Frozen (2013)

Directed by: Chris Buck/Jennifer Lee

Written by: Jennifer Lee/Chris Buck/Shane Morris

Based on story by: Hans Christian Andersen

It’s kind of weird that I hadn’t seen this one before, but there it is. I managed to not see Frozen until just now. Much like The Little Mermaid, it took me years.

Like Tangled before it, Disney decided that naming it the original fairytale title (The Snow Queen) would alienate little boys and make them not want to see it. So, instead…well, I don’t know if little boys like this movie all that much. The only kids I know who are obsessed with it are little girls. So, maybe their strategy didn’t work…but it was a huge hit. It turns out that little boys don’t really matter to the success of a movie.

And, boy, was this a hit. Kids everywhere were singing the songs (especially Let It Go) over and over and over and over and….oh god….over again. Honestly, I was so tired of hearing Let It Go that it’s a big reason that I didn’t see the movie until now. And I didn’t even ever really hear the entire thing. Just bits and pieces.

But, you know what? It’s actually a really good, fun movie. In case you’ve been crushed by an iron door for the last seven years, it’s about two sisters, Elsa and Anna (Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell). Elsa, the older one, has special powers that turn everything she touches into ice. She can also shoot ice out of her hands. And she can control ice. Basically, ice is her plaything.

When she hurts her younger sister, her parents tell her that she can never use her powers again and she should stay locked up her room. From then on, she isolates herself. (One bit here that I could see being a bit sexist is that the parents take Anna to the Trolls to heal her. They say that she was lucky that it was a brain injury because that’s easy to fix. A heart injury, though…apparently, a girl’s heart is more important than her brain. Sigh.)

Years go by and Anna misses her sister. Their parents die and it’s time for Elsa to be coronated as queen. Of course, things go wrong. Elsa flees and builds her own palace in the ice. Anna meets Hans and falls madly in love, promising to marry him within just a few hours of meeting him.

When she goes off to find Elsa, she meets Kristoff, an ice maker who makes no end of fun of her for getting engaged to a man she just met. (That’s some of the funniest stuff in the movie.) She also meets Olaf, an animated snowman that she and Elsa built when they were kids.

Chaos ensues. People nearly die. Ice forms. Fun was had by all.

I can understand why it was such a big hit. I don’t know if it’s the best of the Disney Revival, but it’s certainly up there. It’s beautifully animated, the characters are fairly complex, the comedy is top notch (Olaf manages to not be too annoying), and the action is great.

But I’ll be honest. I’ve heard Let It Go a lot, now, and I can’t remember how it goes. That’s kind of been a problem with a lot of Disney movies lately. The songs are good and I guess kids love them, but they just aren’t super memorable. Maybe that’s why I like the non-musical Disney movies better these days.

Time to see the sequel. Almost.