Frozen: REVIEW

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Disney returns to form with this delightful new sing-along adventure.

By now, Disney has the whole “princess-movie” thing down to a science. They tend to know what works, and what doesn’t. Even though it may hit all the same notes as those that came before it, “Frozen” still enchants throughout and manages to recapture that classic Disney spirit.

Sure, “Frozen” may seem to just be “Tangled” repackaged in a new adjective. But it’s beautifully animated,  features plenty of fun new songs, and ends up one of their best animated films since the Disney Renaissance.”

The story is by no means complex. Anna and Elsa, the two young princesses of Arendelle, slowly start to drift apart as Elsa’s “wintery” power starts to grow out of control. In a sudden burst of anger, Elsa ends up putting the entire kingdom into eternal winter. Her sister Anna, with the help of some new friends, then decides to take it upon herself to figure out how to bring summer back to the kingdom.

Kids and adults alike should be able to enjoy this new animated adventure (which also brings us what is destined to become a new classic Disney character in Olaf the snowman). It should also be noted that “Frozen” is refreshing in terms of its departure from what is now the expected, cliched ending of most films in Disney’s Princess Pantheon. And its the better for it.

No longer just the damsel in distress, this film’s lead (Princess Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell) takes action on her own, stands up for her beliefs, embraces her quirky awkwardness, and learns that “true love” doesn’t happen at first sight. She feels like a real, genuine character that young girls can look up to.

Even though Disney may be sticking to what they know, they still are taking risks and it’s fun to see the delightful, if flawed, new adventures they continue to churn out like “Frozen.

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+ beautiful animation
+ refreshingly different resolution than most Disney Princess films
+ humor for both kids and adults
+ Emotional moments don’t feel forced
+ The Original Short airing before the film (“Get a Horse!”) is fantastic

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Most of the songs, though fun, are forgettable
A few familiar, recycled plot lines

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Grouped with recent classics Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, Disney Animation seems to be back in the business of recapturing the magic they’re known for. Frozen can’t be counted as the studio’s strongest work, but it sure is a lot of fun. One could hope this is only the beginning of a new “Disney Renaissance” on the horizon.

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“Frozen” is rated PG for “action.” But it should be fine for all ages.

© Matt Tory, 2013. 

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