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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
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Frozen Blu-ray ReviewBlu-ray Disney
- Studio: Disney
- Distributed By: N/A
- Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
- Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1
- Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
- Rating: PG
- Run Time: 1 Hr. 42 Min.
- Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
- Case Type: keep case in a slipcover
- Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
- Region: ABC
- Release Date: 03/18/2014
- MSRP: $44.99
The Production Rating: 4/5On the day of her coronation, young Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), who has an amazing icy power in her fingertips, is so distraught that her beloved younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell) wants to marry Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) whom she’s only just met that day that she loses control of her powers and turns her kingdom of Arendelle into an ice kingdom doomed to perpetual winter. She then flees to the North Mountain and establishes an ice castle there where she intends to live permanently away from anyone she might harm with her as yet unbridled powers. But Anna comes looking for her sister not only to try to reconnect with someone she’s always loved but to get her to return Arendelle to more seasonal conditions. On the way she is aided in her search by ice mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his faithful companion reindeer Sven and a playful, gregarious snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).
Once again, trying to keep something secret which would make a person different from his kinsmen is the mistake that precipitates all of the tragedy and disaster that befalls the kingdom, and the screenplay by directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee along with Shane Morris doesn’t quite push forward that foolish decision quite hard enough as the tale works its way through fairly predictable journey motifs and the (too) slowly developing relationship between Anna and Kristoff. There is a nice third act surprise in store for viewers and a clutch of very entertaining musical numbers penned by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez including the Oscar-winning power ballad for Elsa “Let It Go!” as she declares the embracing of her powers (and with Wicked’s Tony-winning Idina Menzel singing and acting the role, it’s more than a little reminiscent in theme and power to her character’s “Defying Gravity” in that celebrated show), Kristoff’s troll family’s delightful “A Little Bit of Love,” and the utterly charming “In Summer” where snowman Olaf dreams of luxuriating in warmth (not realizing that it would spell his doom). It’s clear we’re in musical territory at the very beginning with a husky men’s chorus intoning “Frozen Heart,” and the sweetly lyrical “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” makes a nice montage for the sisters as they grow into adulthood. Disney’s animators have outdone themselves with the representations of ice and snow running out of control (the formation of Elsa’s ice palace is one astoundingly animated sequence and a shipwreck at sea is the film’s most singularly captivating image), and character animation is reaching such levels of sophistication now with computers that certainly anything seems possible (the flopping toupee on the rascally Duke of Weselton is just one of the numerous sight gags that pays big dividends).
The voice acting and singing is superb for all of the principals. Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff have serious Broadway credentials, and Kristen Bell is certainly their equal in handling the vocal and dramatic chores of her starring role. Of course, Josh Gad steals all of his scenes as the continuously cheery, always well-meaning Olaf (expect to see him in a sequel or a succession of animated shorts), and Santino Fontana as the earnest Prince Hans, terrific Alan Tudyk as the snooty Duke of Weselton, and Swede trading post proprietor Oaken, hilariously voiced by Disney animation director Chris Williams, make the most of their opportunities.
wolf chase sequence
"Let It Go!" musical number
"Let It Go!" musical number
Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA
The film’s widescreen aspect ratio of 2.24:1 is presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. As with most CGI-animated films, the image quality is spectacularly sharp, amazingly colorful, and without any artifacts. There is no banding to mar the imagery, just richly colorful and crisply detailed pictures that consistently amaze. Contrast has been dialed in to perfection. The film has been divided into 16 chapters.
A note on this release: Frozen was available to theaters in 3D, but Disney has decided for now that a 3D version will only be offered via a digital streaming service (3D Blu-rays will be available in foreign markets and can be imported here). The film appears to have enormous potential for 3D effectiveness. With all of the razor sharp icicles which protrude constantly during the film, not to mention an ice saw at the very beginning forced downward at the screen, Sven’s antlers, Olaf’s carrot nose and twig hair and arms, snow and broken ice flung at the screen, and other possible protrusions, Elsa’s vast ice palace and the tall mountain slopes: all of this would be a playground for inventive 3D expressiveness. (Get a Horse!, the 3D short which precedes the feature and is on this release in 2D, likewise seems a veritable wonderland of 3D opportunities.) Shame on Disney for not making the 3D Blu-ray release easily available on release day in Region A.
Audio Rating: 5/5The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix is reference quality from any perspective. The best use of available channels occurs with the delightful directionalized dialogue which dots the feature and really makes use of all of the front and rear channels. The delightful songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and the background score of Christophe Beck likewise get an immersive surround experience with the singers receiving a wide soundstage orchestra to accompany them (without ever intruding on their vocals). Numerous atmospheric effects similarly extend the effectiveness of the sound design in and through the surround channels.
Special Features: 2.5/5Get a Horse! (6:00, HD): the hilarious Mickey Mouse short which amalgamates the older Mickey countenance with a fourth wall-breaking surreal modern slant on moviemaking and modern projection is offered (alas) in 2D.
The Making of Frozen (3:18, HD): not what it appears to be: it’s a live-action musical number starring the film’s Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Kristen Bell extolling the virtues of a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s production but admitting they can’t accommodate us.
D’frosted: Disney’s Journey from Hans Christian Andersen to Frozen (7:28, HD): directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee along with Disney animator Marc Davis’ widow Alice discuss the original plans for a Snow Queen ride at Disneyland and how some of those original ideas were incorporated into Frozen.
Deleted Scenes (6:51, HD): directors Chris Buck Jennifer Lee introduce four planned but never fully animated sequences in the movie (shown in pencil sketches and click track). These may also be viewed separately.
“Let It Go!” Music Videos (15:42, HD): four music videos of the song in various languages are sung by Demi Lovato, Martina Stoessel (two different ones), and Marsha Milan.
Teaser Trailer (1:32, HD)
Promo Trailers (HD): Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition, Muppets Most Wanted, The Fairy Pirate.
DVD/Digital Copy: disc and code sheet enclosed in the case.
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