Sunday, December 8, 2013


Frozen is an animated musical from Disney which is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen. Really, really loosely. The two stories do not even share any characters as far as I can tell.

Regardless, the story that Disney has come up with is a good one. Really good. The screenwriter, Jennifer Lee, also wrote Wreck It Ralph, which ended up number four on my 2012 list. Briefly, the plot centers on two princess-sisters, Anna and Elsa. As children they are close friends and playmates, but Elsa's magical gift/curse causes their parents to separate them.

Frozen succeeds for three reasons: the screenplay, the visuals, and the performances of the two leads. I saw it in 3D, and recommend the experience. Animation does 3D better than live-action to start with, and the 3D in this movie is particularly good. The two leads are Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell. You might know Menzel as the original Elphaba in Wicked, for which she won a Tony. She also had a good part in Enchanted. Kristen Bell is best known for Veronica Mars, but has a musical theater degree and has been on Broadway twice. Both of them are marvelous in this movie.

The movie is at times whimsical and fun, and at times heartbreakingly sad (the 40-ish mother to my right cried several times). It is a kid's movie, obviously, but one that adults should enjoy as well. As long as you are not categorically opposed to musicals, and your heart isn't frozen, I think you will like this movie.

1. Gravity
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
3. Much Ado About Nothing
4. Frozen
5. Now You See Me
6. The World's End
7. Ender's Game
8. Despicable Me 2
9. Star Trek: Into Darkness
10. Thor: The Dark World
11. Oblivion
12. Pacific Rim
13. Rush
14. Iron Man 3
15. Kick Ass 2
16. Man of Steel
17. Jack the Giant Slayer
18. Beautiful Creatures
19. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
20. The Family
21. RIPD
22. Oz the Great and Powerful
23. Epic
24. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
25. The Wolverine
26. Elysium
27. Monsters University
28. Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters
29. The Grandmaster
30. Machete Kills
31. The Great Gatsby
32. The Lone Ranger
33. This is the End

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