Fro(m the Renaissance)zen

2 Dec

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Frozen, a CG musical-fantasy released November 27, is the latest film done by Walt Disney Animation Studios that keeps the Disney spirit alive.

In a surprising return to form for Disney, Frozen, takes the tried and true princess formula and succeeds in making it feel as fresh and vibrant as it did during the Disney Renaissance.

Loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson Novel, The Snow Queen, the movie sees two sisters deal with powers out of their control as they try to keep their kingdom of Arendelle afloat. Elsa, the elder sister, was born with the ability to create and control the power of snow and ice and after an accident that almost killed her younger sister Anna she was told to hide her powers from the world. This led to, her and subsequently Anna, being shut off from the outside world until the day of Elsa’s coronation where she must introduce herself to society. An incident during the coronation forces Elsa to reveal her powers and accidently cause an eternal winter in Arendelle and run away to a self inflicted exile. Anna with the help of ice salesman Christophe, his reindeer Sven and the animated snowman Olaf must find her sister and attempt to reverse the winter and save Elsa from not only the fear mongered populous but also herself.

The story at first glance already has enough twists to spin audiences upside down but it gets even more interesting as the whole movie is explored. The first twist is the absence of an identifiable villain as well as a lead. But this all works in the movies favor as it keeps you guessing throughout the entire movie and never leads itself into predictability. The movie is the greatest example of, “show don’t tell.” There’s no obnoxious narrator and the characters don’t say haw they feel, you see it in the beautiful animation.

The CG animation is standard Disney high-quality and uses its setting to the fullest extent in using snow, ice foliage and architecture to  

The movie has a break neck pace as literally years of plot and exposition is told within the first 10 minutes of the running time. But the film knows exactly when to slow down and take a breath from the action subtly introducing set pieces and characters and giving them all enough time to develop and interact with each other, such as when Christophe argues with Anna on how ridiculous “love at first sight” is.

Olaf, who serves as the token comic relief, brings the heart and laughs without the annoyance. Where similar characters like Mater from Cars seem obnoxious, Olaf does his job of being a nice break from the tension without ruining the investment. 

 Did I mention Frozen was a musical, cause you’ll find that out quick as the movie opens with a big booming catchy song about sawing and collecting ice. The characters all get their big songs, except for Christophe, who really needs one. The centerpiece of the music being Elsa’s “Let it go” song, which mirrors similar songs done in Mulan or Beauty and the Beast in terms of both inspiration and being memorable.

MINITORIAL-Two Princesses?: Frozen breaks the mold of having not one but two female leads who are for all intensive purposes Disney princesses on the side of good. Elsa being the one imbued with a magical gift and must learn to hide from everyone is an all too good metaphor for girls who grow up and discover more about who they are and not conforming to society’s wishes. Anna on the other hand wants nothing more than to conform as being shut away from the world has made her crave for attention and love and serves as a metaphor for girls who jump into situations too quickly without considering the consequences. Both juxtapose one another perfectly and let the movie have an interesting identity outside of being a rehash of an old story.

Frozen keeps the formula fresh and proves that no matter what may come Disney is still more than capable of turning out instant classics. A beautiful return to the female oriented fairy tale classic and a movie so good and filled with enough interest that a franchise would be obvious. 

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