This Week In Home Entertainment: Frozen, American Hustle And More
Frozen Blu-rayYou’d think Disney might have exhausted the fairytale canon for princess stories at this point, but with Frozen, the famous animation company has pulled together a zinger of a story with plenty of emotional payoff, helped along by a story from Hans Christian Anderson and artwork by Kay Nielson.
Frozen is loosely based on the Anderson story "The Snow Queen," but in Disney’s version, two sisters are important to the tale. Princesses Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) are fast friends as youngsters but grow apart after Elsa’s magical abilities get out of hand. Years later, Elsa is set to ascend to the throne when her power—magic that allows her to manipulate the weather—swirls out of control once more. She hides out in the mountains, leaving it up to Anna to chase after her and bring her home.
It sounds like a story fraught with ice and other terrors, but the coming-of-age narrative about two very different sisters is a great adventure story, sprinkled with musical numbers that will charm young audiences and leave them singing instant classics like "Would you Like to Build a Snowman" and the Oscar-winning emotive ballad "Let it Go." Add in an amusing snowman sidekick named Olaf (Josh Gad), a magical snow creature who wants nothing more than to bask in the sun during spring, a handsome prince (Santino Fontana) and a handsome pauper (Jonathan Groff), and we have all of the components necessary to create a Disney instant classic.
In that way, Frozen largely succeeds, creating a movie that is gorgeous, a story that is compelling and a set of musical numbers that round out the movie perfectly. The film does have some trouble early on deciding how much time to spend with Elsa and with Anna, but as the sisters both come into their own, Frozen grows into a movie that will fit very well on most families' shelves.
Best Special Feature:
If you caught Frozen in theaters, you’ve probably already gotten a chance to see the throwback animated short "Get a Horse!" That one is certainly worth a second watch, but the extra I found most suprising was "The Making of Frozen." The "Making of" is not your average behind-the-scenes featurette. Instead, it’s actually a pretty clever musical production starring Gad, Groff, Bell and plenty of the other people involved with the theatrical production. The musical number is set on the Disney lot and in many of the rooms on the lot where Frozen was actually put together, so in that sense, we do get behind the scenes. The extra is goofy, fun and should keep the kids entertained.
Other Bonus Features:
Original Theatrical Short "Get a Horse!"
"Frosted: Disney’s Journey from Hans Christian Anderson to Frozen"
Original Teaser Trailer
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