Disney’s ‘Frozen’ shakes up established fairy tale norm with welcome twist
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The 53rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, and inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, Frozen is a brilliant, playful, thoroughly enjoyable family flick that turns on its head the traditional princess-centric fairy tale that we’ve all come to expect over the years.
The story centers around Elsa, princess of Arendelle, who possesses the magical ability to produce ice, frost, and snow at will, and her sister, Anna, whom she accidentally injures while playing in their childhood years. The two sisters grow up apart, with Elsa firmly convinced that the only way she could keep her sister safe is by not having any sort of relationship with her at all.
Things go horribly wrong shortly after Elsa ascends to the throne as Queen. During an emotional outburst involving her sister and a sudden marriage proposal from a handsome stranger (Prince Hans), she is revealed to possess terrifying magical powers, causing her to flee to the mountains and leaving in her wake a kingdom in eternal winter.
Fully understanding now why Elsa’s been “cold” all those years, Anna sets out to convince her sister to come back to the kingdom and help her learn how to control her enormous powers. Along the way she meets and befriends an iceman named Kristoff and Olaf, a magical snowman brought to life by Elsa’s magical abilities. Unfortunately, Anna’s initial attempt to coax Elsa out of her snowy hideaway results in the latter injuring the former again. This time, Anna’s heart has been frozen accidentally, and the only cure is true love (of course!).
As is wont with most Disney films, we soon become aware that who we thought was the good guy is actually the one to be wary of. And, even more exciting, the guy we thought would save the day actually doesn’t. And therein lies the charm of the movie, and why it’s resonating so strongly with many many people.
Technically, the animation is flawless – the ice images and the sequences where Elsa displays her amazing ability are absolutely fantastic. Musically, it’s adequate. It’s not quite up to the level of The Lion King, or The Little Mermaid, but it’s decent. It’s a bit questionable how the movie snagged the Oscar for “Best Original Song.” “Let It Go” is actually quite rather bland. But this shouldn’t distract anyone from enjoying the movie as a whole.