By Meagan Winker, Staff Reporter
At the end of 2013, Disney’s newest movie, Frozen hit the theaters around the same time snow first began to fall across the country and it drew in many University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) students, myself included.
In this animated Disney film, two sisters, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) are kept apart for fear Elsa might not be able to control her ice powers. The two are only reunited when Elsa is of age to be crowned Queen of their kingdom Arendelle. Everything falls apart during Elsa’s coronation after Anna introduces Prince Hans (voiced by Santino Fontana) and the new queen ends up fleeing from Arendelle, but not before she sets off a chain reaction that freezes the entire kingdom. Anna teams up with a snowman named Olaf (voiced by the hilarious Josh Gad), ice seller Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven to bring Elsa back and end the eternal winter she’s accidentally set upon the land.
The movie has been winning awards left and right, snagging a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film and most recently winning the 41st Annie Award for the same category.
But does that mean it lives up to the hype? After watching the film over Winter Break, I have to say I think it does. The movie itself had a couple of surprises that have not been seen before in previous Disney movies, particularly the brilliant climactic twist at the end, a refreshing change which didn’t lead to the typical message of “true love” conquers all offered in most Disney movies. I won’t spoil the ending but I will say that it was clever and well executed and it portrayed a great message.
Frozen also has a beautiful soundtrack that fits right in with our current snow-blanketed campus. I’ve heard it playing many times as I walk through my residence hall or the snack bar. I even caught the tail end of a song issuing from a student’s laptop at dinner in the South Dining Hall. Perhaps the most popular song on the motion picture soundtrack is Menzel’s version of “Let It Go,” which Elsa sings after running away from her kingdom. Other popular songs are “Love Is An Open Door” and “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” The soundtrack is currently the 5th most popular album on iTunes.
The animation was visually stunning as well. If I had one criticism of the movie, it was that the pacing at the start of the film felt a little fast. Elsa’s departure from Arendelle seemed to happen in the blink of an eye, albeit to catchy musical montages. Overall, Frozen is a movie that is worth checking out, even if you are not a huge Disney fan. If you missed the chance to see it in theaters, don’t worry. Frozen comes out on DVD on March 18, 2014.