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Sep 032014

Loosely based on The Snow Queen, Frozen is about sisters Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), who are the princesses of the kingdom of Arendelle. They used to be very close, but a lot changes in a short time.

Elsa was born with ice power, even though it isn’t hereditary, and it gets stronger as she grows older without anyone to teach her how to use it. Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her ice power. Although Anna was saved, her memories of Elsa’s powers had to be removed. Then instead of providing a teacher, the king and queen keep Elsa isolated in the castle and keeps her power hidden from everyone. Now how is that going to help?

Meanwhile, Anna is completely in the dark about Elsa’s problem and desperate for companionship. So desperate that on the coronation day ball, after Elsa becomes queen, Anna instantly decides to marry a prince she had just met that day.

The prince in question is Prince Hans of the Southern Isles (voice of Santino Fantana). He’s the youngest of 13 sons and seems to have a lot in common with Anna. It’s like they were perfect for each other.

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Soon disaster strikes when Elsa ends up revealing her powers and causes an endless winter out of fear. Elsa retreats to the mountains, where she never has to hide her power ever again. This led to the song Let it Go, which is the most popular song in this whole movie.

As Anna goes in search of her sister, she finds a trading post. It’s a strange one, but not because it has a sauna. It has plenty of summer clothes, but very few winter supplies. Seriously, why would anyone want to buy summer clothes at a shop in the cold mountains?

There, Anna meets Kristoff (voice of Jonathon Groff). He has a reindeer named Sven and likes to pretend that he can talk, which is funny. However, it’s gross when they share carrots.

Anna also meets up with Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) the snowman. He’s sweet because he loves warm hugs and the thought of summer. Olaf is also funny and tends to literally fall apart, but always manages to pull himself back together again.

There’s also a race of trolls that take the guise of rocks. These trolls are friendly and became Kristoff’s adopted family. When they meet Anna, they tried to get her to marry Kristoff. They don’t feel that way toward each other, or do they.

I enjoyed this film, especially for its level of adventure. When I first saw the trailer it was misleading. It left the impression that Elsa was evil, trying to freeze Arendelle and it was up to Anna to stop her, which would’ve really made this movie interesting. It turns out that Elsa was never evil to begin with and I think that’s a good thing.

One last item: Not too long ago, I went to the Frozen parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.



Nov 212011

Disney movies are spoofed in the Disney fairytale adventure Enchanted. In the animated fairytale world of Andalasia, the lovely Giselle (Amy Adams) is about to be married to Prince Edward (James Mardsen) and live happily ever after. That is until Edward’s wicked stepmother Narissa (Susan Sarandon) banishes Giselle to the live action world of Manhattan, New York, where “Happily Ever After” doesn’t exist. From how I understand that notion, “Happily Ever After” is merely a sugar coated bi-product for those who cannot handle the harshness of reality.

Giselle struggles to find any nice people around. That soon changes when she finds a divorce lawyer named Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and his young daughter Morgan (Rachel Covey), who help her try to get home. Things do get complicated when Robert’s fiancé Nancy (Idina Menzel) meets Giselle. Uh oh.

Giselle is both sweet and funny. Her singing skill can summon animals to help her clean the apartment, much like Snow White. I wonder if Giselle is some kind of siren who puts animals in a trance. Maybe that’s why they appear to enjoy doing housework. It is adorable when any of the animals give Giselle kisses.

Although Robert doesn’t sing or dance, Giselle’s innocence begins to rub off on him and help his relationship with Nancy grow stronger, but is it really?

Meanwhile, Prince Edward arrives in search of Giselle, but ends up finding trouble instead. He stabs a bus as if it was a beast. All that comes out is an angry bus driver (Marilyn Sue Perry), but that’s the least of his worries. The devious Nathaniel (Timothy Spall, who I remember best as Wormtail from the Harry Potter films) tries to sabotage things with poison apples. Once Edward and Giselle unite, their chemistry isn’t the same. They go on a date, but Edward gets bored and wants to go back right away, after the ball, of course. It’s very hard to believe that neither Giselle or Edward have ever heard of dating before, even though their goal is marriage.

Things really get exciting when Queen Narissa arrives and crashes the ball. Luckily, everyone thinks it’s all part of the show, so that spares the panic. Narissa takes the form of a blue dragon and captures Robert. Now it’s up to Giselle to save him. Now that’s a real twist on this fairytale.

Enchanted is a very cute movie that spoofs Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping BeautyIt’s a perfect combination, especially if you remember the original Disney film versions well. It always leaves me smiling.