Anna (Kristen Bell), a bold optimist, embarks on a quest, teaming up with uncouth mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer but loyal friend Sven in order to find her sister Elsa (Idina Menzel). Her icy powers have trapped their home, Arendelle, in an everlasting winter. On her journey, Anna experiences harsh cold conditions that would give the wildlings beyond the Wall a run for their money. She also meets mystical trolls including the head of the trolls called Pabbie (Ciáran Hinds) and a funny snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad). Anna and Kristoff battle the harsh elements of mother nature (or Elsa) in haste to save the kingdom. From the outside looking in, Elsa looks stable, proud but solitary. But her genuine feelings are that she lives in fear as she fights for control of her powers.
She has the ability to create ice and snow, following the obsession of special powers amidst movies because of Marvel. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely volatile. She is constantly reminded of the moment when as a child when her magic nearly killed Anna. Elsa cut herself off from her sister, spending every spare moment trying to suppress her powers to protect her. Her increasing emotions are the trigger for her magic and one day she reaches her emotional peak, unintentionally creating an everlasting winter that she has no control over. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her. After all, humanity hates powered people, even in a children’s movie.
This movie is a great children’s musical and is in my top five animated children’s movies of all time. At the time of its release, it was a cultural phenomenon. I believe it still is. People still talk about it. Everyone wanted a bit of Frozen, adults and children alike. The catchy songs and general feel good aura that many Disney-Pixar movies evoke on the audience and it earned $1.274bn because of the unfathomable hype. What was supposed to be just another kids film turned out to be the highest grossing animated movie of all time and the fifth highest grossing movie of all time. Let’s not forget to mention two Academy awards, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. Furthermore, the Frozen soundtrack toted up more than a million album sales and then it also received more than seven million streams on Spotify, plus the views on YouTube were in the hundreds of millions. When the DVD was released, it became Amazon’s best-selling DVD on preorders alone. Did I forget to mention the copious amount of memes that have come out of this movie as well?
Last year, ABC (also owned by Disney) capitalized on the Frozen Fever by making the first half of Once Upon A Time: Season 4, about Frozen set in Arendelle. This followed Anna’s (Elizabeth Lail) quest in search of what her long deceased parents were looking for when they left Arendelle. They were looking for away to stop Elsa (Georgina Haig). On her travels, Anna meets David Nolan/Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and the slippery Mr Gold/Rumplestiltskin (Rob Carlyle) who takes her captive. Elsa has to find Anna when she doesn’t return, which brings her to Storybrooke where she meets the show regulars such as: Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), Mary Margaret/Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), Regina Mills/Evil Queen (Lana Parilla), Henry Mills (Jared Gilmore) and Killian Jones/Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue). Jon Rhys Davis (Lord Of The Rings) also appears as Pabbie.
Frozen defies the social norms of Disney films in a few ways. Firstly, the villain tends to be an evil witch of some sort. Secondly, the lead female is always saved by a male who is normally a tall, handsome prince. The villain isn’t a villain until the very end and that’s Hans (Santino Fontana), but the whole problem to begin with was because of Elsa. Hans capitalized on Elsa’s misfortune. He’s an opportunist. Frozen defies this norm when Anna saves Elsa through her own sacrifice. True love’s kiss is another common occurrence in kids movies but it is always a romantic love but in this it was a love between siblings, same-sex at that. These characteristics are what makes it unique among all other Disney movies.
The only other animated Disney-Pixar movie that I can see similarities with is Brave. Merida being against the social conventions of being a princess. She longs to be normal akin to Elsa. She likes doing masculine things like using weapons and climbing mountains but her whole persona is like a tomboy which is the polar opposite to Elsa. Merida is more like Anna than Elsa. Elsa and Merida are two characters that defy gender roles in the modern Disney-Pixar film. The idea that they are strong female characters who do not need a man to save them and Elsa being able to rule her kingdom without the need to marry a man. Anna also defies the female stereotype of not being graceful nor courteous when she goes to find Elsa or even when she meets Kristoff though she does want to marry Hans five minutes after meeting him.
The modern animated movie uses 3D animation and through this, it makes the disproportionate body sizes more noticeable than in the 20th century animated flicks. The eyes, body and head are all wrong but that’s the nature of our society. Nobody could have a body that slim with a head that size. These are films like Tangled (2010) and Ratatouille (2007). Films like this give young women false and unrealistic ideas about what they should like. You must look a certain way to fit in and I also think the male leads give a false representation of what young boys should be doing and what they should like too. I find films like this focus more on one’s appearance. It’s not just in these films, it’s through caricatures like Barbie as well. Your looks shouldn’t define you. What you say, how you say it and your actions define a person. Words are wind and what we say is only as good as our actions to back them.
As I said before about the disproportionate body sizes, it doesn’t send out the right signals but as a selling point on a film it works. It looks good onscreen. The animation flowed wonderfully and the effects with Elsa’s magic were superb. I can watch this movie time and time again and not get bored. This will be a classic in the years to come. Frozen to today’s kids will be what Lion King or Jungle Book was to my generation. Lion King has aged well and it came out in 1994 and I think Frozen will still be watchable in twenty years.
In conclusion, Chris Buck (Tarzan) & Jennifer Lee (Wreck It Ralph) have put together a great film that will be enjoyed by generations to come. This is an artistic masterpiece and I can see how much effort has been put into this movie. It’s brilliant and very stylishly choreographed. My own qualms are on a sociological level but the film itself is flawless and fun to watch. It gives one chills just watching it.