We all delight in seeing our favorite books brought to life on the big screen. We cringe at casting. We scoff at release dates. All the while, we're gearing up to see if the director's vision lives up to the world we've conceived in our own imaginations. Sometimes it does...and sometimes it doesn't. We could lament the movies that don't measure up, or we could return to the books for a re-read, possibly with a slightly different mind-set. All's fair when it comes to artistic vision, right?
Today, I'm featuring the following adaptation:
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Stars: Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel
Release date: November 27, 2013
Based on: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
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.
I shamefacedly admit that I have The Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen in a gorgeous leatherbound volume sitting on my shelf, completely unread. It was a gift several years ago and I love it in theory, but the thing is huge and rather daunting, and so I've never been compelled to pick it up. I know of the stories in the book, but I've never actually sat down to read them. I know that Frozen is only very loosely based on The Snow Queen, but I'd still like to read the original story, which is said to be one of the most beloved by this author.
That being said, I might have a new favorite Disney movie. Seriously...it rivals my adoration for Tangled. We took Katie to see it back when it first came out, and we all loved it. Then, her daddy was out of town for the weekend so I decided to make it a girls' weekend and treat her to mani/pedis and another viewing of this beautiful movie yesterday. So worth it. And since I've now seen it twice, I decided maybe I should review it this time around.
First off, I have to say I love how this movie scoffed at insta-love, how it thumbed it's nose at love-at-first-sight and all that jazz. It's a sweet movie, and there's definitely romance involved, but it was interesting to see both sides of love portrayed in this film: the instant gratification kind and the slow burn. Obviously, I'm in favor of the second. But it was also nice to see the repercussions of a fast and furious love affair depicted.
Most of the cast is rather unknown to me, but sometimes, I think that's best, as in this case. However, I absolutely adored the casting of Kristen Bell as Anna, and I was ecstatic to find out that she did all her own singing! (It was kind of like when I found out that all the cast in Pitch Perfect had to be able to sing, too.) I've loved Kristen since her days as Veronica Mars (another movie I'm terribly excited for) and I think she was perfectly cast as the sweet but spunky Anna.
The side characters were all pretty awesome in their own right, as well, and just as perfectly cast, especially that Olaf fellow. I think the first time I saw that little snippet with Olaf and Sven and the carrot, I thought it was Jack McBrayer voicing the clumsy snowman. Just seems like a role he would take on, but Josh Gad was actually the voice of Olaf. He did an outstanding job, too. And Sven may not have had any lines -- other than the ones Kristoff put in his mouth -- but he was easily one of my favorite characters.
I loved this parable in which two sisters must learn their own place in the world in the absence of their parents. Their relationship became strained at an early age, but through trials and tribulations, they've found their way back to each other. The power of true love really is enchanting, and I was captivated with the way it was expressed in this story. Especially that true love isn't just the love found between a person and their significant other but that it can also be the bond between family.
Just from what I've read, the story in this movie is very different from the original tale, but I like the spin that Disney's put on it. The heroine was plucky and courageous, just as I expect from my Disney princesses, and though there was no frying pan-turned-weapon in this movie, Anna did wield a musical instrument when she was being attacked. :) The animation was gorgeous, as per usual, and even the song and dance numbers made me smile. All in all, another winner from the creators of Tangled and Wreck-it Ralph.
Have you read the story before? Have you seen the movie? How do you think this one fared as an adaptation?