Monday, January 6, 2014

{Movie} Review: Frozen

Monday, January 6, 2014 with 18 comments

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:

Title: Frozen
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

View on IMDb

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. 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.

GIF it to me straight:
Utterly adorable, unbelievably cute...a must-see!

Have you read the story before?  Have you seen the movie?  How do you think this one fared as an adaptation?


  1. I hadn't read the original but I did enjoy the movie! I went with my book club a couple weeks ago. Loved Sven. lol And yep liked the insta-love vs slow burn. Was quite the surprise! Was wishing some not so nice things on a certain someone for a bit ;)

  2. I haven't read the original but the movie was adorable!

  3. This movie was beyond adorable! My boys loved it and we saw it twice too! I'm looking forward to it coming out on DVD.

    I noticed that a lot of the characters were actors unknown to me too and I liked that (well except the sisters). They all did a wonderful job singing! :)

  4. I still haven't seen this yet! It looks so cute :-) Glad to see that you enjoyed it. I've not read The Snow Queen either and honestly have no clue what it's about. Now I'm curious!

  5. I honestly think that Disney is finally stepping up their movie game. Their movies are getting much better and evolving from "your significant other is the only one who can help" to putting much more emphasis on family and self worth. I read The Snow Queen, and yes, it is only loosely based. I absolutely ADORED Kristen Bell & Idina Menzel! The soundtrack is amazing.

  6. My kids and I absolutely loved Frozen. I definitely can't wait to see it again!

  7. What a lovely review, Jen! I remember when I first saw the Frozen trailer, I wasn't entirely sure what the movie was about. Then I saw amazing reviews of Frozen spring up on Rotten Tomatoes, and I knew this one was a hit. Even after that, I didn't feel compelled to catch the movie in theaters. Your review has made me regret this decision. I absolutely LOVE the idea that the power of sisterhood is an integral part of this story. And no insta-love in sight? Wow! I'm sold! I need to see this one soon! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  8. Hurray! I'm so glad you loved this movie as much as I did! <3 As an actress myself, I felt that the acting was phenomenal and the singing was just amazing! (Let it Go has been stuck in my head all week!) Definitely going to buy it when it comes out on DVD!

    Thanks for sharing Jen! SO glad you enjoyed it so much! (And I definitely's right up there with Tangled!)

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  9. I loved this movie! I dragged my husband and my 5 year old son to the theaters to watch it. My son loves Olaf.

  10. I just saw this last week and I adored it. Great review.

  11. This does look pretty cute. I don't see a lot of children's movies--as I don't have kids--and I never go to see them in the theater, but I'll definitely look for this one when it comes out on DVD. I'm glad you loved this one so much. I love Kristen Bell and that's awesome she does her own singing. Great review!

  12. I am right there with you! I love Tangled, but Frozen. Ooooooh it's tough.. I love them both so much. Aubrey had off school around when it came out, so we had a girl day. The two of us got lunch and went to see it. She loved it, I loved it, and she only had to pee once! lol.

    cannot wait to get this on dvd. Such a cute movie. :)

  13. Sadly, I didn't even know this was based off a HCA story. *face palm*

  14. I have read The Snow Queen before. And while I am interested in this movie (a lot), I think it'll have to be one where I really distance my knowledge of the fairy tale from Disney's adaptation. From what I remember of the fairy tale, it deals with the friendship of a young boy and young girl. And the boy is taken captive by the snow queen, so the girl decides to go rescue him. Very, very different, then, from this new Disney film.
    I do like that one of the central aspects of this book seems to be about the bonds of sisterhood. Disney definitely needs some movies that are more female-friendly and focus more on female relationships. I can't wait to see this one for myself. :)

  15. I LOVED THIS MOVIE SO MUCH :D *bounces* Haha.


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