Monday, December 9, 2013

Movie Review: Frozen

03/17/14 Hello! After a friend brought to my attention several things I missed in this movie, unfortunately, I have to update my review . . . for the worse. Frozen just came out on DVD, so for anyone planning to buy this film, please read my updated review first! Added text in red.

Anna (pronounced AH-na) thinks Elsa is pretty cool.  After all, Elsa is her big sister, so of course she looks up to her. They do everything together, like, say, creating an indoor winter wonderland in the ballroom of their parent’s castle. You see, that is another thing that is really cool about Elsa. She has been born with a special magical power: she can make snow and ice appear with just a wave of her hand.
Of course, however “cool” (pun intended) this gift might be, it does have its drawbacks. Elsa must be careful lest she freezes anything she touches. Her power is also attached to her emotions, which means when she is upset or scared things can get chilly really quick. What’s worse, after Anna is accidently hurt by one of her frozen blasts, Elsa must learn to hide her power to protect both herself and everyone around her. Elsa soon shuts herself away from not only the kingdom of Arendelle she lives in, but from the one she is closest to—her little sister.
The warmth of Anna and Elsa’s relationship slowly grows cold over the years till it all but freezes. Elsa holds herself aloof from her sister for what she thinks is the good of both of them, but Anna doesn’t know or understand why and feels hurt. She loves her sister and yearns for the close relationship they once shared.
Then the fateful day arrives. Due to their parents’ tragic death, Elsa is the heir to the throne of Arendelle. When she comes of age, she will be crowned queen. The coronation day comes, and Elsa must meet the kingdom she has shut out all her life, for all of Arendelle turns out for the event. Elsa dreads facing them.
Anna, however, is very excited. For the first time in forever she will get to meet the people of Arendelle! Who knows, maybe she will even meet a handsome prince. Turns out, that is exactly what happens, and Anna is smitten with him. Prince Hans is the picture-perfect prince charming, and he and Anna hit it off so well together that they plan to get married that very day! They seek the new queen’s blessing, but Elsa will not give it. “You can’t marry someone you just met,” she wisely councils.
Anna disagrees, for she is sure she has found true love. Cued by this disagreement, Anna’s years of pent up hurt at her sister’s detachment pours out, and it is too much for Elsa to bear. Overwhelmed, she flees the castle, trying to get away before her emotions stir up the power she has tried to control. Alas, it is too late. In her frantic flight the very water around her freezes and Arendelle is trapped in a state of perpetual winter—in July.
All of Arendelle is frozen, and with the help of a rugged mountain man named Kristoff, his reindeer Sven, and an animate snowman named Olaf, Anna sets off on a desperate attempt to unthaw a kingdom . . . and a relationship with a sister she dearly loves.

Family friendliness: 9 6 out of 10
Language and Dialog: Very Clean
 The dialog is almost blissfully free of anything close to profanity. The only thing of note is when we hear the snowman Olaf say to Kristoff, “Oh, do me a favor, grab my butt (as his bottom half scurries around Kristoff presumably trying to reconnect with the rest of its body).” We hear Olaf say “butt” once or twice more. 
Violence: Mild
Anna and Kristoff fight off a pack of wolves. Our heroes also run from a snow monster (who is not all that scary), and a troupe of soldiers later combat the monster. Elsa is targeted by a couple of soldiers who have been ordered to kill her to return summer to Arendelle, and we see her use her icy power to protect herself. Elsa is again in danger in the climactic moment of the film. None of these scenes will present much of a problem even for your smallest viewers.
Sexual content: Very Clean  A Concern

A quick scene of high concern that I missed in theaters is when we see a male store owner say "Hi, family!" and wave in the direction of the in-store sauna--where we see several young adolescents in towels. The thing of concern, though, is that there is no grown female in the sauna, as you would expect if the store keeper had a wife. Instead, we see a grown man who appears bare-chested and "well-groomed". Was this the store keeper's brother, perhaps, or something much, much worse?
We also hear in one of this movie's songs a band of trolls singing about Kristoff:

"So he’s a bit of a fixer-upper, so he’s got a few flaws
Like his peculiar brain-dear, his thing with the reindeer
That’s a little outside of nature’s laws"

I know it needed to rhyme, but really?

Lastly, In the credits we see Elsa's "snow monster" dancing around in a tiara, with a grin on its face. (I did not stick around long enough in the theater to see this, but Plugged In reviewer Paul Asay mentions the scene in his review). I will let you decide if this means anything.
Elsa’s “ice-palace” dress made me the slightest bit uncomfortable. It is not immodest but seems a little snugger than it needed to be. We see Anna and a main character kiss, and also, Anna and Prince Hans fall into a row boat (with Anna on top of Hans) and awkwardly untangle themselves.
Other negatives
Elsa sings a song that smatters of independence and defiance ("no right, no wrong, no rules for me," she sings), but we do not see this attitude portrayed in a positive light.
We see some magic in this movie also (as in most Disney movies). The main premise to Frozen is the magical freezing power Elsa has, of course. This power, however, is not something she tried to get or develop. She was born with it. We do hear someone whisper “sorcery” when they see her power at work, but I do not see it as such. In a way, the freezing power is just an extension of her feelings: when she is fearful or upset, ice and snow gather; when she shows love, the ice and snow melts away. The “magic” we see here seems to be almost purely analogical—not in its form that is best avoided.
Frozen is the latest Disney princess movie. That means we meet a charming, beautiful princess (two of them in this case, actually), a dashingly handsome prince, an evil villain, and a situation that only a kiss of true love can fix, right?
Well, actually the plot line is pretty close to that norm, but there is one twist to Frozen that gives it so much more than the typical “happily ever after” ending. Yes, there is an act of true love needed to save the princess, but this is fulfilled not by the kiss of a handsome prince, but something more meaningful: the sacrificial love of a sister. Frozen has the castle, the princess and prince, and the two main characters falling in love, but at its heart Frozen is the story of two sisters who care deeply for each other. Now that was a pleasant surprise.

Now for the unpleasant surprise. Frozen is being heralded by liberal reviewers as the "most progressive Disney film ever made." You can guess what that means as far as family-friendliness goes. Some even try to draw a parallel between Elsa and the revealing of her power and a homosexual "coming out." Very sad.
Frozen will keep you engaged, and the humor it employs had even me laughing much of the time--but after a couple of asides that seem to hint at things like homosexuality and bestiality, I find it a lot less funny. :0( Olaf the snowman is absolutely hilarious, and anyone who owns a pet will understand the comical relationship between Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. (At least I thought they would, till I learned that this relationship goes "beyond" the laws of nature) I am pretty sure Frozen ranks among the funniest movies Disney has ever made. Watch the video below to see what I am talking about:
For anyone who loves Disney princess movies, Frozen is a must have to add to your collection. Ehhh, not so sure now. If you think I am making a whole lot out of nothing, than perhaps you will still enjoy this movie. If you are like me and can't stand the unhealthy undertones of secular movies, your conscience will have a few things to sort out before you decide to enjoy this movie--or even watch it, for that matter.
Overall rating: 4 3 out of 5 stars


  1. I loved the movie, but you didn't review the very best part ... the MUSIC!!! How I love Idina Menzel, and Kristin Bell was wonderful on her songs, too. Definitely made it a must-see for me, and maybe even a must-see-again.

  2. You are exactly right, Donna, the songs are pretty cool too (though musicals aren't my thing). Don't forget Olaf's song: "Winter is a good time to stay in an cuddle, but put me in summer and I'll be a (looks at puddle) . . . happy snowman!" LOL!

  3. Interesting - I've wondered a little about this movie. :) Too bad the trailer doesn't include any of the people though.

  4. Thanks for a very well done review, that covers the things that concern me in a kid's movie. My little one has never been to a movie, and perhaps if there is a good one out, we might be able to take her to one sometime!

  5. Kari, here is a link to a trailer with people in it ;0): (copy it into your browser). Not sure what your movie preferences are, but I think you would enjoy it!

    Anna, glad the review was beneficial! Frozen is about as family friendly as you are going to get in a Hollywood movie these days. I am going to go out on a limb and bet your little princess would like it, but if you are unsure, maybe it would be best to wait till it comes out on DVD and then preview it. :0)

  6. I like that trailer. :) Seems like a nice movie.

  7. Come to think of it - there really is quite a bit of inappropriate content on this movie. :(

  8. Hi Kari! You ended up watching it, then? :0/

  9. Yes, and I liked it at the time. I did notice some of these things pointed out while I was watching it (not all of them, though), but tried to ignore them. The songs were pretty catchy. It was a very sentimental movie, which appealed to me, but it's interesting how secular movies tend to sneak in some sinful stuff with it. :(

  10. I'll confess I watched this movie in bed and must have dozed here and there because I did not see the clip above! Having said that...

    The Bible tells us, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." - Philippians 4:8

    Each will have to determine in his own heart whether something is appropriate for them or their family and those things will probably change over the years. There have been many secular movies that I found great truths and lightbulb moments in. If we are prone to looking for truth, the noble, the right, etc, then we are more apt to like and approve of more things. If we are prone to going thru everything with a fine-toothed comb looking for the leaven of sin, we are going to find it. (Even in "religious" movies/cartoons!)

    I'm not saying either is right or best. I'm just saying that how you choose to look at or search for things in these movies is going to make you think differently about it. Non-Christians often look at the story of David and Jonathan and see a homosexual relationship there. They read of Jesus and Mary of Magdalene and see an inappropriate relationship there. Or they hear of the love between Jesus and John, the disciple and see an inappropriate relationship there. I don't know that we (necessarily) need to apply the same thinking to a cartoon. Maybe those things were intended as an agenda but maybe they were not. Maybe they were intended as some humor only more mature audiences members would catch to make it seem there was an "inside joke". Or maybe only those with an agenda see these things. ??

    I appreciate you pointing them out and I know *I* won't buy it.

  11. Great comment, anonymous! I completely agree. I am not sure if my family will end up seeing this movie again or not.