We first went to see Frozen in the cinema around Christmas time. We’re a film-loving family, and wouldn’t want to miss a Disney release. A week or so later the geekdaughter had an inset day off school, and she and I went back just the two of us to watch it again as we’d loved it so much the first time around. We bought the soundtrack, played it incessantly, and then went back to the cinema for a third viewing, this time the sing-along release.
All of this should tell you this is a pretty special movie indeed.
I remember when Disney released The Little Mermaid. It was something new, something brilliant – the combination of West End-quality songs, a great story and excellent quality (for the time) animation. It seemed to rejuvenate Disney animation, and suddenly we had a wealth of new movies – Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan and so on. Two of them have even gone on to be successful stage productions as well, and I finally got to see The Lion King on stage in Manchester last year with the geekdaughter – what an amazing experience!
Frozen for me is right up there with The Little Mermaid. It could be my favourite Disney movie ever, and that’s not something I say lightly. It’s a great story, loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen”. Elsa and Anna are sisters and princesses. Elsa has a magical ability to create snow and ice. Whilst playing when very young, Elsa accidentally hits Anna with some of her ice, and the family have to take a trip to the trolls to get her healed. After this the sisters are kept apart, and Elsa is encouraged to hide her talents. When their parents tragically die, Elsa must be crowned Queen, but she can’t keep her talents hidden, and ends up running away, but not before she sets off an eternal winter. Anna then sets off on an adventure to find Elsa and persuade her to come back home and end the winter.
There are some familiar voice talents in the cast – the fantastic Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked, Glee) as Elsa, Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) as Anna and if you’re a Glee fan you’ll know Jonathan Groff better as Jesse St James – he voices Kristoff. The songs are penned by husband and wife team Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and they have produced a selection of numbers which will not feel out of place on a West End stage. I believe Disney have already announced they plan to convert the movie for the stage – I can’t wait! All the songs are catchy, but it is Elsa’s song “Let It Go” which is the real earworm, and you will find yourself singing along with it for days. Especially with all the different cover versions that are popping up all over the place.
The movie is suitable for kids of all ages – both the 6 year old geekdaughter and the 4 year old geekson adored it. For sensitive kids be aware that the princesses’ parents die early on in the movie – you see them sail off in a ship and then a huge wave engulfing the ship, followed by black curtains being drawn across their portrait. It’s covered very quickly, and didn’t bother my two at all. There is also a large snow monster who chases Anna and Kristoff for a small part of the movie – again he didn’t bother my two at all, but you might need to cuddle a sensitive little one. Please note there is a little (20 seconds or so) piece of film at the end of the credits involving this character, which is fun to stay for.
As with all Disney movies there are strong moral themes running through Frozen – the strongest of which is the power of love and family. Unlike many Disney movies though this one features independent female characters who are perfectly capable of sorting things out themselves and don’t just sit around waiting for a Prince to rescue them. The ending genuinely surprised me, pleasantly so.
The six year old geekdaughter wrote a review of the movie too:
In case you can’t read her writing this is what it says:
I am six and I like chocolate. I have a family with these people in: Mummy, Daddy and David. I love them and they love me. I like the movie of Frozen because it’s got great songs, great details and a funny snowman called Olaf. He had no nose at the beginning but at the end he got a nose. I liked it a lot. I liked the Tinkerbell movie. In the Tinkerbell movie they worked together. I liked it but not as much as Frozen.
Frozen just might be our perfect family film. It’s released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on Monday, and I can’t wait to watch it again! Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go and sing along with the soundtrack again. My son tells me I can be Anna but he wants to be Elsa! I’ll leave you with the sing-along version of “Let It Go” – go on and join in, you know you want to!