126. Frozen

I had the delight of watching Disney’s Frozen earlier today.

(not to be confused with the 2010 film, also titled Frozen. Just… don’t)

Perhaps rather fittingly, thanks to the cloud of gloom and the constant rain that had appeared (and seem to have taken residence) over the Klang Valley since earlier this morning, I was freezing to death while seated in the air-conditioned movie theater. That, combined with the fact that I was seated right in the middle of my row and suddenly had to use the toilet at about an hour into the movie, should have made my experience quite unbearable.

But no. I stayed – the cold and the pressure in my bladder notwithstanding – and continued to enjoy every beautifully-animated frame of the movie.

(also, I paid RM15 to watch it in 2D, and I was determined to get my money’s worth out of the experience)

What can I say? I’ve said before that I consider Mr. Nolan’s Inception and The Dark Knight to be the greatest movies I have ever seen, but there’s just something about Disney that will always hold a special place in my heart. Kind of like how a grown, rough, tough manly man might be very much into big guns, explosions, and fast cars; there will always be that little soft spot that he has for adorable little children.

Let me just start this off by saying that with the rest of the fandom, I squeed in excitement when they announced that Idina Menzel was being cast. I mean, Disney casting a Broadway legend? I cannot think of any way in which this could go wrong. Sure, Tangled had its songs, and Mandy Moore pulled them off with her wonderful voice; but when Tony award winner Ms. Menzel signs on, you just know that whatever comes out, it’s going to be absolutely epic.

And epic it was. I loved every one – yes, every one, even the one by the trolls, and the one about how reindeer are better than people – of the songs. Our main star Kristen Bell really did more than just try and keep up with Ms. Menzel’s powerful performance – she matched, and in her own way projected the emotional depth that the words and the songs required of the roles, creating a truly unforgettable experience when combined with the strong performances given by the rest of the cast.

The animators had really outdone themselves with the spectacular work on their creation of ice and snow. Every snowflake that came floating out of the sky was a marvel. The animation team actually managed to capture that unique powdery, frosty, flaky feel and look of actual snow; and if you haven’t seen the film yet, just wait for the part when the Snow Queen raises her icy castle out out the ground. The ice appears, crystallizing majestically and forming translucent walls that refracts the sunlight in that awesome way that ice uniquely does – and as you bask in the sheer beauty of it all, remember how this was all done by some very talented folks on very good computers – people who took the time to travel out into an Ice Hotel in Canada just to study how light reflects and refracts off these frozen surfaces.

Finally, hats must come off for the directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, the latter of whom wrote the screenplay, for an intelligent, creative, and beautiful storyline that cleverly weaves an analysis of love and isolation with the exciting plot, utilizing cold and warmth as symbols for the human conditions. Theirs is a work of art that can be appreciated from the youngest toddler to the eldest citizen, inspiring wonder and bringing unique meaning to members of every age group.

The stories that truly matter are those that touches the heart; and the team at Disney has definitely created a story that matters in Frozen.

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