“Frozen” is anything but cold


Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Anna (Kristen Bell) go off to find Queen Elsa. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Yena Seo

Most children growing up are familiar with and grow to love Disney films, from “Aladdin” to “Cinderella” to “The Little Mermaid.” In its most recent addition to its animated movies, Disney took on an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Snow Queen”—with a twist. Gone are the days of when princesses waited for Prince Charming, because in the movie “Frozen,” love takes on a new meaning—a bond between two sisters.

“Frozen” follows the tale of sisters Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), two beloved princesses in the faraway kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa is gifted with the ability to create and manipulate ice, a power she uses for fun and games until Anna is almost killed in an accident, and must have her memories removed, with Elsa confined to a life of solitude. During her coronation years later, Elsa loses control, turning the entire kingdom into a frozen state and fleeing into the North Mountain. It’s up to Anna and her rag-tag trio of friends—a dopey snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), a genuine ice salesman (Jonathan Groff) and a faithful reindeer to convince Elsa to come back and save Arendelle.

The strongest asset in “Frozen” is the animation, which is even more impressive and breathtaking than the gorgeous scenery and floating lanterns in a previous animated movie, “Tangled.” Elsa’s castle is magnificent, and every icicle is both grandiose and delicate at the same time. Not to mention, the girls’ dresses are simply beautiful, particularly Elsa’s shimmering gown, which is truly fit for a queen.

Any classic Disney musical has splendid songs, and “Frozen” does an excellent job in providing memorable tunes. “Let It Go” is the most notable of the songs, allowing Broadway sensation Menzel to demonstrate her belting prowess. “For the First Time in Forever,” “Love is an Open Door” and “Fixer Upper” are upbeat and catchy, while “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” is simply adorable. While the songs aren’t quite up to par with the beloved Disney tunes written by Alan Menken, they are still cute and charming and sure to be stuck in your head for a few days.

Disney’s casting for the movie is quite remarkable. Nearly the entire cast has some kind of Broadway experience, which is showcased tremendously in the songs. While Menzel’s power ballads in “Frozen” are reminiscent of her “Defying Gravity” days in “Wicked,” the cast has some less-familiar faces, as well. Gad was in “Book of Mormon,” Groff made his debut through “Spring Awakening,” and Santino Fontana—who voices Prince Hans—starred as Prince Charming in the recent Broadway adaptation of “Cinderella.” Kristen Bell as Anna is sure to appeal to young girls in princess mode, as she is easily relatable in her awkwardness and eagerness, and the film has some unexpected twists and turns throughout the plot.

While “Frozen” may not live up to the classic Disney movies most of us grew up with, it is a fresh alternative with lovely vocals, humorous characters and amazing animation, and succeeds in reminding us all that the most important kind of love doesn’t come from princes and knights in shining armor, but is found in the bonds we share with our friends and family.