rabbit come to mind.) On the flip side, my husband pointed out the many male stereotypes they used for Kristoff. He also hates the fact that girls love Elsa just because she's pretty and can do magic, since she lets fear control her--which, in her defense, is her parents' fault--whereas Anna is brave and selfless.

So, there is the end of my longest review ever... Thanks for reading!
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VINE VOICEon December 11, 2013
And this will teach us all not to judge a book by its cover ever again.

When the trailer for ‘Frozen’ was dropped a few months back, I predicted a dud. It looked so generic and obvious and unfunny and repetitive and just everything I didn’t want it to be. When news of the film broke I was ecstatic. Disney, doing another musical, basing it off of a very dark and disturbing tale. I knew it would get white washed a bit (which I was fine with), but it was a MUSICAL and so I was automatically game for it.

Then that trailer deceived me.

Still, my daughters were hooked with the very first television spot, and they’ve had the dolls for nearly a month already, and so we were going to see this opening night. With expectations low (despite some good early ink), there was nowhere to go but up for this film, and it didn’t just go up, it blew through the roof! Yes, ‘Frozen’ is easily Disney’s best film since ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and honestly, one of the best musicals since. It’s a visual feast, charming and sincere, and an unexpected twist on a tale of love, family and acceptance with beautiful shades that make this something truly special.

The film tells the story of two sisters, Anna and Elsa. In early childhood, they are joined at the hip. Elsa has an ancient power to create ice (a power that is never explained, and quite frankly doesn’t need to be) and they use her power as an advantage to their playing. When an accident occurs and Anna is injured, Elsa becomes terrified of her ‘gift’ and basically locks herself away from everyone and everything, including Anna. The two obviously drift apart (‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman’ is a marvelous musical moment and brought tears to my eyes) and after the loss of their parents things only get worse. Now fully grown, Anna is a naïve and desperate young woman seeking any attention she can get, and Elsa is distant and misunderstood. On the night of Elsa coronation things go amuck and her secret is exposed to disastrous consequences, and soon Elsa is forced to flee and Anna is left to track her down and ‘thaw’ her town.

Now, many have balked before seeing the film that Anna is reduced to yet another Disney stereotype, a girl who needs a man to get the job done. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose, but ‘Frozen’ certainly takes a different approach that the one expected and presents us with a lovable tomboy, a klutz who takes risks and places faith and is willing to ‘take the bull by the horns’, even when its beyond her reach. Sure, she is aided by a man, but she doesn’t need him around (and even the twist at the end where it could have easily fallen into stereotype of ‘man saves the day’ turns out to be even more sincere and honest in the way it finally comes out). Anna is a great role model for young girls (and surprisingly, so is Elsa) and the beautiful bond created by Disney here is unlike anything I’ve seen them do before.

Yes, while the film does eventually give is an antagonist (albeit ever so briefly and the way the villain is handled is light and a very nice change of pace), the beauty of ‘Frozen’ is that the chief antagonist is not a singular person but the inner struggle to be accepted and understood. Elsa is not a monster, she is simply scared or herself and what she may do to those whom she loves. ‘Frozen’ does a marvelous job of portraying the bond between sisters and the lengths each will go to protect and love the other.

My daughter was in tears over their separation; that is how heartfelt this portrayal is.

‘Frozen’, in my eyes, is one of the best things Disney has done; ever. The film is a modern-day classic and one that is sure to be remembered and regarded as a beloved nod to the Disney Renaissance with obvious modern twists and its own identity. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I can see this being spoken of in the same circles as ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’. While ‘Tangled’ certainly helped Disney regain their footing after some serious dips in quality, ‘Frozen’ completely redeems them and proves that they are still as magical as they ever were.

Take that Pixar!

And let’s just talk about the musical angle for just a moment. This is one of those rare gifts that actually feel like a true Broadway show. The use of music is integral to the feel of the story, and the glorious visual expanse helps create an epic and ‘larger than life’ reality. When Elsa has her big number (‘Let it Go’ is one of the greatest Disney ballads of all time, easily) you can feel the goose-bumps and your heart starts beating faster. This is a beautifully nostalgic reminder of the power of Disney, and it helps bring those same chills and thrills to a new and younger generation. I have never seen my daughter so excited to be watching a film as I saw her while watching ‘Frozen’.

It carries a different feeling.
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on November 27, 2013
It's unrealistic to watch animated movies these days and be able to call one better than all the rest - and that goes for Disney movies, too. True enough, each year one animated feature eventually goes on to win an Academy Award, along with several other awards, but for the most part, even the year's most praised film looks just like the last. Only a select few films in the last decade, like Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo will withstand the test of time and possibly earn a place in the same conversation as Disney classics, like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. Still, every now and then, Disney treats animated movie lovers to something special, and to be completely honest, it's been quite a while. This might be a bit premature to say, but Disney has finally struck gold once more (and not just commercially) with a film that has the potential to be one of the greatest animated films every created. That film is called Frozen.

Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee write (along with Shane Morris) and direct Disney's Frozen, loosely based on The Snow Queen - a story created by Hans Christian Anderson. The film begins with the introduction of two young children, both princesses - Elsa and Anna. However, Elsa has the power to control the winter elements, ice and snow. After a terrible accident, the girls' parents decide to isolate Elsa from Anna and wipe Anna's mind clean about Elsa's powers in order to protect Anna from knowing the truth.

Flash forward several years, the day has come for Elsa (Idina Menzel) to claim her right as the Queen of Arendelle. Now an adult and Queen, Elsa must face the people of her kingdom, all of whom she has hidden herself away since she is unable to control her powers. Unfortunately, her greatest fear comes true after an encounter with Anna (Kristen Bell), who spontaneously decides she wants to marry a visiting prince, Hans (Santino Fontana). Unwilling to give her blessing for the marriage and angry with her sister, Elsa unintentionally unleashes her powers on the entire kingdom, instantly turning winter to summer. Elsa quickly leaves the kingdom and rushes to the mountains, creating her own palace of ice away from anyone and everyone. Feeling responsible, Anna embarks on a quest, along with a mountain-based ice maker, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his reindeer, Sven, and a magical snowman, Olaf (Josh Gad), to bring the Queen home.

For whatever reason, Disney moved away from the on-screen musicals that provided some of the most memorable soundtracks in film history. You may recall A Whole New World from Aladdin and Circle of Life from The Lion King as being just the tip of the iceberg in a massive library of memorable songs over a variety of films. In all likelihood, Disney simply got sidetracked with spectacular new animation and the realization that 3D implementation had endless potential (which is hardly the case). Regardless, the diehard lovers of Disney classics will be happy that the company has decided to revisit the musical aspect of storytelling. Both Kristin Bell and Idina Menzel simply thrive with their heartfelt, energetic voices, and even though there's very little about the songs in Frozen that stand out, the hope is that Disney will continue with this classic trend.

The music, meshed with the story, easily makes Frozen one of the most unique animated features in recent memory. Just when you think you have this story figured out it will absolutely surprise you with its misdirection. Initially, Frozen appears to be a film that will pit sister vs. sister, sort of like a Good Witch of the North vs. the Wicked Witch of the West dynamic. However, that couldn't be further from the truth as there is a serious amount of character inner turmoil and theme-driven action going on here instead. One princess is desperate to protect the world from her own actions, even though she becomes exactly what she hoped to avoid. The other princess is more traditional with her intent to find true love and save her sister, plus the kingdom (and her sister) - both of which she loves to no end.

Like the story itself, the characters are also much different than anything you'd expect out of a film of this nature. Every little girl on this planet will fall in love with Anna, the happiest princess you could possibly ever imagine. Kristin Bell is a splendid choice for this role, bringing an enthusiasm to a character that you can't help but adore. She breaks out into song early and often, singing songs including Do You Want to Build a Snowman? and Love is an Open Door. Even Menzel, who is portraying a bit of a tragic character, sings with reassurance in songs that include Let It Go and For the First Time in Forever.

The most outstanding premise in this film is the fact that there is no major antagonist. While that is a bit surprising for an animated film, the story goes in a much more thematic direction. Queen Elsa is the closest thing to a villain in this story, but she doesn't mean to be. Her goal is to protect the people she cares about, but fails miserably. As the story progresses, it becomes more about redeeming an individual that has simply lost her way and needs help to find the path back to "the light." To help the Queen, there are a few odd characters that shine in their own unique manner, including a comical snowman, and a moose that loves his carrots. Even though the film progresses in a mostly serious tone, these two supporting characters won't fail to make you laugh.

Overall, there's very little not to like about Frozen. It contains an honest-to-goodness message that parents should feel free subjecting their children to. The film is far lighter on the animated violence that has been much more prominent in many films recently. And, the action sequences that do occur are either playful or of the supernatural variety. For young boys, the constant presence of princesses may be a bit tedious, but the girls will absolutely love them. Anna and Elsa might just be in line for the massive commercial success of Ariel and Tinker Bell. In any event, Disney has a monster hit on their hands that will easily thrive on all formats (theater, home video, etc.) for years and years to come.

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on December 1, 2013
Took my wife and kids to see this during the Thanksgiving holiday and felt the movie was mediocre at best.

The story about a king/queen who have 2 young daughters. The older daughter (Elsa) is has the ability to create ice/snow through anything she touches with her hands/feet. Why Elsa has this ability is never explained. Elsa accidentally hurts her younger sister while playing one day and is segregated from her younger sister so she won't hurt her again.

In the meantime the parents die unexpectedly while taking a voyage.

The two sisters then re-unite and invite the townspeople and others living abroad to Elsa's coronation to take over as queen.

Something predictable happens and the rest of the movie is spent with the sisters battling, then re-uniting for the happy ending.

Personally, I found the movie to be completely lacking in story-telling and character development. There were no real villains, just a few individuals with greedy aspirations that were somewhat hard to believe (Hans).

The supporting characters (snowman, trolls) did not add much to the film and the movie dragged on to a predictable but disappointing ending.

My wife and kids enjoyed the movie and it is okay but if you compare it to films like Tangled or Brave my feeling is that you will come away feeling like it should have been much better.
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on January 27, 2014
And the 3D short shown in the theater before the film was probably the best 3D that I've ever seen...

BUT the decision to release the 3D Blu-ray version in the UK and not in the US is a bad marketing decision and the only reason this collection loses four stars (if you agree then you should give it a similar rating and let Disney know they're making a mistake)... FYI, James Cameron has a long history of selling a partial product to consumers during the first release of a film to disk then reselling the same customers the premier edition six months to a year later. I suspect that Disney is now following the same sleazy path. If you want to buy it only once then order it from the UK, yet IMHO you shouldn't have to.
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on December 16, 2013
I think when the movie is animated there should be a rule that you put the term "Animated" in the product description.
I am looking for good movies to watch - not animated or cartoons. You list all these actors and actresses that make
it sound like it would be a good cast and a good movie. Only by reading non-amazon reviews did I discover that the
movie is animated.

I don't appreciate having my time wasted in this manner. It feels like Amazon is trying to trick me into buying a movie
when it is really animated. Almost like false advertising.
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on January 15, 2014
It's an insult that Disney will give the international audience a 3D Blu-ray release of this before their very own American audience, and to add insult to injury, they give us a digital copy 3D version...insane!!!!!.

Clearly, Disney is hoping that people will double dip on this title when they release a 3D version about a year or so later.

My advice: Don't buy this release, and wait for the inevitable 3D release down the road, which will probably have more extras, so no need to double dip on this.
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