It appears I am reviewing films having a theme of music lately. This is a bit of an accident, although a happy one.
This review is of Frozen, a Disney produced film from 2013 that won the Academy Award for Best Animated feature film. The screenplay is based on the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of The Snow Queen. I enjoy animation and the amazing fantasy and images it can create. I heard that the fjords of Scandinavia served as inspiration for the setting of Frozen, and intrigued, popped it in my DVD player.
Initially I thought the story would be about Queen Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) who has a power that she has not yet learned to control; everything she touches turns to ice. But the story turned out to be more about her younger sister Anna (voice of Kristen Bell). It’s more a story about sisters than a romance, although there are a couple of love interests.
The visual imagery of the snow, ice and snowflakes is what really makes this film stunning. Frozen also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, Let It Go. Queen Elsa sings this song after she flees the kingdom of Arendelle, unable to control her powers. She likes the cold and snow. I like snow. I miss it here in Albuquerque. We may live in the shadow of the Sandia Mountains, but this is also desert, and the desert climate often wins out over the mountain snow.
So I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful, wintry, snowy landscapes that Elsa creates. As she matured, she continued to hide her powers from the world until she could no longer do so. I noted that at a crucial turning point, her icy powers made the world winter, and this only occurred when acting out of fear.
Her sister Anna is a young, naïve girl. They have both lived locked up in a castle for most of their lives, and she does not remember that her older sister has powers. After Elsa runs off, Anna goes searching for her and encounters along the way a young man named Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. They team up on Anna’s mission to find Elsa, and meet a snowman, Olaf. Meanwhile, her suitor back at the castle waits for her return.
All is not what it seems, and by the end of the film, both women have had a transformation. I liked the message that is sent to young fans of the film that love is what is important, and that it is a power that cannot be stopped. Elsa overcomes her fear, finally bringing under control her special gift through the power of love.
The film is rated PG for some action and mild rude humor. It was a different sort of princess film than most. It was more about finding one’s own personal strength and gifts and less about finding the right man. This was refreshing and I recommend it for young and old alike.