The Movie Date is a weekly feature where we discuss movies that may appeal to YA readers. Andrew is The Reading Date’s resident movie critic, but he stayed home and missed this one so you’re stuck with me! My daughter and I went to see Disney’s new movie Frozen, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, written by Jennifer Lee, and loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen.
Princess Elsa has a frozen touch (everything she touches turns to ice) that forces her to stay isolated in her castle. She can’t even play with her sister Anna, since her icy fingers almost took Anna’s life once. Now they are both lonely, but when the castle doors open to the public, Elsa’s (now Queen) secret wintry power is accidentally unleashed, and in a big way. It’s left to Anna to appeal to Elsa to turn the town back from unseasonable winter to summer, and to save her from her inner turmoil.
It has been a while since I’ve seen a Disney Princess film, and I like how the princesses have evolved. Frozen has a lot to offer, with strong female leads, and a message of love but not in the way you’d expect.
Here’s what you can find in Frozen: A girl with magical powers who keeps everyone at arm’s length, a kooky snowman who wants to frolic on the beach, a sweet, sincere girl who longs for love, and some poking fun at insta-love and Disney princesses of the past who swoon at the first prince that comes a knocking. And of course a heart-warming sister bond.
The visuals in Frozen take your breath away, with the glittering ice and blankets of snow. The color scheme is just gorgeous, and I coveted Anna’s magenta cloak.
Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel perform the voices of the sisters Anna and Elsa, respectively. I did not recognize either actress’ voice, but my daughter clued me in during the film. Kristen Bell is especially captivating as Anna, the spunky princess who doesn’t wait for anyone to save her; she’ll do the saving thank you very much.
It wouldn’t be a Disney princess movie without a prince, but the romantic side of the story doesn’t conform to typical Disney princess fashion. There is a prince waiting at the castle for Anna, who may be the keeper of true love’s kiss. However, the gruff Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer sidekick accompany Princess Anna on their snowy rescue mission. Olaf the snowman joins the gang and provides a lot of laughs. The love story is refreshing and took this jaded viewer by surprise.
With lively songs, striking visuals, a wintry setting, comic relief, and an unconventional love story, Frozen should be on your winter viewing list.
Frozen is now playing, and you really should see experience this gorgeous film in theaters. Frozen is rated PG and runs 108 min.
I suspect this is a movie that people are seeing again and again. The girl sitting next to me at the theater was theatrically lip-synching every word of this Idina Menzel song: