Monday, January 27, 2014

FROZEN - 2 nominations

Animated Feature Film - Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, and Peter Del Vecho
Music (Original Song) - "Let It Go" - Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Sisters Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) begin their lives in a happy family with loving parents, who are sadly killed while the sisters are still children.  As a young child, Elsa discovers that she has the magical ability to create ice and snow with her hands, but after a random accident in which her sister almost dies, she isolates herself to prevent any further damage.  Anna's memory is wiped clean, so she never understands why her beloved sibling has locked herself away.  Over time, the pressure of maintaining the secret from the village grows to be too powerful on the day of Elsa's coronation, she brings perpetual winter to their town, and runs away.

Meanwhile, Anna's perpetual smile and thirst for adventure meets her up with Hans, a handsome prince who, as in all Disney films, falls immediately in love with Anna and proposes (though we come to discover his motives are not entirely pure).  For the first time in Disney history, Elsa tells Anna that she is too young to get married and that you don't marry someone after knowing them for one day.  Here's where Frozen had me at hello.  Yes, the girls are still drawn with eyes that are 1/3 the size of their heads, and yes, you could fit their waists into thimbles, but have we ever come a long way baby.  This is a film where an act of true love comes from the most unexpected of places.

There is much more to the story, and there is an obligatory talking snowman played by my favorite Mormon elder (from the Book of Mormon), Josh Gad.  With all the quips and quotes coming from this snowman's mouth, you can't help but love him.  After all, "some people are worth melting for - just maybe not right this second."

Finally, it would be unfair to leave out Kristoff, the boy who joins Anna in her quest to find Elsa and set the town right again.  But this time, Anna and Kristoff are equals and benefit from each other, without an immediate march down the aisle.

The music is spectacular, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried at the Oscar nominated song "Let it Go."  It's hard not to make comparison's to Idina Menzels's heart stopping high notes in Defying Gravity (Wicked), which also gave me chills.  But to hear Kristen Bell singing is also a true pleasure and gift to the film.  This song is an anthem to strong women struggling to be who people expect them to be and finally understanding that they must be fearlessly who they are.

To call Frozen a children's movie puts it into the most ill-fitting box.  My brother (39) and dad (76) went to see it together and they loved it.  I have yet to hear of anyone disliking Frozen, and with good reason.  It has so many Disney-busting elements that even those of us who struggle with the love of musical animated films and feminist ideology will find a mostly comfortable home in Frozen.   See it, you'll love it!

Haven't seen the film?
Watch the Frozen Movie Trailer

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