Frozen (CGI) (PG)
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Caution: potential spoilers.
This came out in November 2013. I'd been looking forward to it for quite awhile, as I do with pretty much any animated Disney movie. And as with most movies of any kind, I didn't get to see it in a theater. But it turned out to be insanely popular, so for many months you couldn't help hearing about it or reading about it, and about at least one song from the movie (though I somehow managed to avoid hearing the whole song, or any of the other songs on the massively popular soundtrack). Well, I already knew I wanted to see the movie, and it would have been no different if the public's reaction to it had been mediocre. Still, all the hype did make me perhaps a bit more eager to see it than I am with most movies, just to see what all the fuss was about. But more importantly, it was eventually revealed that live-action versions of the characters from the movie would be appearing in the next season of Once Upon a Time, so I realized I'd have to get the DVD and watch it over the summer. So I finally got it. And not long thereafter, my relatives from Ohio, who were visiting for the summer, invited me to watch their own copy of the movie... which I didn't do, partly because I just wanted to watch my copy, and partly because of my social anxiety/depression/whatever. And yet, I continued to procrastinate. It's weird how I can be so eager to buy a movie I've been wanting to see, and then when I do, I just let it sit around unwatched for months or even years. But I couldn't wait years for this one... just months. Finally I got around to watching it in September 2014, a couple of weeks before Once Upon a Time's season premiere. Oh... and before I forget, I should mention that there was a Mickey Mouse short called Get a Horse! that played in theaters with this, as well as appearing as a bonus feature on the DVD. So I watched that before the movie.
Also while watching the movie I was drinking Natty Ice. Get it? Ice? Frozen?
Anyway, the movie is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Snow Queen," which I'm sure I'd heard of before, but know nothing about. So I can't compare the movie to the source material. ...It starts out with some men singing while they cut up ice from a lake or whatever. Then we see these two adorable little princesses, Anna and Elsa. (Wikipedia lists their ages as 5 and 8, respectively.) We quickly learn that Elsa has the power to create snow and ice, though it's not explained how she came by this power. But she and her little sister have fun playing in the snow Elsa creates... until she accidentally hurts Anna with her power. Their parents take them to see some trolls, the king of whom saves Anna's life, I guess, by removing all memories of Elsa's magical power. After that, Elsa always stays in her room, alone, and we see that Anna misses playing with her sister (the troll left her memories of fun, even without the magic). And she has no idea why Elsa suddenly started shutting her out. Years pass in a moment, and when the girls are teenagers, their parents die. So Anna needs her sister more than ever, but still Elsa refuses to come out of her room.
Three years later, the girls have grown into beautiful young women. Elsa, now 21 (voiced by Idina Menzel), is crowned queen of Arendelle, but she's very nervous about being around people at her coronation party, afraid that they'll learn of her power, and afraid of hurting anyone. But Anna, now 18 (Kristen Bell), is very excited to finally get to meet people... and most importantly, she meets a prince named Hans, and they quickly fall in love and decide to get married... which Elsa forbids. (This seems sensible, though I must admit, the montage of Anna and Hans falling in love actually seemed... a lot more legit than your standard Disney love-at-first-sight romance.) Anyway, the ensuing argument leads to Elsa losing control of her power, and everyone finding out about it and thinking she's a monster or something, so she runs away. (She wants to protect the kingdom through her absence, not realizing that she's frozen everything, in spite of leaving.) And Anna decides to go find her and bring her home. Along the way, she meets a young man named Kristoff, and his reindeer, Sven. (We'd actually seen them in the first scene, when Kristoff was a kid. And since then, he's been raised by the trolls.) Shortly after Anna meets Kristoff, they meet a snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), who had been created (and unwittingly brought to life) by Elsa.
And... lots of other stuff happens. A lot of bad stuff, a lot of funny stuff, and ultimately a happy ending. I don't really want to give away any more details of the plot. Some plot points were fairly typical and formulaic, but not in a bad way. Some things were also fairly fresh and clever. Familiar tropes were toyed with, in very enjoyable ways. And the songs are all pretty decent. The animation is beautiful (sometimes magnificent) and there are some cool visual concepts. And Olaf is actually a much funnier (and oddly wiser) comic relief sidekick than these movies usually have. And really, I quite liked all of the main characters. And, you know, the movie is full of feels. Is it worthy of all the hype and accolades? Yes... though I daresay there are plenty of animated movies (Disney or otherwise) that are as good or better, which have received perhaps somewhat less acclaim. (I actually liked Tangled a bit more than this, for example.) But hey, it's all a matter of opinion, and mine is no more (or less) important than anyone else's. I definitely loved the movie, but if anyone else loved it more than I did, they are not wrong. (If anyone loved it slightly less than I did, they're also not wrong, but anyone who didn't love it, even a little bit, are wrong.) And I guess that's all I can think to say. I hope I'm not forgetting anything.
Followed by the short films Frozen Fever and Olaf's Frozen Adventure, and a sequel (which I haven't seen).
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