Disney has a magic touch. Either that or they just hire the RIGHT people for the RIGHT jobs. Any which way you look at it, “Frozen” is a major success. It’s not your typical Disney Princess storyline, and it has major vocal talent, a killer single from the movie’s soundtrack, and of course brilliant animation. All of this rolled into one interesting tale, giving this Disney smash success a big thumbs up from me!
Since I’m an artist, I will talk about the artwork in this film. It’s even better than “Tangled” – at that is saying a lot coming from me! The process involved here is like a hybrid of traditional hand-drawn animated cells and CGI. The film is also shot in CinemaScope – not going to geek it all over the place here, so instead, just read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CinemaScope Suffice to say it’s a favorite technique of mine, it is great way to shoot films that lend themselves to a more epic or cinematic look. It is the classical definition of “widescreen” formatting.
“Frozen” is inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen tale called the Snow Queen. Apparently, that story was something Walt himself wanted to see animated, but – long story short here – it got shelved. The proper way of stating it today is to say that “Frozen” was inspired by the Andersen tale. John Lasseter helped to anchor the film in a relatable way, giving us a story not as dark as the original material and filled with characters that people would understand better. What Disney has ended up with is the very compelling story of two sisters that are kept apart from one another because of one sister has developed magical powers that enable her to freeze things.
The story might seem to have a loop hole in there, phrased as “how did she get these powers?” Truth is though, the answer to this question is irrelevant. The powers are not the story. The character is. I have to say that Disney has done a way better job with Elsa than with Merida from “Brave”. Merida bothered me because it was like she rebelled because she wasn’t living her life as she wanted. Really? That’s your big bitch? Well, excuse me but this girl Elsa – she got problems. Yes, yes – I am over-simplifying I know. But it is so accurate. Elsa is terrified she’ll hurt her baby sister if she TOUCHES her. She’s afraid of herself and the strange powers she has. Basically, she’s afraid of what she could do to others. Okay, now THAT is something that wrecks a life. Screw Merida, Elsa has it way worse!
The story of Elsa (wonderfully played and sung by Idina Menzel) would not have been enough to make a movie out of though – if not for her younger sister Anna, played by the sloth-loving Kristen Bell. The story follows them from being toddlers to being all grown up. There are twists to the story that many viewers will be taken by surprise with. (By the way, Anna’s mannerisms are so life-like that it is jaw-droppingly good!) Anna brings the heart to this story and it is cool. Of course, there is an awesome little snowman named Olaf that almost steals the movie and he brings the funny. Over all, the story is fresh and innovative and surprising. I’d have to say, “Frozen” was way better than I thought it might be.
So, if you have missed this one at the theater, try to catch it as soon as you can. I don’t think you should wait for Netflix on this one. Disney has the magical touch and two new princesses join the ranks of Belle, Ariel, and the rest of the gang. Welcome to the Magic Kingdom, Anna and Elsa!
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE.