Frozen hadn’t really been on my radar when it was first coming out. Then most of my friends loved it and most of the blogs I read on Tumblr collectively lost their shit over it, so when I desperately need a “me” day, I decided to make it my movie of choice.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and thought it was very lovely, but I’m not sure that I like it quite as well as some other, more recent animated movies, like Tangled and Brave.
In Frozen (very loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Snow Queen), Elsa and Anna are the princesses of the kingdom of Arendelle, and Elsa has the ability to create snow and ice. When she accidentally injures Anna and Anna loses her memory of Elsa’s powers, Elsa is forced to hide them, driving a wedge between the sisters.
Elsa still struggles to control her abilities, however, especially as she gets older, and any strong emotions make them worse. When she and Anna have a public fight on coronation day, Elsa inadvertently reveals her abilities to everyone. The people turn on her, and terrified, Elsa flees the country.
Unfortunately, she leaves Arendelle trapped in winter, and it’s up to Anna to get her sister back to save her country and mend their long-damaged relationship.
Much like how Brave was about the relationship between a mother and daughter, Frozen is, at its core, about the relationship between two sisters and rebuilding that.
It’s easy to see why Elsa’s so afraid to let Anna or anyone else come close to her, considering she has the ability to hurt them so badly. And for years, she lets that fear rule her life. Watching Elsa learn to let go of that fear and let people back in, particularly Anna, is probably the best part of the movie. (It’s really not surprising that her song, “Let It Go,” is one of the most popular from the movie.)
I loved how determined and persistent Anna was regarding her sister; no matter how much she was hurt or shut out in the process. Their relationship was very sweet, and I’m glad that it’s where the movie chose to put the bulk of its focus.
The visuals in the movie were absolutely gorgeous. I spent an inordinate amount of time marveling at how real the snow looked, how the animators did such a fantastic job of replicating how it looks caked on someone’s clothes or how powder actually moves. Elsa’s ice palace is also amazing; I kind of wish I could just look at it forever.
The part that bothered me the most was the romantic subplot. Not because I didn’t like the characters—I did, and Kristoff was probably my favorite—but it didn’t seem to be developed as well as the relationship between Anna and Elsa. The biggest criticism Kristoff levels at Anna regarding her fiancé—that she’s only known him a day—is one you can, ultimately, throw right back at him.
Not to mention the trolls’ song, “Fixer Upper,” didn’t really sit well with me because, for the most part, it sounded like they were saying you could change a person. Which…yeah, that’ s a big “no,” and even if they clarified the message better near the end of the song, it still wasn’t quite enough to pull it back.
It also came at a point in the movie where time was of the essence. I couldn’t help but think “Yes, yes, the song’s cute, BUT FOR PITY’S SAKE CAN WE GET ON WITH IT?”
It is an enjoyable movie, though, and again, I loved that the main focus was on a family relationship rather than a romantic one. If you’re intrigued, give it a go. I’d say it’s worth seeing in the theater, if you can.