Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Frozen

Now the top grossing animation of all time, there seems to be no stopping the Frozen craze. From Disney Infinity figures, to limited edition dolls to ‘Let It Go’ plaguing every radio station (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing), it’s difficult to escape it. From directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee who have credits in their résumé that range from Tarzan to Wreck-It Ralph, the film was always in good hands. Pair them with a cast including A-lister Kristen Bell and a number of Glee veterans such as Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff, and you get a film that is full of energy and precision.


Frozen is a story adapted from Hans Christian-Andersen’s The Snow Queen, though the term ‘adapted’ is used loosely. It follows the story of Elsa and Anna, newly crowned Queen and Princess, as the former tries to hide her powers from her sister and the whole kingdom. As tempers rise so do the powers, which sees Elsa fleeing and Anna desperately searching for her, while the kingdom is plunged into an eternal winter. The journey introduces us to characters such as Olaf the Snowman, Kristoff the ice salesman and his trusty Reindeer Sven. The main villain of the story comes from Erindale’s trade partner who attempts to plunder the kingdom’s resources and a foe that is best not named to avoid spoiling the film for anyone who has miraculously not yet seen it.


The humour comes mainly from certain characters. Olaf with his innocent ignorance of summer and warm hugs is the main source when paired with his jolly optimism, and Sven with his doglike loyalty and pride in being a reindeer. However, what makes Frozen superior to other Disney musicals (or animations, or musicals, for that matter) is that it manages to fill the songs with laugh-out-loud moments. Olaf’s first song, ‘In Summer’ is one giant laugh riot as he ignores a puddle and dances around his sand-people family.

The soundtrack is again one of the best around, with heart-wrenching songs such as ‘Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?’, and the heart-warming ‘For The First Time In Forever.’ However, the pièce de résistance is ‘Let It Go’, the song that has been in everybody’s Facebook status, played in every shop and has spawned hundreds of metal covers on Youtube. Youtube’s famous Francis has also released a fantastic version as a message to his haters - definitely worth a watch. I heard the song before I’d seen the film which gave me the opinion of it being sang in the wrong key, but when you watch the sequence in the film it all just… fits. I’m not sure how or why, but it matches the tone of what we’re seeing on screen really well - which is yet another reason why Frozen is spectacular.

The choreography and directing is outstanding. From the little things like the choir being arranged in height order during the coronation, to the brilliant routine during ‘Let It Go’ when Elsa spawns her magnificent ice castle - it’s all so brilliantly coherent between audio and visual.

My only quarrel I have with the film is that it’s too short. Whether that’s a compliment or complaint depends on why, and my reasoning is that we don’t really get enough context. How did Elsa get her powers?  How did Kristoff end up wandering around on his own? And, I know I’m SERIOUSLY nit-picking here, but at the start Kristoff is 8 years-old, and Sven is, shall we say, a year old. Later on, Kristoff is 21 years-old, meaning Sven is around 14 years-old. A quick Google search indicates that the average lifespan of a reindeer is 4.5 years. I know it’s Disney, I know it’s a different Universe (to some extent), and I know it’s essentially a children’s film therefore death is usually only alluded to – so I’ll let Frozen off.


You cannot dislike this film. Even the hardest of hearts will find themselves singing their heart out and desperate for all to end well. It really highlights just how far the Disney studio has come and their new direction. It’s beginning to rival the likes of Pixar and Dreamworks which is great, because the more good animations we have, the better. Frozen may be the best we’ve seen in a years. A brilliant soundtrack, a brilliant cast and a brilliant story that’s only downside is everyone wanting more once the credits roll.

Frozen freezes the competition with a 5/5.

[★★★★★]

Jonny Naylor


Frozen at CeX



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