Over the many years since the inception of Walt Disney Pictures, we’ve been treated to a number of classic films that have stood the test of time. Movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and numerous others have wound their way deep into the hearts of kids and adults alike. Disney has made their fair share of mistakes (sorry to remind you of all those straight-to-video sequels), but lately they’ve been getting back on their A-game. Recently we’ve been treated to Frozen, an animated film for the ages that is, quite simply, a masterpiece, and the best movie Disney has ever done.
Right out of the starting gate, Frozen gets you emotionally involved with the stars of the film, princesses Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and from there it never ceases to pull on your heartstrings. The stage for the film is set in beautiful and eloquent fashion as the viewer learns why Elsa must control and hide her magical powers of ice and thus why Elsa is a recluse even to her own sister, shutting the world out so she won’t be rejected… or dangerous. Elsa can’t keep her powers hidden forever, though, and thus ensues a quest not only to find and help a runaway Elsa, but also to discover what true love looks like.
What was so uniquely beautiful about Frozen is that it is a movie about love, and not in the way culture tends to define it. Our world in general is so obsessed with sex, emotionalism, and facades that we have all but lost what love truly is. Frozen actually gets it right when the magic snowman Olaf says that love is putting someone else’s needs above your own, and the whole movie is essentially an illustration of that idea. All of the main characters are flawed (Anna is impulsive, Elsa is fearful and reclusive, and Kristoff is ungracious and self-serving), which not only makes them all relatable, but also makes this theme of true love come out all the stronger. By the end of the film, everyone learns valuable lessons about love and changes for the better because they are all loved sacrificially by others, which in turn challenges us as the viewers to give ourselves away for people in our own lives.
There are positively mountains of other good aspects to the film as well. The music is fun, strongly performed, and weaves seamlessly into the storytelling. The animation is fantastic, dealing with both the icy environment and the expressions of the characters with expertise. Olaf brings great comic relief both visually and with his hilarious dialogue, and he proves to be an incredibly endearing character in many other ways as well. More could be discussed, but the point is that this movie simply does no wrong, at least as far as I could tell.
When Anna and her companions arrive at Elsa’s stunning, icy castle, Kristoff (a connoisseur of ice, as it were) is so overtaken that he starts choking up, to which Anna says, “I won’t judge.” I was choking back a (manly) tear or two towards the end of this movie, and if you’ve seen it, I’m sure you won’t judge either. Frozen is cute, compelling, fun, meaningful, and simply excellent in every way. This masterpiece is an eloquent expression of what love truly is- sacrificially giving yourself away to people for their benefit no matter the cost, and for that and for the sheer quality of every single aspect of this film, it is quite simply the best thing Disney has ever produced.