Frozen | Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee & Peter Del Vecho
Best Animated Feature at this year’s Oscar is a simple choice. The best animated film of the year (heck, one of the best films of this past year period) was Disney’s Frozen, the charming, wondrous, and musical masterpiece that features all the magic and heart of older classics while embracing a more progressive, modern story.
The reason why Frozen is such a great overall film, not simply just a fantastic animated movie, lies mostly in its character development and its central focus on a sibling relationship between two disconnected sisters rather than a romance between a young man and woman. Disney has received a lot of flack in the past for making its heroines appear to be desperate, “save me” damsels in distress, and, perhaps in some films, that may be true.
However, Frozen not only subverts this idea, it reinvents a new age for female Disney characters. It’s a time now where Elsa (Idina Menzel), a female, can be a queen and rule a land without any need for a man by her side, where the idea of falling in love in one day is mocked, where the most powerful form of true love can be forged and seen between two sisters rather than another two typical, stock love interests. It’s this ambition, creativity, and progressiveness that makes Frozen such an important film, a movie that teaches younger kids (and I”m sure even some adults) about the power and strength of women.
And even though this greater message is the most impressive aspect of Frozen, that does not mean that the film gets bogged down by its own self-importance. It’s funny, actually hilarious at times, most of that credit due to Anna (Kristen Bell) and Olaf (Josh Gad). The animation itself is simply stunning. (I cannot wait to watch this movie in Blu-Ray on a big screen TV when it comes out in March.)
And lastly, the music is just so damn good. From the charming “First Time in Forever” to the sweet “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” to the showstopping, best Disney song ever, “Let It Go,”” (which sure as hell better win the Oscar), each song in Frozen makes me want to sing along and leaves me with an incredible smile on my face. And isn’t that what movies are supposed to do? Make us think, feel, smile, laugh, and cry? Almost no other film did that better for me than Frozen this past year. It’s a new Disney classic.