I’m really good at reviewing bad movies. They’re fun to review because they give me a chance to express the venom that builds up in me as I watch a movie that assaults my intelligence or my values. I have the opposite problem with good movies. All that I can think of as I watch them is “This is a really, really good. This is a really good movie.”
Disney’s Frozen (which has been out for more than a month now, showing how often I go to movies) is a really good movie. More than that, it’s a really, really good movie. There, I’ve said it. Now let me try to drill down a bit.
Plot? The plot is very imaginative. It’s loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, the story of a boy who gets an ice shard in his heart and is then rescued by a girl who was his childhood friend. In Frozen, two princesses grow up in a sunny Nordic kingdom. What the younger princess, Anna, doesn’t know is that her older sister, Elsa, has in her hands the power to create snow, frost, and ice. Because the young Elsa doesn’t know how to wield the power, her loving parents make the decision to close up the palace and lock her away from everyone in order to protect Elsa from herself, and everyone else from Elsa.
When the parents die and Elsa eventually becomes queen, the palace is opened for the first time in years for the coronation. Anna meets a charming prince, Elsa objects to their planned engagement, and all heck breaks loose. Without giving too much away, a handsome, but awkward, young ice cutter and his lovable reindeer eventually figure in the plot too. The ending is imaginative, unexpected, and delightful, and I can’t tell you any more in case I ruin it.
Visual quality? Gorgeous. This movie is a visual treat. In a lot of computer animated movies, the animators become obsessively focused on motion — high-speed motion — which just tends to make me dizzy. This movie, however, gave the animators the opportunity to play with fractals and snow storms, and wind, and light. I just sat back in my theater seat drinking in the beauty. Did I say it was gorgeous? Let me just repeat that: gorgeous. (There was also a clever visual reference that wonderful moment in Cinderella when the Fairy Godmother waves her wand, and Cinderella’s rags change into a sparkling silver gown.)
Music? Pretty darn good. My daughter has a semi-photographic memory for melodies and has been singing the songs all evening — and it hasn’t driven me nuts. One song, sung by a goofy sidekick, is especially strange, whimsical, and clever but, again, I can’t tell you about it, because I’d be giving away one of the movie’s clever and delightful surprises.
Moral? Just nice. It’s all about love, of course, but it’s not mixed in with any horrible political correctness. If anything (and I’m sure the movie’s makers didn’t mean to do this) the movie’s plot was a reminder that global cooling is much less pleasant than global warming. Oh, and it also has a good message about . . . . Wait. I can’t tell you that either without giving away an essential plot element.
Message: I care. Oh, never mind. That was George Bush, Sr.’s message. My message is: If you get the chance, see this movie. It’s truly a delight — and I would tell you more but for the fact that giving away anything is really giving away everything in this intelligent, lovely movie. And if it’s already left the theaters near your home, definitely rent the DVD — preferably in Blu-Ray so you get the full effect of the beautiful visuals.