November 30, 2013

"No, why do you shut me out? Why do you shut the world out? Why are you so afraid of?"
Hearing the word "Disney" could just tickle our sense of sweet and magical things; the world filled with magical creatures, beautiful princes and princesses, and spectacular castles. Uncle Walt was giving the utmost imagination to every children and grown-ups all around the globe, delivering a very genuine message of that happiness came from various ways and commonly unexpected ones. Frozen here was Disney's 53rd animated feature since the very last Tangled and Wreck It Ralph. Directed and written by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (the first female director in Disney's animated feature team), Frozen was based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic "The Snow Queen", which was the last Disney movie shot in widescreen since 1959's Sleeping Beauty. I had HIGH expectation on this film, especially after seeing the fresh rating on RT and the very consideration of my fondness for Tangled and Wreck It Ralph. So, was my expectation paid of?

The story centered on Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), the two princesses of Scandinavian Kingdom of Arandelle. Elsa possessed an ability which can conjure ice within her fingertips (think about Midas touch but with crystal-ice and snow) and Anna was very fond of her. They were so close as sisters and they often played together; they built a snowman called Olaf (Josh Gad) and Elsa built a skatepark and snowy rides for Anna. Unfortunately, a tragedy occurred, as Elsa accidentally striked Anna on the head, causing Anna to lose any memories about the unexplained power Elsa possessed. Their parents, The King and The Queen, were afraid that people would find Elsa's gift harmful, so they closed the castle's gate and keep distance between Elsa and Anna and the world. But yet, another tragedy occurred as The King and The Queen were died from a shipwreck, leaving the two princesses to grow as orphans living behind the tall gate surrounding the palace. Long story short, as both princesses came to their late teens, Elsa was coronated as The Queen of Arandelle, but she was so afraid that people were gonna find out about her fast-growing ability. On the other hand, Anna was so excited that they finally opened the gate, that she would seek for a true love which then appeared in a form of Prince Hans of The Southern Isles (Santino Fontana). Deciding that they both were meant to be with each other and it was love they both possessed, Anna then asked Elsa's permission to get married with Prince Hans, at the same day she met him. Elsa refused, of course, but that only led to Anna's wrath and word-pouring moments. Elsa was trying to get away from Anna, but things were already too late as Anna accidentally pulled Elsa's handglove and you guess it right, Elsa was out of control; the power that was once hidden and conceal was now evident to every people of Arandelle. Elsa then fled to the Northern Mountain, turning everything along her path into an icy-cold snow. Feeling free, Elsa then discovered that her power was much more than she realised. She then built her own nordic castle and changed her appearance into a snow queen. Meanwhile in Arandelle, Anna was worried and guilty sick that she decided to come after her sister, to bring her home and to ask her to unfroze everything. Then began Elsa's journey into the deep perilous forest (no yellow brick involved) where she met Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), a grumpy anti-social ice block seller with his beloved reindeer Sven. And oh, living Olaf. The four of them then began their journey to bring back summer, but what they didn't know that things were much bigger than they expected ...

First thing first, I really need to bring up Lauren Macmullan's 5-minutes Disney 1930's classic of "Get A Horse" featuring Mickey (with the archive voice of our very own Uncle Walt), Minnie and Peg-Leg Pete. The contrast between B&W and 3D/CGI transition with glorious pop-out, Sherlock Jr.'s jump-off-the-screen and depth was unexcelled, leaving every children giggling and grown-ups gaping. Ok, back to the movie. Started off with daring backstory, the entire 108 minutes felt like a dream to me. The story and twists were predictable all right, but they were compelling, topped with balanced funny and emotional moments. I really love how they presented the plot with such flow and steady pace; trust me, figuring out Elsa & Anna was the most intriguing aspect and I really cherished it. I also love how they presented the conclusion by not wrapping up everything in speed, but more to tying up loose ends. Wonderful.

Classic Disney Princesses pinpoints to a mundane happiness and oftenly impossible happily-ever-after. And crybabies princesses leaning on handsome princes' shoulders; speaking of true-love. But here, they shed all the stereotypes by presenting us a solid sisterhood relationship between Elsa and Anna, with the least boy trouble involved; a crowd applause for that. But what truly missing from Frozen was the villain. Elsa was just tormented and troubled, but she never intended to be that-evil-queen, so yeah, it kinda lacked bites and real threats.

Let's talk about what the eyes think here. The visualization was completely magnificent, spectacular, astonishing, and remarkable, no words can describe it. The visualization of the characters were very much alive and believable, the tone of summer was breezy and the cold winter was warming in the heart, and that glittery and crystally castle of Elsa .... damn. The depth was beyond and the brightness was at its best scale. The 3D wasn't giving much impact, but it did help. But, the thing that made me really grateful for Pixar taking over Disney was that the mixture of both style; the daring classic Disney's beauty and the advancement of Pixar's animation technology. SUPER.

The scores were pretty much it, but the 8 original songs made by couple Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez were Broadway musical caliber, so beautiful it trembled my heart. My ultimate favorite was "Let It Go" sung by Broadway-experienced Idina Menzel as Elsa; "....Here I stand and here I'll stay .. the cold never bothered me anyway .." SUPERB

All the characters presented here were pretty much balanced in each and every way. Elsa was just tormented, troubled and alone, and Menzel really showed it through Elsa's commanding, soft and calculated voice; "Conceal it, don't feel it." Anna was daring, goofy and sweet and who would be better to voice-over her rather than Bell? Kristoff was charming and sweet and not too braggy. He was also funny when he pretended to talk to Sven. Hans was charming, cunning and witty. But, the one who really shone throughout the entire movie was the buck-toothed Olaf, a snowman who craved for summer without knowing the impact it had on him. Gad's voice on Olaf was highly laughable, very charming and innocent. So ehm Disney, Olaf's spin-off please?

Finally said, Frozen might be considered to be one of my favorite Disney's animation because boy it was so good. Perfect movie didn't exist, but this was somewhere near it. It was cool in the eyes, but warm in the heart. DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED. A MUST-WATCH THIS YEAR. FUCKING GOOD. OH GOD I AM OUT OF WORDS.

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