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FROZEN Movie Review: New on Blu-ray and DVD

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FROZEN proved a perfectly sweet Disney treat for the holidays, and now it arrives on Blu-ray and DVD March 18 to enjoy at home for the first time or a relive the magic.

Not much remains of the “The Snow Queen” in FROZEN, Disney’s newest animated feature, which took its inspiration from the classic Hans Christian Andersen story.

As with Disney’s Rapunzel reboot TANGLED, “The Snow Queen” is a jumping-off point for FROZEN: a modern take on the fairytale of a young girl’s quest to save a loved one from the icy clutches of the powerful Queen. It still tells the story of a brave girl and her rescue mission, but this quest seeks to reunite two estranged sisters and becomes a tale of perseverance, bravery, and familial love. The new direction was clearly a good move as the film satisfies on every level; it’s beautifully animated with a cast of memorable characters, soaring original songs, and a story that will appeal to both children and the adults buying their tickets.

FROZEN could easily serve as an origin story for Andersen’s ‘Snow Queen.’ When we first meet the Princess Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel), who will eventually become the Snow Queen, she is still a child. Her parents, the King and Queen of Arendelle, are carefully protecting their kingdom from finding out their daughter’s secret: she has been born with the power to create and control snow and ice at will. Their fear that Elsa’s powers will grow beyond her control leaves her terrified and guarded-especially following an accident she causes involving her younger sister, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell). Years later, after being crowned Queen, Elsa’s powers are triggered during her coronation celebration. They emerge and are even more powerful due to her years-long efforts to suppress them. An eternal winter falls upon the kingdom driving Queen Elsa into seclusion and Princess Anna to find and protect her sister from Arendelle’s angry and fearful subjects.

Anna proves a funny and brave heroine-charging into a blizzard and up a mountain on her own to rescue Elsa from her own self-destructive tendencies. Along the way she meets an unlikely hero and companion, Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff), who is an expert on seclusion from people - his closest friend is his reindeer, Sven. Soon after, a magical snowman named Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad) joins the group and the stage is set for Anna to prove her love for her sister by saving both her, and their kingdom.

The Disney animation team worked overtime on FROZEN, and it shows in every frame: the beautiful, snow-drenched landscapes and imposing ice structures immediately recall the slopes of Norway, where animators traveled to study the movement and behavior of snow and ice. Idina Menzel’s performance is everything you’d expect from the Tony Award winner: her voice powers through the lovingly constructed original songs from Robert Lopez and wife Kristen-Anderson Lopez (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, In Transit). Kristen Bell shows off her considerable singing chops as Anna, and the actresses’ natural comedic talents shine through to create one of the most relatable and interesting Disney heroines of the past decade. Josh Gad’s snowman Olaf is the type of comedic relief one expects in a film like this, but he manages to bring across a fresh and unforced humor in unexpected places, adding to the story rather than distracting from it.

The charms of the film will entertain and delight children, and the moral that fear is our greatest enemy-only overcome through the strength drawn from our friends and family-will resonate with parents.

Kristen Bell on Playing Disney Princess: “I Demanded My Character Be Funny”
Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel on Favorite Disney Princesses and Villains (Video)
'Frozen' Directors on DVD Extras & Sequel
Missing Footage Found: CineMovie's Audition Tape for FROZEN

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