Blu-ray/DVD, Disney, Reviews

‘Frozen’ Blu-ray/DVD Collector’s Edition Review: Extraordinary Film, Disappointing Bonus Features

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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB0f619N7L4]

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.

 [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utAwhtPlx8c]

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.

Final Thoughts

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This is how I feel about the bonus features.

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.

Purchase

Frozen: 2-disc Blu-ray + Digital | DVD | Digital

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDNuFjU_jlM]

About Morgan Stradling

Morgan is a native of Arizona and a desert rat who loves the heat (she doesn’t even turn on the AC in her car in the middle of the summer)! She loves big eyeliner, Survivor, Lady Gaga, and of course, animated films. She's currently a second-year MBA student at ASU.
  • Eric Faulkner

    I have read that Target has some nice exclusives with the Blu-Ray sold there. It has three bonus features from a behind the scenes of the voices, an art gallery, and another deleted scene.

    • http://www.twitter.com/morganstradling Morgan Stradling

      Sweet! Sounds cool. Unfortunately, I was sent only the Collector’s Edition to review, so I can only comment on that one.

    • L

      Thanks for telling us–I’ll definitely be checking out their stock on Tuesday.

      On a slightly unrelated note, I’m personally disappointed by the lack of a sing-along bonus feature. They could have done it through the Set Up area, where you could choose to add the lyrics during the musical numbers (like you would choose a language for the movie to be presented in). I was definitely hoping for it, even if it was just an extra bonus feature, because of the Crab-e-oke and the Mary-oke that was released on the Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins Blu-Rays. Perhaps because they were special edition Blu-Rays, they received the sing along bonuses rather than Frozen on “normal” Blu-Ray? Maybe they just wanted it to be exclusive to theaters?
      Your thoughts?

    • CassandraAnn1

      I got the blu-ray at target but don’t see anything about behind the scenes of the voices or art gallery?

  • Nathan C.

    What I’ll never understand…is how the DVDs of Toy Story 3 and Frozen get so few bonus features after making a billion dollars.

    • Parisien

      Because they wait for a release of the Special Edition then Diamond Icy Edition, then Boring Complete Edition Not Really Complete. It’s Di$ney you should know!

  • Asja Dally

    What a disappointment! I practically live for ‘making of’ documentaries on DVD releases. Darn it…

  • Brandon Kelly

    Oh man, I was hoping to get a decent blu-ray from Frozen. I was going to buy on Tuesday and friends of mine we are having a Frozen party. A couple of them still have not seen it yet so we are having a Frozen night!

  • http://www.garywrightonline.blogspot.com/ Gary Wright

    “The Making of Frozen” feature really made me super angry. Especially at the end when they go..”How did we make Frozen?…We don’t know.”

    • http://www.twitter.com/morganstradling Morgan Stradling

      I KNOW! I didn’t want to spoil the ending for everyone, but yeah.

  • Bob Smith

    I’m holding out on the purchase of the DVD/Blu-ray just in case more or “better” features will be released, but that’s probably hoping for too much…

  • http://twitter.com/AlixEcho AlixEcho

    That’s disappointing. I always wait before buying new blu-rays, as prices tend to go down quite sharply a few months after release — Frozen was going to be the exception. With such a poor offering of bonus features, seems like it makes more sense to wait a bit longer in case if there’s a special edition coming up.

    • CassandraAnn1

      I had decided beforehand NOT to buy the movie at all, but I happened to see it at Target today for $19.99 (and $14.99 for the dvd only)…. didn’t think it could get cheaper than that?

      • http://twitter.com/AlixEcho AlixEcho

        That sounds like a good deal — Isn’t target the one with a few extra features?

        I live in the UK, though — we don’t usually have all these different, exclusive versions and prices usually aren’t very competitive. :( I’ll wait and see how it goes, I guess.

  • Sebastian

    Then I guess you haft to make you’re own the making of Frozen from the concept book if you wanna have something done. However I knew something was cashy here Disney is always looking for the cash. I don’t think the front or back page of the Bluray was that detailed either so I made my own version of a Bluray front page which many thought looked more magical and frozen

    • JW

      This is beautiful!

      • Jack t

        Hmmmm, yes, she is.
        Oh were you talking about…ooops.

    • Aliscen Khaw

      nice! i really love japan and the french’s Frozen posters~

  • Haley TheRadiant

    Oh that sux about the features…..But I’m still gonna have it since it’s my fave Disney film of all time! and you guys made me fall more in love with it (NO JOKE!)
    But I never really thanked you guys for giving me more Frozen love than I expected and especially Chelsea with her rendition of Let it Go for the first time ever!
    So thanks! ^.^

  • Beth

    I was originally going to buy the Blu-Ray DVD but instead just decided to buy the iTunes version, since all the extras came with the digital copy anyways. Really disappointing that there was no actual behind-the-scenes features. Ah well, I have my copy of The Art of Frozen to keep me satisfied…

  • voicetek20

    It’s becoming a trend lately with Disney movies. I can’t remember when a Disney Blu-ray/DVD had a decent “Making of” feature/documentary. I remember (probably 10 years ago or so) putting in my Disney (or Pixar) DVD and having an hour or 2 of behind the scenes footage. What happened to that? I wish they’d realize that there are people like us who LOVE that type of stuff and start putting better bonus features on their releases. I’m still holding out for a special 3D edition later this year. Hopefully we’ll see more on that!

    • Cass

      Look at the Monster’s University BluRay. Same year, same “mother” company, but this Pixar film had HOURS and HOURS of incredible behind the scenes features.

  • billygreen23

    I’m surprised you even gave the bonus features 2 stars. It deserves 1. They put the bare minimum in there. The music videos are already plastered all over the Internet, so I don’t care about those. The deleted scenes were nice but there should’ve been more. The lack of a true “making of” is inexcusable. When I pay $20-25 for a “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray I expect much more than this. I’m very disappointed in Disney.

  • JW

    VERY disappointed that the “Breaking the Ice” featurette isn’t on the disc! Why include the details in the press release? They even had the running time!

    That was marketed as a blu-ray-exclusive feature. I’m stunned that they reneged on this promise.

  • tali d

    where I can find the bonuses? I bought the Blu-Ray + DVD +Digital HD and when I played it, the movie starts right away…. how do I get to the bonuses????

    • http://www.twitter.com/morganstradling Morgan Stradling

      You have to go to the menu screen then click “bonus features”. Usually hitting “top menu” on your remote gets you there.

      • Michael Young

        Something that may interest you:

        The deleted song “Life’s Too Short”, with fan-made storyboards!

        http://vimeo.com/87186363

  • Jon Yoshizaki

    I feel it’s hypercritical that in the d’frosted feature they quote Walt in saying basically don’t cheat the people and I feel cheated by not having an actual making of

  • wraithkelso

    Is it just me or does Disney put more bonus content on their re-releases (especially the Diamond Editions) then their new films… Look at Mary Poppins and Jungle Book’s re-releases, both had not only all the features from their last releases, but als onew content and they ended up having more NEW content then Disney included on Frozen. But Frozen isn’t the only one like this, Tangled also had barely anything in terms of BTS bonus features. in fact its odd that of the last 4 WDAS films the only one with a packed Blu-ray was the one that wasn’t about a princess (Wreck-It-Ralph)

  • Aliscen Khaw

    the reason i wanted to get this was because of the never before seen stuff though…. does the dvd go in depth about their development in the 30s n 40s n 2002? If it just roughly flies through the development, then i am not getting this.

  • Drea

    We were completely shortchanged, and I agree, that song felt like an insult to everyone that purchased that Blu-Ray. I felt so perplexed after I had watched it.

    Everyone that is disappointed in the lack of special features should write to Disney and complain. I generally don’t like to cause a stir, but this is unforgivable in my book.

  • Curtis

    I too was very disappointed in the lack of a true behind the scenes featurette. And I was also surprised to see a ton of frozen blu-ray reviews who were not phased by it’s omission at all. Glad to see i’m not alone in feeling a little cheated by this blu ray purchase. You hit the nail on the head in your review.

  • amanda

    yea I was so disappointed that they didn’t have the real making of frozen video

  • JacuieG

    Thank you for saying what I was thinking! I buy every Disney movie and devour the bonus features too, and I haven’t benn as excited for a DVD to come out in ages! I couldn’t wait for this one and was so disappointed that I almost cried. I love the movie but now I wish I had just gotten the DVD if there isn’t even a directors commentary at the very least!

  • kamal kishorelayoutspark

    believe me ..i thought this movie is gonna be amazing but ,i do really think this movie was incomplete ..when this movie ended i got a shock ,is this is a complete movie..at least the music was touchable ..and a bit interesting on mid half.

    • Anonymous

      Uh, the movie or the bonus features? Because if you’re referring to Frozen itself, that’s a whole different discussion.

  • Jeffiner

    Completely agree with this. I should have bought the DVD rather than paying $10 more for the blu ray… I can’t find a sing-a-long track… and to tell the truth that was all I really wanted!

  • AegysLTS

    Some of the deleted scene that weren’t in the DVD actually appears in YOUTUBE. omg can you believe that!!! for example, pigs pies ……