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FROZEN (review)

Written by Jennifer Lee
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Voices by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad

Olaf the Snowman: Oh look, I’ve impaled myself.

Once upon a time, Walt Disney was synonymous with magic. Somewhere along the way, that innocent sense of wonder was traded in for happy meal toys and amusement park tie-ins. Miracle of winter miracles though, Disney has turned it all around with FROZEN, their latest fairy tale adventure and easily their greatest effort in the genre since BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen”, FROZEN tells the story of two princesses and their individual journeys to accept themselves for who they are. This might sound rather heavy for an animated film with a talking snowman, but directors, Chris Buck (SURF’S UP) and first-timer, Jennifer Lee, have carefully crafted this tale into a delight for all ages. Once close, sisters, Anna and Elsa (voiced by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel, respectively), have been estranged for years, while still living within the same castle walls. After years of seclusion, they reopen the castle doors to the public and it becomes clear what their upbringing has done to them. Elsa believes that she needs to hide what makes her special from the world; while Anna is so eager to connect, she throws herself at the first charming prince to come along. Then, there’s this whole fiasco that finds their little village entirely frozen over in the middle of summer and the adventure begins, with excitement and hilarity in tow.


Contrary to what the title suggests, FROZEN has an incredibly warm feel to it. Amidst endless drifts of snow, there are gorgeous, glowing lanterns to shine a light on this unique tale and all the endearing characters it features, including the aforementioned snowman (voiced by Josh Gad), who wants nothing more than to know what it feels like to bask in the sun. Perhaps most importantly though, Frozen leaves its strongest mark by allowing its princesses to be their own knights in shining armour and recognizing that true love doesn’t always have to ride in on a horse to save the day with a kiss.


This review was originally written for Exclaim! and it appears here with their permission.

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