Frozen is one powerful movie; here are some moments that show just why.
Anna taking charge of the journey and forcing Kristoff to leave when she says and do as she says by giving him what he wants and needs for his own trip.
Anna taking down a wolf with a lute. When more wolves grab Kristoff, she lights a sleeping bag on fire and throws it at them.
Before that, Kristoff taking down a wolf by repeatedly kicking him. With one foot!
Shortly after, Sven making a large leap across a gorge.
Kristoff putting Anna on Sven's back and cutting the harness when he sees the ravine, making sure that even if he doesn't make it, his best friend and the young woman in his care will. That's a crowning moment, an Establishing Character Moment and an Heroic Sacrifice all in one, folks.
"Let It Go". Not only does Idina Menzel's performance knock it out of the park, but the song is also a breakthrough for Elsa, finally happy after spending so much of her life scared and restrained. It also furthers her characterisation by seeming optimistic and uplifting in full but really delving further into her mindset that she must always be isolated.
The stunning sequence where she raises her ice palace. Not only is it a gorgeous bit of animation, we have a full demonstration of Elsa's true power.
The sequence was amazing in general, but special mention goes to the moment where she magically creates her Snow Queen outfit. Years back, Walt Disney himself made note that Cinderella's own transformation was one of his absolute favorite sequences; the sheer emotion and beauty in animation for Elsa's transformation would have made him proud.
The shot where she lets her hair down becomes this when you learn that it was nearly impossible to do. The animators had to phase Elsa's braid through her arm to keep the model from breaking, but you can hardly see it. Specifically, she's positioned so that you don't actually see the hair pass through her arm, it's just that given the timing there's no other way it could've gotten back over her shoulder by the time she turns around.
The look on Elsa's face as she creates the ice bridge. For the first time in years, she's proud of what her powers have done instead of ashamed or frightened.
Also, though subtle, when she walks up the mountain, you see her leaving tracks, but once she lets her powers go, she walks on top of the snow. It's just after she sings "I'm free" and builds the bridge. Nothing stands in her way now, not even ankle deep snow because she is The Snow Queen.
The song packs so much characterization into 3 minutes, that you need several walls of text to describe its awesomeness.
Let It Go was the song that convinced the directors to rewrite the entire movie note Elsa was originally intended to be the film's villain. But after listening to "Let It Go" the producers felt that the song's themes of personal empowerment and self-acceptance were too positive to be coming from a villain, so the script was rewritten so that Elsa would be an innocent trying desperately to control her powers . If Let It Go never existed, we would never have gotten the Frozen we all know and love.
The scene where Elsa raises her ice palace is a technical marvel of computer animation. It took fifty effects artists and lighting artists working together to create the sequence. It was so complex that it took 30 hours to render each frame, with 4,000 computers rendering one frame at a time.
One of the big technical aspects of animating this film was trying to make believable snow. It's beautiful.
The ever-changing lighting in Elsa's palace counts. From the violet-blues during Elsa's "Let It Go" song, the harsh red lighting during the scene after Elsa sends Marshmallow after Anna and Kristoff to the gorgeous gold lighting during the palace siege. The beauty and colors are out of this world.
Speaking of the ice palace siege, the falling and shattering ice chandelier also counts.
The great wave that envelops the King and Queen's ship is absolutely gorgeous; some of the best looking CGI water yet.
Anna rescuing Kristoff from falling over the cliff by throwing him the pickaxe and rope.
Anna yelling at Marshmallow after he throws Olaf.
Olaf attempting to hold back Marshmallow on his own.
Anna taking down Marshmallow using a tree.
Hans and his men fighting against Marshmallow.
Hans wins the fight by cutting Marshmallow's leg off with one slice!
Elsa's awesome fight scene against the Duke of Weselton's lackeys, nearly killing them with her impressive ice powers. Despite the relentless attacks, Elsa doesn't let up either. It shows that even anger gives her better control of her powers than fear.
Elsa running from the guards before fighting them becomes this when you realize that she's running in heels made of ice, up stairs made of ice, while skipping steps!
The guards themselves put up one hell of a fight. They seem to think that only way to save everyone is to kill Elsa (they're wrong). They're nothing but nameless mooks Just Following Orders, but they use solid tactics. They take Elsa on at the same time, they make several attempts to get behind her and flank her, they never take their eyes off her, they stagger their slow-to-load crossbows bolt shots so at least one of them can cover the other, and they just don't give up which would be easy to do going up against, what amounts to, a demi-god. Sure the one guy could have just moved to the side of that ice wall, but it gave his partner the distraction he needed to line up a fatal shot after being pinned to the wall and almost being impaled. Then Dangerously Genre Savvy Hans comes in and up stages them by using the pinned guard's crossbow to drop a chandelier on top of Elsa just after talking her down and making himself out to be The Hero. The whole sequence is just a bunch of people kicking ass.
The Reveal of Hans as the Big Bad and a Sociopath is this (while doubling as Nightmare Fuel), since he managed to fake being nice so well that without a spoiler of some kind or picking up on clues from his character design, there was no way anyone watching would see it coming!
But at the same time, when we go back to see his scenes, we see the subtle foreshadowing and go "Oooh!"
The writers get another moment of awesome for making Hans a realistic sociopath. As in, he actually rivals Patrick Bateman in turns of realistic sociopathy!
Also notable is how this subverts the Broken Aesop it looked like we were going to get for a while about Anna and Kristoff's love being the key.
Go back and watch the sequence again. Just as Hans' sword is about to strike Anna, it grows frost on it, just as it was about to shatter. Any metalworker knows there must be a proper balance of heat and cold when forging a sword, otherwise the metal grows too brittle to effectively use. Anna was so cold, she fucked with the molecular structure of metal.
After summer is restored to Arendelle (which is a CMOA for Elsa by itself) and the main characters are on a ship in the fjord, they see Hans getting up and Anna gives him his desserts for almost killing Elsa.
Hans: Anna? But she froze your heart!
Anna: The only frozen heart around here is yours. (turns away and decks him, knocking him into the fjord)
Extra points for actually pulling him closer first, feisty pants.
Followed shortly by the royal guests applauding Anna. And most likely the audience too.
Just before this, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff are talking when they notice Hans, the elephant on the boat, getting up. Kristoff is the one who starts walking over to him when Anna holds him back and beats up Hans herself. Nice touch there guys.
And after that, the guards locking up Hans in the brig, with one of the dignitaries saying he's being shipped to his kingdom to be punished by his brothers.
Elsa has such precise control over her powers after restoring summer that she can now make an endless winter that's barely a cubic foot in volume, as shown by Olaf's own little snow cloud.
Sven and Kristoff galloping across the frozen fjord in a huge ice storm to save Anna, as the frozen ships begin to collapse around them.
The chandelier falling, coupled with Elsa diving and sliding towards the camera. Those few seconds must have taken forever to animate.
Kristoff marching his way to go throttle Hans for what he almost did to Anna. Luckily, (however you look at), Anna stops him. What makes this moment awesome is that it shows that you NEVER want to mess with the people Kristoff loves.
It may be a small one, but the way that Anna and Elsa's parents rode on their horses to save Anna's life. They didn't stop riding. Their horses were going fast. Just seeing these two parents riding on their horses to save one of their two daughters is just awesome.
Olaf saving Anna from freezing to death alone.
The opening scene with the ice harvesters. Seeing them do their professional work, while singing is just awesome.
Elsa's refusal to bless the marriage of Anna and Hans could be a huge Wham Line to die-hard Disney fans, but ultimately she was right.
"You can't marry a man you just met."
Despite later being revealed to be a total asshole, Hans does a pretty good job running Arendelle while Anna is going after Elsa. Who knows how many lives he saved distributing blankets and providing heating and food at the palace during the Freeze?
Well of course. He wanted to rule Arendelle, not kill everyone in it. Who knows, he may have even been a decent king who cared for his people. It's just that he also is a psychopath who has no problems killing innocent people to get what he wants.
This movie had the biggest box office opening of any Disney movie, even beating out the previous record holder, Toy Story 3. And its box office rose between its third and sixth weeks, which is unusual for any film. It's the highest-grossing animated film ever, the first Disney animated film (not counting Pixar or Marvel) ever to gross more than a billion dollars worldwide, and the fifth highest-grossing film (not adjusted for inflation) of all time. To put it into perspective, this movie was still at #9 at the US box office the weekend before the DVD came out.
Not only did the film win the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, but on January 13th, word was announced that probably a large number of fans had been expecting and hoping for: Frozen is heading to Broadway! Granted, there's no set date yet, but Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said, "We're not demanding speed. We're demanding excellence." Regardless of how long it takes, it's good to hear that the team is hoping to put as much effort into the musical adaption as was done for the film itself. Even better is that the songwriters and directors of the film are helping out.
And now, on the same day it hit a billion worldwide, they've won two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Song ("Let It Go") and for Best Animated Feature, the first for the Disney animation studio. Needless to say, they've earned them. The Lopezes delivering their Best Original Song acceptance speech in rhyme is a Crowning Moment of Awesome, Funny, and Heartwarming at the same time.
Happy Oscars to you, let's make Frozen 2!
Jennifer Lee is the first female director of a Walt Disney Animation Studios film, and the first writer at any major animation studio to become a director. And that movie surpassed a billion dollars worldwide, won a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, and won Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song.
The Frozen Summer Fun event is indeed awesome, with multiple sightings of Anna, Elsa, and for the first time Kristoff, sing-alongs, Elsa using her powers, a snow play area and ice skating rink, a store where you can buy Frozen merch at non-jacked up prices, and a paper Olaf that if you tweet pictures of yourself with him around the park during the day you might be included in the slideshow before the fireworks.
Massive points for Disney for straying away from their Obviously Evil villain path and making Hans a completely different but extremely well done type of Disney Villain: A sociopathicJerkass Woobie who is clever and calculating while being able to hide his evilness from the characters and even the viewer!
The Last Sleepless City's cover of "Let It Go." The guitar and singer's voice are both truly incredible.