“Frozen” thaws heart of cynical staffer

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Olivia Williams, Reporter

Last Saturday, I went into the movie theater with a bucket of popcorn, a medium Diet Coke, and very low expectations.

Over the past few years, Disney Princess films have been noticeably formulaic. Some of the common traits in these beloved children’s films include an adventurous but repressed, princess, an “unlikely” romance between the male and female protagonists, talking inanimate objects, and very expressive animal companions. Adults and children alike have been perfectly satisfied with this unoriginal plot, so I expected “Frozen” to be typically uneventful and ordinary.

However, I quickly discovered that this film was anything but typical.

The vocal talents of Kristen Bell (Princess Anna) and Idina Menzel (Queen Elsa) were astounding. When I first found out that this film would be a musical, I thought that the songs would be forced and redundant. I was pleasantly surprised by the catchy, emotionally astute musical numbers: the song “Let it Go,” a solo performed by Menzel, was particularly gratifying.

Bell’s portrayal of the adorable Princess Anna was easily relatable and not a nuisance in the slightest. Queen Elsa was a complex character, vaguely reminiscent of Menzel’s former role as Elphaba in the Broadway musical “Wicked”. Jonathan Groff (Christoff) was cute and funny in his role. The thing that impressed me the most, though, was the fact that the obligatory animal/inanimate object characters were not overbearing, but endearing. The reindeer, Sven, and the snowman, Olaf, were comical without being cloying.

The storyline of the film is intriguing and unexpected. It tells the story of the sisters Princess Anna and recently crowned Queen Elsa. Elsa has a secret power: she can create ice and snow. However, after an incident where Anna becomes injured because of this ability, Anna’s memories are erased and Elsa is isolated from everyone, left to hope that she can learn to control her power. Years later, when they are grown, Elsa’s coronation day had finally arrived. After being quarantined for so long, Anna is ecstatic at the thought of social interaction. Elsa, however, is terrified of her powers resurfacing and everyone finding out her secret. This whole happenstance leads to adventure, chaos, and the realization that a sisterly bond is one of the strongest there is.

I left the movie theater that day feeling light-hearted and delighted. Overall, the movie was funny, heartwarming, and one of the best things Disney has come up with in a long time.