Sunday, March 16, 2014

Video review: "Frozen"

File the recent Academy Award Race for best animated film under “Most Predictable Event Ever.”
“Frozen” was easily the finest animated flick of 2013, not that the competition was all that keen. It’s a musical with probably the catchiest set of tunes to emerge from the House of Disney since “Beauty in the Beast.” (It also won the Oscar for Best Song, “Let It Go,” and easily could have earned one or two more nods in that category.)

Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) is the orphaned queen of Arendelle who harbors a terrible secret: she possesses magic powers that freeze anything she touches. After a terrible childhood accident, this knowledge has been stripped from the mind of her kid sister, Anna (Kristen Bell).

Elsa has dealt with her burden by shutting herself off from the world, while Anna is raring to get outside of their closed-off castle and have some fun. Following a tragic turn of events, Elsa flees into the frozen mountains. Anna follows to help, aided by a comely prince (Santino Fontana) and an unkempt woodsman (Jonathan Groff), both of whom have romantic aspirations.

Supplying the sprightly comic relief is Olaf, a tiny snowman created by Elsa’s magic who is ensorcelled by the notion of summer, apparently unaware that frozen water turns to puddles when it’s warm. He’s voiced by Josh Gad, who supplies a happy tune of his own.

A bewitching mix of light and darkness, “Frozen” is a fun movie with deeper themes roiling underneath the perky songs and fun action. This is the rare kiddie flick that parents not only will enjoy, but might actually turn on even after the children have gone to bed.

“Frozen” comes amply supplied with quality video extras, though you’ll have to pay more for the Blu-ray edition to get the best stuff. The DVD version comes only with “Get a Horse!”, the animated short that preceded the movie in theaters, and the music video of “Let It Go” in various languages.

Upgrade to the Blu-ray/DVD combo, and you add a comprehensive making-of documentary, a feature on translating Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” and four deleted scenes.



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