2013 Movie Reviews: Frozen (And A Bonus Review)

elsa-frozen-trailer-elsa-hiding-in-room1-1Similarly to how Despicable Me 2 based it’s entire marketing on the minions, Disney’s latest offering, Frozen, pretty much showed us the snowman and nothing else. However, I feel it isn’t Olaf that’s selling tickets as much as clever word of mouth. And so, after being thoroughly impressed by Get A Horse!, I sat back and wondered how good the film would really be.

When royal siblings Anna and Elsa were younger, they used to have so much fun with Elsa’s winter power, until Anna was injured and Elsa made a vow to keep her growing powers hidden. Now adults, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) have grown apart and are both living isolated lives. But when Elsa’s power is revealed, she flees the kingdom and it’s up to her sister to find her.

The first act of this movie is perfect. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but the writing is absolutely emotional and just plain fantastic. The songs (with maybe the exception of Olaf’s and the one with the trolls) are flawless and will stay in your head for long after you leave the theater. “Let It Go” is getting all of the awards buzz, (deservedly so) I hope that “For The First Time In Forever” and “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” are not completely forgotten. So this movie is absolutely wonderful. And then Olaf shows up.

This movie is a lot like ParaNorman. The serious moments are wonderfully done, but when it tries to be comic, it momentarily turns into an entirely different film. It’s easy to blame the Olaf character for it, even though it may not be entirely his fault. In a silly movie with a style like Hotel Transylvania, he might have been somewhat charming, but here, he feels out of place.

Now, I know that you’ve got to have comedy relief in a movie like this, but somehow movies like Up, Megamind, and yes, How To Train Your Dragon managed to make the comedy and the drama so much better. I almost feel that the film shouldn’t have had comedy at all, due to how beautiful and heart-melting (pun intended) a lot of the movie was. And this movie can be pretty amazing when it wants to be.

I think that the movie is very good, and I feel it could be a brilliant Broadway Show. But while it isn’t too difficult to ignore the parts you don’t like, I still feel that it could have used a bit of polishing. Maybe it’s the bias against Olaf that I gained with the movie’s advertising. It’s a shame, because this movie came so close to 5 stars for me. But despite that, it’s still highly recommended. Walt Disney Animation Studios never won the Animated Feature Oscar, but that could easily change this year. I have to see The Wind Rises before I jump to any conclusions. But if this movie wins, I will definitely be happy.

****1/2

Wait a minute! Wait a minute! There’s another movie I saw near the end of NaNoWriMo, so like you can imagine, I had

THE BOOK THIEF

Emily Watson and the cinematography impress, while Geoffrey Rush and the score basically give you what you expect. In a complete 180 of Frozen, the film’s tone is basically consistent with War Horse. Dark, but has a certain charm all it’s own. But then right at the last ten minutes, BAM! It gets Dark with a capital D. The ending either helps or hurts the film, depending on your point of view, It’s a pretty good flick, but be prepared for a dark ending.

****

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