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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Frozen [Blu-ray]
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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 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 December 18, 2017
A great film highlighting the importance of family love. We must teach our children (and people of ALL ages) to cherish their siblings (born or made). Brothers and sisters should rely on one another, fight through fire to serve one another and grow together through life. This movie shows the unparalleled failure of the father to teach his daughter's family values. He disabled their family bond and left them all weak and prone to failure. However, as young women they overcome and learn where true strength comes from. "Frozen" is a beautiful display of perseverance, forgiveness and love. The singing is AMAZING and catchy. After watching it a hundred times, I could still watch it a hundred more! Best Disney movie, in my opinion!
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on February 9, 2017
Coming on strong on the heels of The Princess and The Frog and Tangled, Frozen is Disney prodding at the edges of their established tried and true formula. In a run of films that established the return of Disney to their heyday in the 90s, Frozen is great film with a few weakness, most notably their musical numbers outside of Let It Go.

The visuals are amazing, and the film is watching for those alone. The plot is pretty strong, too with a few holes in it; most notably the set up, where the trolls warn the parents to train Elsa and not to scare her... and then her parents proceed to terrify Elsa and stop her from using her powers ever again.
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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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on March 22, 2018
I have seen this movie at least 50 times (not by choice - I'm raising a tiny dictator). The first few times I was really into it, by the 6th time I knew all of the words. After the 10th time I have some issues. Where are Kristoff's parents? Did he find Sven or steal him? Why does Sven only eat carrots; it can't be proper nutrition for a fully grown reindeer. How did Anna pay for her Winter gear? She'd never left the palace and therefore had no need to carry money with her. Who the heck are the royal advisors who let the only heir to the throne run off into God knows what kind of danger alone? Why did nobody have to witness the "marriage" between Hans and Anna? There are a lot of major plot holes in this movie and I need answers. Hopefully they out the sequel out soon as I anticipate several dozen more viewings before my small human moves on to another obsession.
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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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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 3, 2018
I am probably one of the last few people on earth who had not seen this movie and I am grateful to Amazon for making it available to rent at less than $4 in the comfort and privacy of my home. It's a true classic that turned out to have many unanticipated layers of meaning. After I get done with this review I am going to go out online and see if anyone has written any serious literary analysis about this story, which has much greater depth than one typically finds in Disney fare. As an adult on the autism spectrum, deep chords were struck in my heart by the character of the older sister, who is initially so "frozen" in her emotions and has strange powers that frighten those around her. I was also shut up in a room by myself a lot when I was younger....at first involuntarily as a baby to "get me out of the way" while my mother was dying of cancer and later voluntarily as an older child and young adult. All I wanted was to retreat from a world full of bullies... I won't give away too much of the plot line except to say that the tragic loss of the girls' parents early in the film broke my heart because it hit so close to home...and the undying love and support of a sibling can be life-changing. In closing, let me say that this film can be enjoyed on many levels... the scenery and animation alone are breathtakingly beautiful. As others have mentioned, the characters are lively, believable and have well rounded personalities. I'd give it ten stars if I could...
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on July 19, 2015
What can I say? The whole family loves it! One of the few kids movies we will watch repeatedly and references such as "do you want to build a snow man" have now become part of our everyday vernacular!
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