When Frozen was released in November 2013, there were a lot of questions about whether or not the film lived up to the hype that Disney and critics were building. It performed strongly in its first weekend being widely released, but didn’t hit the #1 spot until its second. However, positive word of mouth ended up trumping the naysayers and soon the entire world was belting out “Let It Go” and keeping the profits of Frozen above $10 million per week for 2 months straight. The music, which many initially criticized (but ended up praising), helped spawn a re-release sing-a-long version of the film which helped catapult Frozen to over a billion dollars in ticket sales worldwide, solidifying its place in Disney Animation history – and if the profits weren’t good enough, Frozen also took home Disney’s first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Now, Frozen is available to bring home in a Disney Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack.
Frozen, a loose adaptation of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, tells the story of Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), a passionate and fearless younger sibling to Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel), the future queen who was born with a mysterious power giving her the ability to produce ice and snow. After an accident, the sisters are cut off from one another throughout their childhoods until Elsa’s Coronation Day, when her powers are revealed, causing her to flee off into the mountains. The kingdom of Arendelle is stuck in an eternal winter, which can only be fixed by Elsa, so Anna sets off on a quest to find her sister with the assistance of Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff), his reindeer companion Sven and the lovable snowman Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad). Frozen combines Disney storytelling at its best and award-winning music by Kristin Anderson-Lopez and EGOT winner Bobby Lopez into a complete juggernaut that will always be considered a Disney Classic.
The audio and video quality of Frozen is stunning to say the least. The HD 7.1 soundtrack booms throughout the movie, while providing crisp, clear dialogue. The video looks beautiful throughout the entire film, specifically the snow that just seems to drift in the sky. The snow aspect of the film was actually a big part of what made the 3D theatrical release the superior way to watch the film and judging by feedback on messages boards, it is clear that the lack of a 3D Blu-ray release for Frozen is not sitting well with a lot of people. It is possible that down the road Disney will re-release Frozen on 3D Blu-ray with more special features, especially considering that “Get A Horse!,” the theatrical short that is also included on this Blu-ray, was meant to be watched in 3D to get the full effect, but for now we are left with a gorgeous 2D transfer of the Best Animated Film of the year.
The special features on Frozen are the absolute weakest part of this release and one of the most pitiful bonus features section on a Disney release recently, especially for a film that made over a billion dollars and won Best Animated Film and continues to be a powerhouse. Lately, every release has had an @DisneyAnimation feature that shows behind the scenes looks at the Disney Studios, but here it is missing. Instead we are treated to “The Making of Frozen” which is absolutely hilarious, but adds nothing to the making of the film and “D’frosted” which does show glimpses into the background of the film and highlights some concept art for a Snow Queen ride by Marc Davis. Also not appearing on this release is the obnoxious Disney Karaoke which makes absolutely no sense to not be on Frozen, because the film was re-released in theaters as a sing-a-long. There are no options to watch the film in this way at all. Disney dropped the ball on this release, but that adds suspicion to something else coming down the line.
Here’s a list of bonus features on the disc:
» Original Theatrical Short: “Get A Horse!” – “Get A Horse!” is a ‘breakthrough’ in animation, mixing 2D and 3D animation together featuring archived audio of Walt Disney as the voice of Mickey Mouse.
» The Making of Frozen – Don’t click on this special feature expecting an in-depth look into how filmmakers crafted Frozen. “The Making of Frozen” is actually a special song written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez specifically for the release featuring Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Kristen Bell.
» D’frosted: Disney’s Journey from Hans Christian Andersen to Frozen – This 7-minute long feature tells the story of Walt Disney bringing fairytales to life including original concepts for The Snow Queen which later became Frozen. The short is hosted by directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee with special guest Alice Davis, wife of one of Disney’s Nine Old Men and Imagineer Marc Davis.
» Deleted Scenes – Four deleted scenes included are “Never Underestimate The Power Of Elsa,” “The Dressing Room,” “Meet Kristoff #1” and “Meet Kristoff #2.”
» “Let It Go” Music Videos by Demi Lovato, Martina Stoessel and Marsha Milan in English (Lovato), Spanish (Stoessel), Italian (Stoessel) and Malaysian (Milan).
» Frozen Teaser Trailer
Frankly, this is a highly anticipated release for me because of how much I enjoy the film, but I am still disappointed in the Blu-ray overall. 4 stars does seem like a high rating for Blu-ray considering I’m disappointed, but that is based solely on the film itself, the audio and the video presentations. I’m not really upset that a 3D release didn’t happen for Frozen as I don’t always enjoy watching films in 3D, but in this case Disney should’ve had a 3D release ready for Day 1 considering that was the intended way to see the film. I am positive that Disney will be releasing it in 3D somewhere down the line with more and better special features, because they already have in other countries. The fact of the matter is, Frozen should be in every Disney fan’s collection and despite the fact that the special features are horrendous and no one needs to watch 4 different versions of “Let It Go” recorded by pop stars (that’s what YouTube is for) it is still a worthwhile purchase.
I’m in the same boat as Craig – I’ve been looking forward to this release for a while because of how much I’m a fan of the movie. Frozen looks unbelievable on Blu-ray and I’m sure it will hold up well to being watched eight times a day by toddlers – or me. 3D also isn’t a concern for me, but I understand how that’s a let down for people who have invested in the equipment. While the bonus features are a bit disappointing, they’re lightyears ahead of the features offered on the Saving Mr. Banks release. I thoroughly enjoyed both the “Making Of Frozen” song and the “D-frosted” mini-documentary, but only one makes me cry laughing. Oh that Marc Davis. Also, who doesn’t love watching Demi Lovato lip-sync her way through “Let It Go” in a haunted house?
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