Frozen: The Disney movie that took the world by storm. Frozen is an Academy Award-winning international phenomenon and has won the hearts of audiences everywhere, recently passing the $1 billion worldwide box office milestone. “Let It Go” is now one of the most beloved songs of both young and old, and YouTube has the videos to prove it. Frozen is proof that we are now in the second Disney Renaissance.
Here at the Rotoscopers, we were always Frozen‘s biggest supporters from the beginning and still are! So we were excited to get our hands on the Frozen Blu-ray so we could watch Disney’s newest masterpiece over and over again. So with all the hype, how does the Blu-ray stack? The answer might surprise you.
The Film ✮✮✮✮1/2
Frozen tells the story of two princesses who are separated from each other at an early age. Elsa (Idina Menzel) has the power to control ice and snow, but unfortunately can’t control them, which resulted in her hurting her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell). On Elsa’s coronation day, her powers are exposed for the whole world to see, so she escapes to the mountain, leaving her kingdom of Arendelle stuck in eternal winter. Anna, knowing her sister’s heart, ventures off to bring Elsa back and along the way is joined by a motley crew: a rugged ice harvester, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff); his sassy reindeer; and an enchanted snowman, Olaf (Josh Gad).
Princesses and musicals: they’re what Disney does best. Frozen goes back to Disney’s fairy tale roots, which is nice to see since it’s been a few years since the last one, Tangled. The film also takes notes from the extraordinary success of the Renaissance era films in that is is a full-blown musical. Both, do not disappoint.
The songs are memorable, hummable and extremely catchy. Songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez did a wonderful job homing in on the Disney magic, while also modernizing the tunes with some up-to-date lyrics and beats. With its numerous songs, Frozen feels like a Broadway musical, which makes it extremely enjoyable and fun to watch. While I like all the songs as standalone pieces, I find that a few feel out of place and interrupt the plot and flow, such as “In Summer” and “Fixer Upper.” But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still jam out to those songs in my car.
Regarding characters, I enjoy the juxtaposition of the stoic and serious Elsa to her jovial and adorkable sister Anna. However, I feel that Elsa’s character could have been developed and explored a bit more in the film as they had such an interesting and complex female character to work with. The cast as a whole is great, especially Hans, Oaken, the Duke and of course, the sisters.
Frozen isn’t a perfect movie, but by golly, it sure is one of the more enjoyable animated or live-action films in a long time. It’s one of those movies you want want to watch again and again.
The Features ✮✮
My favorite parts of any Blu-ray/DVD are the special features. I usually watch them before actually watching the movie. So when I got the Frozen 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray/DVD in my hands, I practically ripped off the packaging so I could get to the bonus features. It’s Frozen for heaven’s sake; it’s the biggest Disney film in two decades! It’s gotta be good, right? Wrong.
When Disney announced this Blu-ray, we were promised a feature called “Breaking the Ice – The Real Making of Frozen.” I don’t know where that went because my disc didn’t have it (it appears neither did Blu-ray.com’s). The fact that this crucial part is missing really makes you loathe the satirical “The Making of Frozen” even more. If it were included, I would love “The Making of Frozen” song and video. But since it’s not, I’m not laughing.
The first special feature–The Making of Frozen–seemed straight forward enough. I expected a 30-minute or so documentary about the making of the film from concept to theatre. Unfortunately, it’s just a three-minute musical number featuring a few of the film’s voice talent: Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. The two men are dressed up like Disney employees and start singing a cheesy Disney-esque song about “the making of Frozen.” The bit goes on and on, repeating “the making of Frozen” over and over again, but they don’t actually get to that part. Why would Disney put so much work (and money) into this silly feature that is inconsequential and fluff? I don’t know and to be honest, it’s offensive.
So then after that disappointment, you think that D’frosted: Disney’s Journey From Hans Christian Anderson to Frozen is actually going to get down to business and talk about the making of Frozen. Well, this doesn’t either. The featurette includes directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee joined by Alice Davis, the wife of Disney animator Marc Davis who at one point worked on developing a Snow Queen-themed attraction for Disney. The trio talk for seven minutes about the similarities between the two versions as well as comparisons to Hans Christian Andersen’s original source material. But, that’s about as far as we get into the making of Frozen.
Next we get four deleted scenes introduced by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. The entire segment lasts only seven minutes. The scenes include: Scenes include “Never Underestimate the Power of Elsa,” “The Dressing Room,” “Meet Kristoff #1″ and Meet Kristoff #2.” It’s great to see these deleted scenes and see the Frozen that could have been. We got only one scene from when Elsa was the villain, and it would have been nice to get even more of those, since the film’s story evolved so significantly over the years.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Disney DVD without music videos. These include four versions of the pop version of “Let It Go” in different languages. We get Demi Lovato in English, Martina Stoessel in Spanish and Italian, and Marsha Milan in Malaysian.
Then to round everything off, we get the short Get A Horse!, which played before Frozen in theatres. We also get the original teaser trailer, which featured Sven and Olaf roughhousing over a carrot.
With all the hype and excitement over Frozen, you would think Disney would put a little more effort into making the bonus features the best they could be. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. It was missing key elements such as a director’s commentary, the real making of Frozen (that we were promised), and even other standalone features about the music, animation and more. Frozen‘s bonus features are a bit frail, leaving much to be desired.
Everything about the movie Frozen is happy; everything about Frozen‘s Blu-ray features are sad. I really feel that Disney missed the boat in packing this Blu-ray with all the goods. Perhaps the studio was rushed getting this in stores in time… I don’t know. However, it’s rumored that Disney will release a Frozen Ultimate Edition which will include the film in 3D, so more likely that release will have more of the content fans are looking for. Even if there were zero bonus features, Frozen is a must own because the film itself is that good.