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Gavin Grades The Movies

Frozen (Rated PG)

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When talking about Disney films, I can understand why it's easy to hate on them.  They're as formulaic as films can be and they're cheesie as hell for anyone who views cinema as something that should only produce important art that challenges.  I, thankfully, am not one of those people because those people are the worst.  Granted, it's difficult for me to review Disney films objectively because I'm such a fan and they hit one of the last tender parts of my soul.  That being said, Frozen looked in the advertising to be one of the worst finished products I've seen.  Maybe it was aided in its debacle by coming out on the heels of Planes which, from what I've heard by the unfortunates who saw it, THE worst Disney film to come out in a generation.  Not only am I thrilled to say that Frozen was not a debacle but it may be one of the best.

Frozen is based on The Ice Queen by Hans Christian Anderson and features the voices of the amazingly adorable Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Safety Not Guarenteed) and Idina Menzel (Enchanted, Rent).  These two were hired because Frozen is every bit a musical as the classic Disney films are and it features the most catchy songs since The Lion King.  Yes, I know that Tangled was shockingly great and so was Princess and the Frog but there is something about the songs in Frozen that make you hum them for days.  Bell and Menzel singing them makes them better but they would've been great regardless.

There must be a reason for Disney not to classically animate films anymore.  When Tangled came out and we all saw that it was computer animated, I think all our hearts sunk after we were treated to the nostalgia of Princess and the Frog.  There's something about seeing hand-drawn animation that hit all us adults in our childhood and made us feel 7-years-old again.  Perhaps it was that Princess was a box office bomb (for some reason) or maybe it's cheaper and fastter to do it on the computer but Tangled proved that you can still make the classic Disney "princess" musicals in computers and not lose the soul of what they are.  Frozen is not only no exception but it's proof that they can even be, dare I say, better.

What makes this so different than the other Disney films is two things; one, there is no bad guy and two, the main female character doesn't need a man to save her life.  Those are two pieces of the Disney formula that are left out and you don't miss them at all.  That's not to say that it still isn't EXACTLY the same everywhere else.  There's a comedic creature, which is a talking snowman named Olaf played by Josh Gad (Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Broadway's The Book of Mormon) who is one of the funniest voice talents since Eddie Murphy played Donkey, there's a cute non-talking animal, an adorable Prince, a non-Prince guy who's really better than the Prince, and of course a scene featuring side characters that help and are meant to break up the story with a little fun.

Frozen isn't a perfect film because I don't think Disney movies are meant to be so.  What it is, however, is one of the best films from that studio to come out in a generation.  I've seen it twice and I can't wait to see it again.  My 1-year-old son has a Disney mix he jams out to filled with all kinds of songs from classics to films of the '80s and '90s and even stuff from the parks.  I bought the Frozen soundtrack the second it came out and loaded it on his iPod so he can learn these songs so when he sees it for the first time in a few years, he'll know them and enjoy the movie, hopefully, as much as me.

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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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People : Eddie MurphyHans Christian AndersonIdina MenzelJosh GadKristen Bell


12/01/2013 3:46PM
Frozen (Rated PG)
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