Saturday, January 4, 2014

Frozen (2013)

IMDb plot summary: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Starring Kristin Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

Even setting aside this movie's freaking amazing cast of musical theater people, this is one of Disney's best efforts lately. I was underwhelmed by Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled, and The Princess and the Frog, but this movie has won me over. It has easily one of the best animated soundtracks in recent years (Robert Lopez for the win) and two of the most compelling female characters Disney's ever created. Princesses Anna and Elsa have so many nuances and layers that I found myself thoroughly intrigued by them all the way through in a way I haven't been since... I've gotta go with Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The emphasis on familial love rather than romantic love is a refreshing change from the typical Disney princess story. The comic relief is present throughout but doesn't overwhelm the core story - and I have to say, Josh Gad was an inspired choice to voice the always-optimistic snowman Olaf. His "In Summer" song was easily one of the highlights of the movie.

In addition to all of this, the visuals are stunning. "Let It Go" left me nearly breathless - Idina Menzel's vocals soar as she constructs her gorgeous castle of ice. The ice and snow images are so beautiful - this is definitely one worth seeing on the big screen.

This is my favorite non-Pixar effort in ages from Disney. Kudos to them. 4.5 stars.

Flickchart: #210 out of 1979, below Across the Universe and above Once.

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