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Let It Go
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Writers: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Hans Christian Andersen, Shane Morris
Voice Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Chris Williams, Ciarán Hinds, Stephen J. Anderson, Maia Wilson, Edie McClurg, Robert Pine, Maurice LaMarche, Eva Bella, Livvy Stubenrauch, Spencer Lacey Ganus
Synopsis: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor
Quite Possibly the Best Disney animated film since the Lion King
Although when it comes to animated Disney films these days, it's been a well known fact that Pixar is usually the one dominating at the box office; while delivering high quality movies. However, it seems like the regular Disney animation studios is showing that there might still be a hint of greatness left in the tank after all. "Frozen" is not only one of the best Disney films that I've ever seen, but it's arguably one of the best animated movies of all time.
Unlike most Disney cartoons that fall into the same old tired story arcs, this one dares to be different in every fathomable way. Just when you think have the story figured out, it throws you in for a loop that you often don't see coming. It's almost very refreshing to see from a Disney film.
"Frozen" is based on a short story about a young princess named Elsa, who was born with magical ice powers. One night while she was playing with her sister, Anna, in the castle, she accidentally freezes her mind. This causes her parents to panic, as they're forced to seek the help of some mysterious trolls that warn Elsa that her powers could become dangerous if she's not able to control them.
This frightens the young princess, along with her parents, as they're forced to shun their daughter from the outside world; even from her own sister, Anna. The trolls even manage to erase all of Anna's memories of Elsa ever having any powers, so she's unaware why her sister one day decided to no longer speak to her. It's a sad tale of isolation, and loneliness, as we see how this affects both of them.
Fast forward several years later when they're both adults, and their parents are tragically killed, Elsa becomes the new queen even though she's reluctant about it. Her biggest concern is that people won't accept her if they find out about her powers, or that she might end up hurting people with them, so she plans on closing the castle gates immediately after the coronation ceremony. Needless to say, she reluctantly goes through with the coronation ceremony.
To be honest, I found Elsa to be arguably one of the most relatable Disney heroines ever conceived. Growing up as a bit of an outsider myself, I can understand how Elsa feels like she has to sometimes hold back from being who she really is to fit in with society, as the song, "Let it go", touches on this matter perfectly. In fact, it's arguably one of the most beautiful songs I've ever had the honor of hearing. The lyrics are great, and flow perfectly, but it also gives the audience a clear insight to how Elsa feels. Plus, the beat of the song picks up as soon as Elsa starts to embrace who she is, which is a very nice subtle touch as well.
Not to mention it's very refreshing that Disney is finally showing that not all Queen's have to be evil and/or ugly as sin. As many Disney fans may know, most Disney animated movies don't always reflect Queens in a positive light. Hell, most cartoons don't for that matter. As the Nostalgia Critic pointed out before, it seems stereotypical that most girls often want to emulate princesses because the common perception is that princesses can be beautiful, while Queen's are often shown to be evil and vane about everything. Therefore, it's kind of refreshing to see in a film like "Frozen" that it's showing little girls that you can still be very beautiful and kind even when you're a queen.
(Warning: Possible Spoiler in this paragraph) Another thing that I never really cared for about past Disney animated films was the whole notion about the love at first sight nonsense. Look, I'm not going to judge anyone who firmly believes in that stuff, but from a narrative perspective aspect, it just comes off as lazy writing half the time; especially in animated films. However, "Frozen" addresses that aspect as well. I won't say too much to avoid spoiling the movie for my readers, but it does address one of the dangers about falling in love with a person at first sights, as it definitely serves as a great lesson that a lot of young girls and boys can learn from.
Getting back to the rest of the story, Anna is excited about the castle gates being opened to the public again, as she relishes in the opportunity after being isolated for so long inside the castle. Like most young girls, she yearns to fall in love with a guy of her dreams. And since Elsa's coronation is the first time in years that the castle is being opened to the public, Anna couldn't be happier. Eventually, she meets a handsome prince, who seems like her soul mate, but there's more to his character than meets the eye, as we find out later in the film.
Anyway, due to a series of events, everyone inevitably finds out about Elsa's powers, which somehow ends up with her running away; while accidentally putting the kingdom in an almost endless winter. Now, the only hope that's left is for Anna to try to talk to her sister, in the hopes of setting things right. And, that's all you need to know about the story without giving away too much.
Although the film breaks away from a lot of common Disney animated movie stereotypes, it still has a few that I'm sure many die hard fans will recognize such as you still have a very beautiful young princess as the heroine, and you still have the goofy side characters for comic relief. Not to mention, it breaks out into song spontaneously as well.
However, it's still a fairly enjoyable movie nonetheless. The songs are memorable, and the story is executed very well; along with some great character development. Plus, the voice acting wasn't half bad either.
As far as the animation goes, I thought it was done rather well. You can really tell how much attention they put into detail, when they animated this movie.
As for the 3d cinematography, it was rather amazing to watch, as some of the images literally almost pop out of the screen at you. However, this was especially noticeable during the short Mickey Mouse cartoon that was featured before the feature film.
Overall, I have to say this is arguably the best Disney animated feature that I've ever seen (excluding all the Pixar ones of course), as it's definitely worth checking out at a rating of four out of four.
Nostalgia Critic- What's with all the Princess hate?
© 2014 Steven Escareno