Our family saw the new Disney animated film "Frozen" today and in a surprising turn of events, the adults may have enjoyed it as much as, if not more, than our tween.
The story is very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ice Queen" and here features Elsa and Anna (voice by Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, respecitvely), two princesses in the kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa has the power to turn everything into ice and create fearsome snow storms. She keeps her power secret from Anna, but when it is revealed, she flees, leaving the kingdom of Arendelle frozen and in grave danger.
We all agreed that the animation was impressive, and some of the special effects with the ice were stunning. The visuals are right up there with Beauty and the Beast and the rest of the Disney canon. At one scene my tween said, "Now that's a winter wonderland."
It is a musical, and my tween said that it was the best part of the whole movie. The three of us even all liked the score! My husband and I liked the songs and though my husband and I found a few to be weak, others were really good. The vocal performances, specially from Broadway stalwarts Idina Menzel and Jonathon Grof, were great and I had no clue that Kristen Bell can sing, but she sure can. I have to admit that I want to get at least a few of those on iTunes, and I'm a bit shocked that I'm happy to have an ear worm called "Fixer Upper," a song sung by trolls about the fact that we all have faults but are lovable. (A great reminder heading into some serious family time with our own fixer uppers in the the holidays.)
Speaking of family, while the parents bite the dust as is somewhat requisite in fairy tales, the focus on family bonds was welcome. We won't give anything away, but the ending is an interesting spin on the Disney princess stories which I found especially cool (pun not intended but hey, it's there). The tween and husband did not seem to find this shift to be as significant as I did.
There were unexpected twists and turns and I'll admit that I didn't have them all pegged at all times, which was a refreshing treat.
My tween says:
I gave this movie a 7.5 out of 10. I liked all the music, my favorite song would have to be "The First Time In Forever." I loved the sweet and warm-hearted characters. I didn't like that the movie got boring at times. I would recommend this to tweens my age, but I wouldn't tell them that they have to go see it. You could never predict correctly what would happen. Overall, I liked it!
I liked it a lot. I'd give it a 9 out of 10. It was better than I expected going in, and several of the characters were very funny. As a dad, I appreciated the message that getting engaged to someone you've only known for a day is not a great idea.
The snowman, Olaf, was his favorite character, and the little guy is ridiculously likable. Josh Gad voices him perfectly, and he's one of the best Disney sidekicks to come along in a long while.
I'm going to 8.5 out of 10, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. I just finished reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter so a few new twists and a fresh take on the Disney princesses (actually two princesses here, and there are lessons to be learned from both) were especially heartening to me. I thought there were some great messages for girls. And even when I paused the "constant parental feminism evaluation" and just sit back, I enjoyed it a lot. There were a lot of great one-liners in this movie, both funny and touching. I was wishing that I could hit pause to write them down. Great music, pretty pictures, a few laughs, and a touching message made it worth the ticket.
End note: If you've read this far, you may be "completist" and want to stick around until the end of the credits of the movie. Be warned that they are very long. Like list every baby born during the making of the movie long. There is a very short appearance by a character at the end of them but those of us still in the theater all agreed that it wasn't worth waiting for, although my husband did find it funny.
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