The Oscars have come and gone, all the usual suspects have won, among them the widely beloved Frozen
– a long overdue smash animation hit from the Walt Disney Animation Studio (not to be confused with Pixar which the Disney corporation acquired in 2006). And so this week I’d like to review this gently feminist, lovingly drawn film that breaks away from the usual Disney paradigm – putting forward a slightly different alternative to finding true love as the be all and end all.
Which is not at all to say that the film therefore robs us of a rather good love story – quite the opposite in fact. There are several charming, albeit unconventional, love stories in Frozen and one fairly straightforward one that will capture the hearts of every, even the very secret, romantics.
The story begins adorably with Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), two little princesses who grow up playing together carefree in their oblivious childhood, watched over by their doting parents. When Anna, the youngest and the livelier, wakes up her older sister Elsa to play – the two sneak off to make use of Elsa’s magical powers which allow her to create ice and snow. In the midst of harmless fun, Elsa accidentally shoots some of her power into Anna, causing her to lose consciousness. The King and the Queen enter horrorstruck and just in time to rush Anna to the benevolent Troll King delightfully called Grand Pabbie and played by the wonderful voice of Ciaràn Hinds, who is able to save Anna but in the process causes her to forget the course of the evening’s events and the fact of her sister’s magical powers, which are deemed uncontrollable due to the incident.
The girls grow up and apart in a marvelously planned out montage where Anna cannot quite understand why Elsa is just not the same. When their parents die at sea during a storm their mutual alienation is complete.
There are many adventures that follow and personally I much preferred the second half of the film to the first, mainly due to the entrances of Olaf (Josh Gad) a hilarious carrot nosed snowman, a reluctant young man named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and his reindeer Sven (who doesn’t speak, but is delightfully drawn with a distinct personality) all of whom join Anna in a quest to save Elsa from herself and the eternal winter that she brings upon Arendelle in her distress after her magical powers are outed at her very own coronation.
Frozen is a merry distraction for many adults even while it is a great teaching tool for the very young who are often fed with the honeyed spoon that encourages sickly happy endings with two lovers kissing. Instead of just pure sugar, though this particular film provides surprising turns of events, a lot of bursting into song (a bit too much for this writer’s liking), but more importantly portrays beautifully a very deep and real storyline that shows that the bonds between sisters, when nurtured, can be stronger than almost any other thing in life – a warming and worthy message to hang on to for Women’s Day.