‘Frozen’ thaws the hearts of adults and children alike


By Karly Horn, John Carroll School, Bel Air, Md.

With the holiday season in my rear-view mirror, my one regret is that I didn’t see enough of this year’s holiday release films. Namely, the top box office hit of the season, “Frozen.” I simply could not let this animated movie-musical go unwatched before it left theaters, and I am glad I didn’t.

The story begins in the childhood of two princesses and sisters, Anna and Elsa. The sisters, once best friends, become estranged after older sister Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the head with her magical powers. Elsa has the ability to control ice and snow, and even makes it appear out of thin air. Anna’s memories of her sister’s power are removed for her own safety by a magical troll (don’t worry, I will come back to the trolls later).

In the subsequent years, the castle gates are closed to protect Elsa’s secret, and the King and Queen perish in a tragic accident at sea. On the day of Elsa’s coronation, things go horribly wrong when Anna is finally able to go out into the kingdom, and she wants to marry the first man she meets. This leads to a fight with her sister, and Elsa’s powers are exposed. Elsa flees to the mountains and sends the kingdom’s summer into a deep winter freeze, leaving Anna to chase after her and make some friends along the way.

All the voice actors in the film had a heavy musical theater background, so that each musical number was better than the next. Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna, certainly impressed me with her singing chops in songs like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” and “For the First Time in Forever.”

My favorite sequence by far was Elsa’s trek up the mountain and song, “Let it Go.” Voiced by Broadway veteran Idina Menzel, Elsa’s powerhouse number is as pleasing to the ear as it is to the eye and has become my new favorite “sing at the top of my lungs in the car” song.

The animation in the film takes the Disney magic to a whole new level. Though it is obvious what you are seeing is animation, the detail of the snow, the clothes and hair of the characters, and the scenery is a true testament to how far technology has come since the “Snow White” days. I often found myself marveling at the animation quality, and wanting to adopt the adorable baby reindeer, I think it’s those big animated eyes.

Not only did I find myself wanting to sing along with the characters, I was also laughing throughout the whole movie. The humor is cute and fun, reaching all ages. I enjoyed the hilariously awkward way that princess Anna approaches all situations, both in her line delivery and animated character”s body language, along with some great comedic musical numbers.

“Fixer Upper” is sung by a colony of the cutest trolls I have ever seen, in which they are trying to convince Anna that she should want to marry her new friend Kristoff, despite his many flaws. “In Summer,” sung by Josh Gad as the snowman who has come to life, a snowman imagines how great his life will be in summer, and doesn’t know what happens to snow when the sun comes out. Can it get much funnier than that?

The storyline itself is also nothing shy of brilliant in the messages that it sends and the audiences it is able to reach. Adults, teenagers, and children alike can find common ground in the humor and storyline. The two princesses learn the value of family, the importance of being yourself, and even the value of getting to know someone before you decide you want to marry them – a unique theme in contrast to past Disney princesses.

“Frozen” is funny, musically and visually captivating, and touts self-empowerment above all. I have added it to my list of the great Disney classics, and it is a must-watch for people of any age.