“Let it go! Let it go!” That song took the world by storm as Disney unveiled one of its biggest blockbusters in “Frozen.” The film was a massive hit that symbolized the return of Walt Disney Animation Studios to greatness and helped recognize the current era of Disney animation as the Revival.
Meet Elsa and Anna, royal sisters, as Elsa ascends to the throne of Arendelle. But, Elsa is hiding a secret ice power. After she flees, Anna tries to bring her back while Anna’s fiancée tries to usurp the throne. Through it all, Elsa and Anna save their kingdom and learn that an act of true love doesn’t have to come from a significant other.
There’s a lot of overwhelmingly wonderful things about this movie. First off, I love both Elsa’s and Kristoff’s reaction to the idea of Anna getting engaged to a man she just met. That had been a Disney trope since “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and it’s wonderful to see a film address it and call out how weird it is.
Secondly, I love that the love story meant very little to the overall plot. Hans is the villain pretending to love Anna to usurp the throne. Kristoff has clearly developed feelings for Anna, but, in this short of time, it’s too early to tell if it’s love. When an act of true love is needed, it’s the two characters that have known each other the longest, the two characters with unconditional love for each other, the sisters who perform the act. Anna could’ve run to Kristoff, but shows how much she loves her sister by running to her, risking her own life to save Elsa. That is the most compelling act of true love in the entire Disney canon.
We also have to discuss the music. I could argue this is the first Disney musical since “The Lion King” to have so many songs that get stuck in your head. There are at least four songs that I walked away from this film singing. I know “Let It Go” was the smash hit that got all the radio play, but in my, possibly, controversial opinion, I think “For the First Time in Forever” is the best song in the film. I come away with a better appreciation for the film’s music from that song than I do “Let It Go.” That could be fatigue from “Let It Go” being everywhere when the film came out, but I just prefer “For the First Time in Forever.”
This movie is not without flaws. Let’s discuss the plot. A royal whose parents die, is forced to flee. Everything goes bad at home and someone from home finds them and encourages the royal to return. The royal initially refuses but ends up in a fight with the main villain. That’s the plot to “The Lion King.” “Frozen” changes up the ending. It’s not the exact same movie, but the similarities are a little obvious. Also, I completely understand how Olaf appeals to kids, but as an adult seeing this movie for the first time, I was annoyed. The character doesn’t appeal to me.
In the end, I see why this movie was a smash hit, but it’s my least favorite of the Disney Revival movies I’ve seen. I enjoyed “Moana,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Big Hero 6” and “The Princess and the Frog” more.
Ranking: 3.5 stars out of 5.
While it appeals less to me than other Disney films of the current era, I can’t downgrade it too much because it’s objectively a good movie.