Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Alan Tudyk, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad
Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
[PG] some action and mild rude humor
"Let It Go" Multi-Language Mix
To commemorate the Oscar nomination of Frozen's "Let It Go" for Best Original Song, Disney has pieced together an awesome compilation that features the show-stopping anthem in 25 different languages!
Contributed by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for RadioFree.com
September 27, 2013
When Disney released the debut teaser for Frozen, fans were greeted by a two-minute scene of a canine-esque reindeer and a squawking snowman getting into shenanigans over the latter's carrot nose. Without a single trace of the film's story and none of the human characters in sight, the trailer played more like an animation demo reel than a bona fide feature that was supposed to follow in the footsteps of 2010's Tangled. It also suggested that the movie was nothing more than the wacky antics of a pack of sidekicks--a job that is, frankly, already taken by the Ice Age franchise. Fortunately, at a behind-the-scenes presentation hosted at Walt Disney Animation Studios, it was revealed that Frozen had far more substance beyond that first impression.
Loosely based on the fairy tale The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen tells the story of two sisters born into the royal family of Arendelle, Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell). At an early age, Elsa discovers that she has magical powers over snow and ice, but goes to great lengths to suppress her talents after a childhood accident nearly results in grave consequences for Anna. When an incident provokes her powers as an adult and her secret is revealed, Elsa exiles herself to protect others, only to doom Arendelle to perpetual winter. Anna, convinced that her sister is not the monster the citizens of the land believe her to be, journeys through frigid expanses and braves extreme conditions to find Elsa and free the kingdom from her icy grasp.
The relationship between sisters is a dynamic that hasn't been abundantly explored in Disney's legacy of fairy tales, and when it has, it's been in the context of familial villainy (such as the evil stepsisters in Cinderella) or a throwaway footnote (such as Ariel's sextet of siblings in The Little Mermaid). Frozen represents an opportunity to feature that relationship with a rich narrative in a way that hasn't been done before. Elsa's motivations also throw some dramatic complexity into the mix--at times, she fills the role of antagonist, even though Arendelle's troubles are partially born of her altruistic desire to safeguard loved ones from herself.
When asked why this unique aspect of Frozen was completely left out of its promotion, co-directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee chalked it up to the sheer scope of the film. "It's a tough movie to market, there's no doubt," Buck admitted. "There's a lot in here, and it's hard to sort of pigeonhole it to just one thing."
With so many elements involved, the filmmakers were hoping to ease potential viewers into the story. "It's complex and it has high stakes, and we just wanted to make sure that you don't watch it and go, 'I don't even know what that's about.' So we're kind of doing it in phases," Lee explained. That game plan played out with subsequent trailers, which were far more adept at giving audiences a well-rounded glimpse into Frozen's true nature. The international trailer, packed with action sequences, gave the best impression of the movie, specifically laying out Elsa's struggles and Anna's quest to redeem her sister. The final domestic trailer also highlighted Anna and Elsa's relationship, though that plot point was framed by the more comical elements of the film.
According to Lee, those moments of comedy were also able to thematically reinforce the bond between Anna and Elsa--specifically, the character of Olaf, the aforementioned sidekick snowman. "There's something about him, like he's this little embodiment of the love of those two girls that they lose, and you're hoping they get back," the director explained. "And so he's funny and witty, but there's a presence about him that we think--even when the girls are not together onscreen--ties them together that we love."
Indeed, Olaf is a creation of Elsa's that harkens back to her childhood with Anna. But acknowledging the threat that such a character could distract from the central story or steal the show entirely, Buck pointed out that Olaf was used in a very deliberate fashion: "He's there to interject a little bit of levity to the scene if, sometimes, it gets too heavy...But we were very careful that he wouldn't just take over the story."
Ultimately, Frozen is armed with many of the traditional elements of Disney fairy tales that made Tangled so successful. And from the footage and conceptual artwork we were able to preview, fans should be pleased with the 53rd film in the studio's canon of animated features, despite any misgivings the early trailers may have imparted. With its dazzling visuals, magical overtones, and the rare spin of two female leads, this adventure should have little trouble in winning over its fair share of supporters.
Frozen comes to theaters everywhere on November 27, 2013.
Demi Lovato, "Let It Go"
Demi Lovato sings the end-credits version of the Frozen song "Let It Go," which is performed in the movie by Idina Menzel as Elsa the Snow Queen.
About the Movie (studio synopsis)
Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey--teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven--to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.