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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cine Beaverhausen: Frozen

Disney's Frozen is their animated feature version of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, "The Snow Queen." With music, of course, and plenty of cute, cute, cute. As both titles might imply, get ready for a lot of snow and ice. Just the kind you might have to trudge through to get to theaters where it has returned since winning the Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song Oscars (for "Let It Go"). It is also now available at Amazon Instant Video.

I have to admit that, while the CGI animation is impressive, I miss the hand-drawn, detailed animated work of the classic Disney features like Snow White and Pinocchio. I've also noticed that the cutesy factor of the characters' faces has increased throughout the decades so that now they positively look like Keane paintings from the '60s.

But, hey, what's not to like in the long run? Frozen spins an engrossing yarn, it's about empowered princesses (voiced by Kristen Bell (the good sister) and Idina Menzel (the bad sister)) with a couple of hunky boyfriends and a snugly, anthropomorphic snowman and reindeer thrown in for good measure. Children will love it. So will parents. And, surely, everyone whose slogged through this winter's (and into-the-spring's) Polar Vortex.

Scripted by Jennifer Lee with direction by Chris Buck and Ms Lee), what I glibly refer to as the "bad sister" is actually what I believe is one of the most complex characters in animated films. Menzel's Elsa, born with the magical power to create snow and ice, lives as a recluse after having almost killed her sister, Anna, with her wayward magic. She fears becoming a monster and, boy, do I know how that is. Sometimes, when I unleash my inner diva, it takes on a life all its own! Of course, I think I could get used to living all alone in a fairy-tale palace. The message of this film, in any case, seems to echo my guru, Madonna's wisdom: "You're Frozen/When your heart's not open."

Right-wing extremist pseudo-Christians said this film will turn your kids gay. Because it's a "fairy" tale? Did Disney turn me gay? (Maybe it did!) Was it Snow White? Cinderella? Sleeping Beauty? Good thing they didn't actually title the film "The Snow Queen"!

Best enjoyed, even in the summer with the a/c up high for a kind of SenSurround effect, with a cup of hot cocoa ~ or an Irish coffee, depending on who you are ~ this box-office hit is, in the end, I think, a Disney classic. Now, brrr! Hand me my winter-weight terrycloth robe. The palace is cold.

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