Frozen Movie Poster Image

Frozen

(i)

 

Wintry Disney musical is fabulous celebration of sisterhood.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: November 27, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

While the movie wasn't created with educational intent, it offers lessons on the importance of family and loyalty, as well as the value of not jumping head first into a romantic relationship.

Positive messages

Positive messages about not being afraid of your power and talents, not letting people you love run away, and the importance of figuring out that love demands selflessness and generosity. The love and bonds of sisterhood are emphasized, and the idea of true love taking time to develop is stressed.

Positive role models

Anna is a brave, kind, and loving sister. She doesn't give up on her sister, even when everyone else deems her a danger to the kingdom. Elsa, in turn, finally discovers that her power doesn't have to be destructive; it can bring joy, too. Kristoff and Anna teach other that finding the person you love takes more than just one day -- it means overcoming obstacles and sticking by each other during tough times. Olaf is cheerful and loyal.

Violence & scariness

When they're young, Elsa accidentally hits Anna with her freezing magic and ends up nearly killing her. Elsa and Anna's parents die in a shipwreck; the stormy sea/sinking boat and resulting mourning are briefly seen. Queen Elsa unleashes her magic on the kingdom and plunges it into eternal winter. Vicious wolves chase Anna and Kristoff on a sleigh. Elsa creates a very menacing snow monster and accidentally hurts Anna again. Men with guns and bows try to hurt Elsa. The queen is imprisoned and sentenced to be executed. Anna's heart begins to freeze, and it seems likely her whole body will turn to ice. A severe winter storm unleashed by Elsa's feelings could upset/alarm some younger kids.

Sexy stuff

Princess Anna thinks that she's fallen in love with Prince Hans in just a few hours (after some flirting and exchanging of favorite things) and ends up accepting his proposal. Then she spends time really getting to know Kristoff and actually falls in love. Two kisses at the end of the movie. Queen Elsa wears a tight sparkly dress with a high slit. The trolls want Anna and Kristoff to get married.

Language

The trolls call Kristoff a "fixer upper" and recount some of his flaws (like being "smelly" and his unnatural attachment to his reindeer). The visiting dignitaries call the Queen Elsa a "monster," an "evil sorceress," a "traitor," "murderer," etc.

Consumerism

Nothing in the actual movie, but there are countless merchandise tie-ins with the movie, from apparel and figurines to costumes, accessories, books, make-up, and games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Champagne is served at a royal reception.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Frozen is a Disney animated musical that's likely to appeal to families with children of all ages. As in many Disney movies, the parents die, here leaving orphaned princesses who must find a way to survive. There are a few other violent scenes that involve men with weapons, snarling wolves, a scary snow monster, a severe storm, and a character who nearly freezes to death. A character falls in love -- twice -- and ends up sharing two kisses at the end of the story. Messages include unconditional love between sisters after a long estrangement, being true to yourself, recognizing your gifts, and not being afraid of your power.

What's the story?

FROZEN very loosely borrows from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale of The Snow Queen: In a Scandinavian-like kingdom, two young princesses frolic in the first snowfall. Elder sister Elsa has the magical power to conjure ice, so she creates a winter wonderland for her adoring little sister, Anna. But when Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her magic, their royal parents decide to shutter Elsa away from the kingdom. The sisters grow up separate from society -- and each other ... a strategy that works until the king and queen die in a shipwreck and Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) must be crowned the new queen. During the coronation festivities, Anna (Kristen Bell) falls for visiting Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) who immediately proposes. But when they ask Elsa for her blessing, she scoffs, loses control of her powers, runs up a mountain, and sends the kingdom into an eternal winter. Feeling guilty, Anna sets out to find Elsa with the help of unlikely allies -- a loner ice harvester Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his loyal reindeer Sven, and a goofy, sentient snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad).

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Make room for two more wonderful Disney princesses. Frozen is a perfect combination of the best Disney has to offer: catchy, show-stopping musical numbers, empowering heroines who discover the strength within themselves, stunning animated visuals, and scene-stealing sidekicks. There are worthy messages about everything from sisterly unconditional love to being true to yourself to not getting engaged to someone you literally just met. In addition to the the pithy songs like "For the First Time in Forever," "Let It Go," "In Summer," and "Fixer Upper" -- fabulously composed by couple Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez -- the sweet themes of sisterhood and self-identity make for a delightful tale.

Musical theater stars Menzel, Groff, Fontana, and Gad provide an awesome lineup of singers who make Frozen sound like it's already headed for Broadway. The always adorable Bell doesn't disappoint as the plucky and industrious Anna, who refuses to let Elsa stay away and believe herself a monster. Groff is perfectly cast as Kristoff, who challenges and surprises Anna -- and in turn is challenged and surprised by the brave princess. Their romance is a refreshing counterpoint to Anna and Hans' (which, as it turns out, isn't the swoon-worthy love-at-first-sight connection that she imagined) without taking away from the central storyline about the lovely sisters who discover their power.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Frozen's message. What do Anna and Elsa learn over the course of the movie? Kids: How can you apply the movie's lessons to your own life?

  • What do you think of the act of love that saves the kingdom?

  • There's more music in Frozen than in recent Disney films. How does the soundtrack compare to other Disney movies?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 27, 2013
DVD release date:March 18, 2014
Cast:Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Kristen Bell
Directors:Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Brothers and sisters, Fairy tales
Character strengths:Communication, Compassion, Courage, Integrity, Self-control
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some action and mild rude humor

This review of Frozen was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 November 27, 2013

Wonderful film

This was such a good movie. There's a reason everyone talks about it: it was great! I loved the theme of the two sisters learning about bonding and love. Anna is adorable in her awkwardness, and Elsa's character is interesting with her sort-of-tragic story. Violence: Elsa and Anna's parents die in the beginning of the story. Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her powers twice--once when they're kids and another time when they're adults. Also, Elsa creates dangerous obstacles with her powers, such as a giant ice man. An evil duke sends his men after Elsa to lock her up, and later kill her. Sex: A subplot of the story revolves around Anna finding her true love, but it's not the main focus of the story and is tame.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Educator and Parent Written bySunnyCA November 27, 2013

Good family movie for the holiday weekend

This was a good movie overall. I enjoyed how the "true love" message played out in a different way than usual. There is no real villain in the movie, and limited violence, but my 4-year old did get scared by the ice monster and wolves; there is also a scene where a girl punches a boy, which he didn't like. It felt more like a broadway musical than a typical cartoon film, but it was a nice change. I thought it was more of a girl movie, but all four boys I had with me (ages 4-11) really enjoyed it and were humming the tunes on the way home.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent of a 5 and 7 year old Written byBookNerdMom December 27, 2013

Underwhelmed

Call me cynical, but I just don't see why commonsensemedia and so many other reviewers are raving about this film. It's not awful, but there are quite a few weak points. First and foremost, as a parent of daughters (ages 5 & 7), I think the way the female leads are presented is problematic. Both are typical Disney princesses--pretty, doe-eyed, wasp-waisted ingenues. While the focus on sibling love and loyalty instead of romantic love is a redeeming feature, I don't think that erases the fact that girls still get the message loud-and-clear, that being pretty is the most important thing about being a girl. The film also takes kids on an emotional roller coaster. My 7 year old was fine, but my 5 year old was a teary mess at the end. Why is it with Disney films that every emotion has to be so intense? It's the cinematic equivalent of reading a novel written in all-caps. As a film, there are also some significant flaws. For example, a significant character's sudden personality change seems like a forced plot device to bring the film to its climax. The film showed off Disney's might as an animation maestro, and sales of Frozen merchandise will clearly fill Disney's coffers. It seems clear that these are the two elements most important to Disney--with storytelling a distant third.

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