This year has been a bust for American animation. Despite the success at the Box Office, few of the 2013 animated feature films have caught on with critics or shown any quality to suggest that they might last in our cultural consciousness beyond this year. Monster’s University continued the downward trend of Pixar offerings, Despicable Me 2 and this weekend’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 seem like uninspired sequels, and Planes, Turbo, and Epic were just boring. Dreamworks’ The Croods got some mild praise from Duncan, but doesn’t seem like it will be remembered. As a fan of animation, this is a disappointment and has lead me to place all my hopes in a single film: Disney’s Frozen.
To be fair, I would probably be wildly anticipating Frozen regardless of the rest of the year’s animation slate because it has so many things that I enjoy. It has an excellent cast, fantastic songwriters, a good composer, and an interesting plot.
Frozen is about a young girl names Anna who goes on a quest with the help of her reindeer Sven and mountain man Kristoff to find her sister Elsa the Snow Queen. Elsa has locked herself in a mountain as punishment for the eternal winter she has accidentally brought upon the kingdom.
The cast is made up of a Broadway-friendly bunch that includes multiple Tony nominees Idina Menzel (RENT/Wicked), Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), and Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon). The songs are written by husband and wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez who wrote the music for Disney’s latest Winnie the Pooh film; Robert has also written songs for musicals Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon. Additional score is provided by Christophe Beck, whom many will know from the beautiful soundtrack he did for last year’s Paperman animated short.
I have really high hopes for this film and would love for it to redeem the year in animation. Take a look at the trailer below and let us know your thoughts. Frozen will be released on November 27, 2013.
The opening song from Frozen also premiered on YouTube this week and it sounds great. It is a beautiful Norwegian choral piece that really evokes the gentle chill of winter (and all the songs I sang in my college Concert Choir. Minnesota chorales sing a LOT of Scandinavian hymns). Take a listen to that below: