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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Fantasy > Music > Comedy > CGI > Frozen - Collector’s Edition (2013/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital HD Copy)

Frozen - Collector's Edition (2013/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital HD Copy)

Picture: A/B Sound: A/B Extras: C Film: B+

Frozen is the 53rd animated venture for Disney Studios and (give or take unadjusted dollars and the type of animation involved, but not including Pixar releases) its most successful animated film to date. Earning Oscars for both Best Original Song and Best Animated Feature Film, coupled with the fact that it has earned over 1 billion dollars worldwide proves that Disney still has what it takes to make an instant classic.

Disney goes back to its roots (doing what it does best), centering the film on princesses. Frozen takes place in the kingdom of Arendelle, where we are introduced to a pair of happy, child princess; Anna (Kristen Belle) and Elsa (Idina Menzel). As the children frolic we discover that Elsa has very special powers; having the ability to create snow and ice from her hands, something Anna enjoys very much. Suddenly an accident occurs (after Elsa slips), blasting Anna frozen with ice. Anna is whisked off by the King and Queen to the forest trolls who have the magic to heal Anna. The father troll heals Anna and removes all memories of the event, as well as her sister's magical abilities. The troll warns Anna that her powers are wondrous and beautiful but come with great responsibility; and it will be her own fears that will be her undoing. From here the King and Queen shut the gates to the castle, locking Elsa away from the world in order to protect her. Anna, however, is left confuses as to why her sister and best friend no longer wishes to play with her. A rift grows and eventually Anna gives up on the friendship with her sister.

Years later the castle springs to life as it is now Elsa's (being the eldest daughter) time to be Queen. Her coronation is the event of the century with dignitaries coming from far and wide and while Elsa paces in fear that her powers will be revealed, Anna rejoices in finally getting to see the world and possibly a suitor. Not long into the event Anna hits it off with a Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) and knows he is THE ONE! Anna runs off to tell her sister of the news, but an argument breaks out over how Anna could be so quick to fall in love with a man she just met. In the heat of the argument Elsa's emotions erupt and so do her powers; freezing the ground and surrounding fountains in front of her guests.

The evil Duke (Alan Tudyk) sees this as his opportunity to oust Elsa and give himself a chance to take over the kingdom; and quickly declares Elsa an evil sorceress. The Duke demands her capture, but before a sword can be raised Elsa runs off freezing the bay in her hurried emotional state; in turn plaguing the kingdom with indefinite winter. Anna convinces the kingdom to let Elsa be and she would go after her to make things right. On her departure Anna asks Hans to watch over the kingdom while she is gone, so the evil duke does not have chance to take control.

As Anna sets out to save her sister and the kingdom she meets a host of zany, lovable characters to help her along the way. One is Olaf the talking snowman (Josh Gad) who is the wackiest of the bunch, then there is Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) the woodsman, and a (non-talking) reindeer named Sven. All are more than willing to help Anna, but no one has asked or knows what Elsa wants.

The film was excellent! Not the best Disney film to date, but harkens back to recent classics like that of Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, and The Lion King. This is most likely related to the fact that the creators not only utilized the princess archetype, but concurrently took a page from the Broadway show book as the importance of music again took center stage. The art, the energy, and the music are what make Disney magic and Frozen managed to reignite our hearts and imagination; even if it took a bit of ice to do so.

The technical features of this Blu-ray release are top notch. The DVD is also included in this set, but that is more of an old school freebie that is a toned down version of the epic Blu-ray. The picture is a 1080p AVC Encoded, MPEG-4, 2.35 X 1 Widescreen image that is astounding from beginning to end as it is balanced, vibrant, and rich with texture. This is perfect demo material that will bring your home theater system to life; again the balance between light and dark in a snow blanketed landscape is amazing, this on top of a spot on, deep textures that make a lively presentation. The sound is equally impressive as the 7.1 DTS-HD lossless Master Audio (MA) surrounds you throughout in a remarkable mixdown from the Dolby Atmos 11.1 mix in select theaters lucky enough to have that system this early that screened the film. The musical numbers are boisterously jaw dropping and throughout the film the panning effects, mixed with succinct dialogue, and atmospheric ambient noises make the entire experience a pleasure. Again, Frozen is of true demo quality.

My main gripe would be with the extras, which are not as great as they could have been. I suspect a more spectacular 3D release I on the horizon, but for now the extras include:

  • Teaser Trailer

  • The Making of Frozen

  • D'Frosted: Disney's Journey from Hans Christen Anderson to Frozen

  • Deleted Scenes:

    • Meet Kristoff 1 & 2

    • The Dressing Room

    • Never Underestimate the Power of Elsa

  • Get a Horse

    • Taking a page from Pixar, this is the Disney Theatrical Short that played before the film.

  • Music video(s) for Let it Go in different languages

    • Featuring Martina Stoessel (Italian & Spanish), Demi Lavato (English), Marsha Milan (Malaysian)

In the end, I believe Frozen will be ranked among the greatest Disney classics. It has its instant success of course, but I think future generations will be introduced to this film time and time again. Frozen makes for a good use of the saying A timeless classic.

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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