(A Review on Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures’ 2013 American computer-animated musical fantasy film)
In every story, the most common subject and successful element in pushing the characters forward is LOVE; and that is what Elsa, the cursed queen that has the voice of Idina Menzel was frozen all her years of growing up—enveloped with fear.
Queen Elsa couldn’t control her powers and turned the Kingdom of Arendelle into a winter ghost town as opposed to a wonderland. This happened when Elsa couldn’t manage her elemental abilities to create and control ice, frost and snow altogether when all the dignitaries in the world have come to witness the summer crowing of the Elsa as the new queen. The rift between the two sisters Elsa and Anna (Kristen Bell’s voice) ensued when the Queen didn’t allow the marriage of her younger sibling to Hans (Santino Fontana). Because of the Queen’s fury—she shocked everyone in her kingdom by turning it into a cursed winter place.
The film is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’, but writers Jennifer Lee (screenplay), Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, and Shane Morris (story) have successfully made the story closer and identifiable to its modern-day audience. It has effectively referenced several landmarks in Norway like the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and Bryggen in Bergen. Other typical cultural Norwegian things were also included in the film, such as a Stave church, a Troll, Viking ships, reindeer and the equipment used to control these, clothing, and lutefisk.
The directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee did a marvelous tandem in this particular inspiring tale of two sisters and a story of true love.
Like in scriptures, it mentioned that the opposite of love is fear. Thus, Elsa is living in fear; as she has chosen to shut out her younger sister and became distant in the process. Though the film underwent several story treatments for several years prior to seeing the light to be filmed in 2011, the screenplay written by Jennifer Lee, and with both Chris Buck and Lee serving as directors—came out to be the best Disney animated musical since the studio’s renaissance era as the critics have given their approval, too.
One of the many reasons why this film worked after it went into several revisions in the past years—is the casting of Menzel, a Broadway veteran and Bell as together they proved their singing powers to be totally endearing and engaging. Two of the most popular songs in the movie are—‘For the First Time in Forever’ (a duet of Menzel and Bell) and ‘Let it Go’ (a solo by Menzel). The addition of Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, Alan Tudyk as the Duke of Weselton, Santino Fontana as Prince Hans, and Josh Gad as Olaf have provided more impact and appeal to the latest version of Andersen’s problematic story on ‘The Snow Queen’.
Given that it earned $134,253,666 at the North American box office and $55,900,000 overseas for a worldwide total of $190,153,666 when it ran during the Thanksgiving weekend; it was also second place to ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and beaten ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ at the box-office records; there is no wonder that it would have a stage musical production in the near future. And perhaps, this can be re-titled as the ‘The Snow Queen and the Sunny Princess’?