Frozen – Destined to be this holiday’s biggest hit

The holidays are here!  And with that first chilly frost comes the first wonderful family film of the season: Frozen, Disney’s animated twist on the classic fairy taleThe Snow Queen.

We were lucky enough to see an early screening of the film, and sit down with the stars and creators including Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Chris Beck and Jennifer Lee, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

You can tell when films are made with love, and the passion behind Frozen was so apparent from the joy and excitement in the way every person involved spoke about the making of the film.

While loosely based on The Snow Queen, the team behind Frozen focused the film on the relationship between the two sisters, fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) and Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter.  Anna sets off on an epic journey to find her sister—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven – and reuniting with a magical, goofy snowman named Olaf along the way.

One of the things that makes Frozen different from your typical princess film is Anna, Kristen Bell’s character who is anything but a prim and proper princess, and more of, well, Kristin Bell in all her goofy, fabulous real-ness.

With Kristen Bell

In our roundtable with her she talked about ad-libbing and how they incorporated her awkward and unexpected choices into the character, even small things like how Anna would wake up:

“…when she woke up, like, the first time you see Anna as an adult when she woke up it just said she wakes up…then they pressed record and I started doing it and I was, like, coughing and snorting, which is what I do when I wake up. And then I was like had some of my hair in my mouth…Which if you’re a girl you know. Your hair is probably in your mouth and,then when she falls back asleep I always do that ’cause I hit snooze like six times. I’m up two hours before I have to get out of bed ’cause I love hitting snooze. And so I wanted her to sit up and fall asleep and then pretend like she wasn’t and all these things they just kept letting me add.”

From the art directors that were sent to Norway and Canada to study the way snow and ice move and reflect light, to the Lopez team crafting Broadway caliber songs with wit and melodies you don’t hear very often in original musicals, to the powerhouse extraordinary voice of Idina Menzel (trust us, you will be singing “Let it Go,” her signature number in the film, for days after seeing the film), to the truly wonderful true love twist, Frozen delivers a film experience that is different from what you expect.

Idina Menzel (center)

When Kristen Anderson-Lopez talked about writing “Letting Go”, it was apparent that this song changed the actual direction of the character of  Elsa and how the concept of a villain in Frozen would be different:

“…once we captured what you would feel like if you had held onto this secret and then you went up to go up a mountain and let go of everything you know but it also meant letting go,letting go of all the holding back you’ve been doing for so many years and becoming your true self. Once we captured that moment and that truth about Elsa there was no way she could ever really be a villain”

And, if that song doesn’t win the Oscar I can’t imagine what would!

So, bundle up the family and head to the theater to see Frozen this weekend.  It’s the perfect film to celebrate being together – and a great soundtrack to stick in the stocking (or under the Menorah!).

Even our tween reviewers loved it (and yes, they have “Let it Go” on autorepeat on their iPods, it’s seriously addictive).

Find out more!

“Like” FROZEN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyFrozen

Visit the official website: http://www.disney.com/frozen

and have your kid review FROZEN on KidzVuz.com!

FROZEN opens in theaters everywhere on November 27th!