I’ve got to be honest, when my wife first suggested taking Lucy to see Frozen in the theaters I was not thrilled. This kid wanders around the house while watching a movie she just spent the last 20 minutes screaming for while I was trying desperately to get an assignment written, how would she be out in public? I also am not super excited about the idea of going to see a kid’s movie that I’ll probably have to watch upwards of 40 thousand times after it comes out on DVD when I’d rather go see something with punching or monsters or whatnot. But, when Em threw the idea out on New Year’s Day, I didn’t really have an excuse, so off we went.
And I’ve got to say, she was awesome throughout the whole movie. She was a little unsure of those foldy chairs, but once we found a solid one and got her a booster, she was easily settled in. She also got a medium sized bag of popcorn — which I was excited to eat too — and was ready to rock. In fact, she was so quiet I almost forgot I was there with a 2 and a half year old for a few moments. Of course, after the movie, she could not stop telling us her version which mostly consisted of people losing gloves, people getting cold, snow, ice, a snowman and hair turning white. Between this movie and Tangled, actually, she has a big hang-up on hair changing color in movies. I wonder if she’d notice that happen in something like X-Men or if it’s only animated flicks.
The movie centers on sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) who lose their parents at a young age after Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her ice-making powers. To heal Anna, her parents take her to trolls who erase the memory of Elsa’s powers from Anna’s brain. After that, fearing what her powers can do, Elsa shuts herself away from Anna. Cut to a decade or so later and it’s time for Elsa to officially become queen. Anna meets a man named Hans (Santino Fontana) and falls in love. They announce their engagement to Elsa who starts losing it and winds up freezing the whole land before running off to the mountain.
Anna leaves Hans in charge before heading off into the mountains where she meets Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his pet reindeer Sven and an animated snowman named Olaf (Josh Gadd) who join her on her journey to save her sister. It gets crazy from there and I don’t want to ruin it, but there are plenty of twists and turns that kept me engrossed.
Needless to say, she dug the movie and in fact declared, “I love this movie” after it was over. My wife dug it and, I did too, for the most part. Early on I thought there were a few too many songs. I have a bit of a problem with musicals in general, especially the ones where the star sings in public and no one seems to notice or care. Take something like Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast, there are scenes in both movies where the lead sings in public and the townspeople join in. That’s fine by me. Yet in Frozen, there’s a similar scene, but no one in the town seems to care.
My wife actually noted something later on after we bought the soundtrack off of Amazon so our daughter could listen to it: these songs — and the film in general — are very Broadway. The songs feel more like numbers from The Great White Way as opposed to the usual Disney offerings, which is a nice change. Once I framed it that way in my mind, I was more okay with the front-loaded musical numbers.
All in all that’s a pretty minor quibble with a movie that I wound up enjoying quite a bit. Even though I didn’t dig them initially, I’ve grown to really love the songs. More so, I love the characters and how directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee played off of the typical Disney conventions in the film. I kept trying to figure out where the movie was going and was surprised at several turns, especially when it came to the resolution of the love triangle. Anna doesn’t need a man to save her. She’s as active in the story as anyone, limited only by her lack of experience out in the world. She never gives up and keeps working to save her sister even down to the very end. I don’t want to spoil the ending too much, but I loved how it flipped the script on what the trolls said needed to happen to save the day.
Much like Brave, I thought Frozen was not only a great film in and of itself, but also a wonderful example for my daughter that female characters can be strong and active, but also that they can work alongside male characters without conflict. These are important messages to send along to the next generation.