From less than stellar summer sequels to bizarre recent releases like Free Birds, it's been a while since Hollywood has delivered a memorable movie experience the entire family can enjoy. This winter, though, Disney has finally hit the mark with its newest animated adventure, Frozen.
Frozen follows the story of two sisters — princesses, in true Disney fashion — who must save their kingdom from an icy eternal winter. The film, which is garnering positive reviews from girls, boys, adults, and critics alike, isn't perfect by any means, but it is a feel-good movie with plenty of humor and a whole lot of heart. Here's why Frozen is a film worth seeing, and one destined to become a Disney classic.
1. Strong Female Heroines
Disney isn't known for creating strong female leads; past princesses have tended to be damsels in distress. But sisters Elsa and Anna, princesses who must save their mythical kingdom of Arandelle from an icy eternal winter, are the heroines of their own story. Sure, there are male suitors (and even a dashing prince), but it is the sisters' complex female relationship — not a romantic entanglement — that drives the plot and engages audiences.
2. An Impressive Soundtrack
There are nine original songs in Frozen. Some are catchy and upbeat, others are hauntingly beautiful, all make the movie's soundtrack one of Disney's best in a long, long time. One note: skip Demi Lovato's cover of "Let It Go." It's tolerable, but doesn't compare to the version performed by Idina Menzel (the actress who voices Elsa) in the film.
3. Beautiful Scenery
Animation has come a long way in recent years, and in Frozen, Disney has taken full advantage of all the modern technology at its disposal. When Elsa inadvertently freezes the kingdom with magical powers beyond her control, the icy winter scene that unfolds is breathtaking. The added expense to see a film in 3D is often unnecessary, but in this case, worth every penny.
4. The Snowman Olaf
Once you see Frozen, you will understand the hype about "The Snowman." Olaf makes his debut about halfway through the film, providing much-needed comic relief after a somewhat dark first half. Olaf is funny in a lighthearted way, and his good nature and eternal optimism brighten the story immeasurably. He also utters the best line of the movie, that "some people are worth melting for."
5. An Entertaining Story and a Positive Message
Let's be honest, Frozen isn't the best film ever made. The story — a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen — has its flaws, and Elsa and Anna are drawn as the same doe-eyed girls with tiny waists that we've been seeing for years. And Disney's ultimate goal is, after all, merchandising, and in Frozen they've hit a home run with two princesses for the price of one.
Still, the story of the journey the two sisters take is one that has clearly resonated with audiences. The sidekicks the princesses meet along the way are humorous enough to make us laugh, and the message at the end — that love (and not just romantic love) can conquer all — is one we can never hear too many times. After a year of weak film offerings for families, Frozen is the one that will finally melt your heart.