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Review: “Frozen” warms the heart

Published February 20, 2014

Sven the reindeer and Olaf the snowman add comic relief as Anna and Kristoff fight to bring back summer. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Sven the reindeer and Olaf the snowman add comic relief as Anna and Kristoff fight to bring back summer. Photo courtesy of Disney.

Unlike the (almost) eternal 70-degree weather forecast for Palo Alto, in the story of “Frozen” the kingdom of Arendelle is cursed by just the opposite, an eternal winter. When Princess Elsa (Indina Menzel) misuses her supernatural  abilities to cast a spell on her kingdom, all of Arendelle is left “frozen.”

Determined to bring back summer and find her sister, Anna leaves Arendelle to search for Elsa. Along the way she meets ice cutter Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his trusty dog-like reindeer Sven. As the trio searches for Elsa’s castle, they also encounter Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad), a creation from  Anna and Elsa’s childhood memories.

Anna and Kristoff find Elsa, but she is unwilling to return to Arendelle and inadvertently freezes Anna’s heart as she forces them out of her castle. The only cure for Anna is an act of true love, which she must find before she turns into an ice statue.

Olaf entertains the audience by often falling apart and rebuilding himself, almost getting his nose eaten by carrot-loving Sven and naively singing about how he would love picnicking and basking in the sun:

Olaf: [singing] Winter’s a good time to sit close and cuddle / But put me in summer and I’ll be a…

[pauses in front of a puddle]

Olaf: … happy snowman!

Olaf is adorable and adds comic relief as other characters face hardship and near-death moments. He also has a sweet side when he saves Anna from freezing to death by making a fire despite the obvious danger to himself: melting.

“Frozen” provides a fresh spin on the stereotypical princess movies where there is a love triangle or a villain. It also boasts a unique setting, a winter wonderland, with wonderful graphics to accompany it. The film also has a nice amount of main characters, five plus Sven, which keeps the audience engaged with the more episodic approach.

The score featuring fun songs including “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and Oscar nominee “Let It Go” also adds charm to the already engaging movie. The entire “Frozen” album has been a continual best-seller and is currently the No. 2 album on the Billboard 200 chart, iTunes and Spotify.

Frozen is not to be missed (especially for people in California who would like to experience winter and snow vicariously through a princess, reindeer, or snowman).

“Frozen” is nominated for two Oscars: Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. In this reviewer’s opinion, “Frozen” deserves the award in both categories.

“Frozen”

102 minutes

Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

Staring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad


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