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Frozen: Disney tries something different

By Kristen Howell
On February 19, 2014

For someone who grew up with the golden age of Disney at my fingertips, each in a wonderfully designed VHS box, I’m extremely skeptical of each and every new Disney movie that finds its way onto the big screen.

It took this same, standard approach as I dragged myself over to the theatre to see Frozen. How dare they add another Disney princess to the list? It should have stopped after Mulan. So with extreme distaste, I entered the movie theatre… and was delighted!

Frozen begins with young princesses Anna and Elsa playing in the castle. Elsa, who has been cursed with the ability to turn anything and everything to ice, creates a blizzard in an empty hall and Anna and Elsa enjoy the snow gleefully. However, things take a turn for the worst when Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the head with her ice. Anna and Elsa’s parents rush them to the trolls who are able to heal Anna, but decide for everyone’s safety that Elsa’s powers should be a secret. Elsa is confined to an empty room to try to control her powers while Anna grows up outside the closed doors, wondering why Elsa won’t come out to play.

Fast forward a few years—Anna is 18 and Elsa is 21. Their parents have died in a short sequence showing their boat being encapsulated by waves. Elsa, now 21 is set to take over the thrown and it’s coronation day. The doors that were closed to conceal Elsa’s powers have been opened and Elsa faces the challenge of a lifetime: hiding her powers from the outside world.

An excited and clumsy Anna prances around in utter ecstasy that the doors will be open. Due to a klutzy moment, Anna meets Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, who is in town for Elsa’s coronation. Throughout the course of a musical number, they fall in love and decide to get married. They announce their impending nuptials to Elsa, requesting her blessing. Elsa declares that Anna “can’t marry someone she just met” which leads to a fight. Elsa’s fury turns to the accidental use of her freezing powers. She puts the whole town in the form of an eternal winter and runs away.

Anna, in hopes of bringing Elsa back and bringing back the summer embarks on a journey to find her. Eventually joined by Kristoff, a rugged mountain man who is unfortunately in the business, and his reindeer Sven, Anna finds her sister. Of course, along the way, they encounter the lovable snowman Olaf who basically provides all of the comical relief for the rest of the movie.

Throughout the series of events that follow, Anna learns about true love, friendship and the value of family in a movie that breaks out of the princess meets prince, princess marries prince, princess lives happily ever-after protocol in a way that almost mocks the Disney franchise as a whole.

The movie features beautiful artwork and lighting, vibrant voices of Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel who play Anna and Elsa respectively, and a plot that includes twists that don’t fall into the typical mold. I welcome the fresh additions of Anna and Elsa into the mix of Disney Princesses. They are a fearless and fierce breath of fresh air for Disney lovers young and old.

Frozen will be released for purchase by digital download on February 25 and on DVD/Blu-ray on March 18.

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