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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 11, 2013

Frozen Review: Visually Delightful Animated Musical

“FROZEN” is the new Disney animated movie that eased out “Hunger Games 2” in the U.S. box office chart. It is a loose adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”, offering a talking Snowman for comic relief that kid viewers will surely love. Our own granddaughter finds him so funny.

The story is about two sisters, the blonde Elsa and the red-haired Anna, daughters of the King of Arendelle. Elsa has the power to create snow and she can makes things she touches turn into ice. As children, she accidentally injures her younger sister, who almost turned into ice. They were then separated from each other and Elsa is exiled into her room as she cannot control her gift, which for her, is more of a curse.

Her deadly power is revealed at her coronation as queen and she’s called a sorcerer. She flees into the North Mountain in panic, with their kingdom experiencing eternal winter. Anna decides to go look for her to undo this frozen spell. Along the way, she befriends a hunky ice-harvester, Kristoff, and his reindeer Sven. They also meet the talking Snowman named Olaf who dreams of experiencing summer.

As usual with Disney animation flicks, this fast-paced movie is a visual delight: colorful, splashy and beautifully rendered. Take note that although there is a leading man here, the main relationship focuses on that of the two sisters. In fact, the “true love kiss”, needed from a Prince Charming to revive a character who’s thought to be dead, is given a fresh new twist here.

The heart of the film beats in the sisterly love between Elsa and Anna. Since Elsa can’t control her magical powers, she chooses to distance herself from Anna because she might hurt her again unintentionally. When she flees their palace, Anna does everything to track her down.

Take note that “Frozen” also has no prominent female villain such an Evil Witch like Ursula or a Wicked Stepmom. The bad guy here is another prince, who initially professes love but turns out to have other intentions.
The movie also offers several Broadway-inspired song-and-dance numbers, with 8 new songs by Christophe Beck and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, with the actors who voiced the various parts (Idina Menzel as Elsa, Kristen Bell as Anna) doing them quite well. But the sprightly song in the end credits, “Let It Go”, is sung by pop star Demi Lovato. If this would be a real big hit, we won’t be surprised if it’s later resurrected live on Broadway, like “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King”.