Frozen (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray)

Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale “The Snow Queen,” Frozen is the story of two sisters, princesses, named Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) from the seaside kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa, the elder, was cursed with a tremendous power at birth, one that allows her to create snow, ice and other wintry elements. Unfortunately, she’s never learned to control this power, and one day she injures her beloved sister while playing. Though they were able to heal Anna (and remove Anna’s memory of the accident), Elsa was forbidden from telling Anna the truth about her powers. Elsa’s parents advise her to hide these abilities; and worse yet, Elsa separates herself from a sad and confused Anna. The two grow up with a heavy, locked door always between them.

As the years passed, they grew older, and seemed to grow apart. With their parents now dead, the day of Elsa’s coronation as Queen of Arendelle has arrived. For the first time in years, she must face her sister and the public. When Elsa’s nerves get the best of her abd her powers are revealed, her fear and the fear of her people result in Elsa fleeing Arendelle, now a land in eternal winter. Now, Anna must find Elsa to save both her sister and her country.

Leaving her newly minted fiancé, Hans (Santino Fontana), in charge of Arendelle, Anna sets off on her horse, Sitron, and with Mountain Man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven, to find Elsa. Along the way the trio meets Olaf (Josh Gad), a deliriously happy snowman who can always be counted on for some comic relief. Olaf’s a wonderful little guy who harbors big dreams of experiencing summertime.

Directors Jennifer Lee (who also wrote the script) and Chris Buck have transformed Andersen’s original work into a musical full of memorable songs and characters. For those expecting the traditional prince/princesses love story, the wonderful surprise is that this is truly a story about the rebirth of the bond between sisters (“For the First Time in Forever”), and Elsa sense of liberation once her powers are known, and she’s in the snow (“Let it Go”). Some songs soar, while others simply fit in with the story. Whatever the case, one thing that can’t be argued is the tremendous singing ability on display. Idina Menzel is the star here, showing herself to be tremendously adept at capturing just the right emotion for each song.

While some of the fairy tale aspects—Elsa’s powers, Kristoff’s troll family, Olaf’s desire to experience summer—aren’t explained particularly well, and don’t always make perfect sense in the narrative, the songs, and outstanding animation tends to make up for some of it. Frozen may not offer anything particularly new, but it certainly is charming.

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 and colorful, with no sign of digital artifacts. Contrast is simply perfection. Great stuff.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix is reference quality. Directionality is superb, and particularly noticeable with dialogue that moves freely throughout the soundfield. The songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and the background score of Christophe Beck receive an immersive surround experience with the vocalist’s benefiting from a wide soundstage orchestra to accompany them. Atmospherics also extend to the surround channels.

English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles are included

The following extras are available:

  • D’Frosted: Disney’s Journey from Hans Christian Andersen to Frozen (HD, 7:28) Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee along with Disney animator Marc Davis’ widow Alice discuss Walt Disney’s original plans to develop a film around a Snow Queen, and how some of those ideas were incorporated into Frozen.
  • The Making of Frozen (HD, 3:18) A musical EPK of sorts, as Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Kristen Bell chime a song that repeats “How did we make, how did we make, how did we make Frozen?” without ever providing an answer. Pretty much a waste of time.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:51) Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee introduce four deleted scenes, presented via storyboards, concept art and voicework. Scenes include “Never Underestimate the Power of Elsa,” “The Dressing Room,” “Meet Kristoff #1″ and Meet Kristoff #2.”
  • Music Videos (HD, 15:42) Four different versions of the end credits song are included: the first (“Let it Go”) in English by Demi Lovato, the second (“Libre Soy”) in Spanish by Martina Stoessel, the third (“All’alba Sorgero”) in Italian by Stoessel, and the fourth in Malaysian by Marsha Milan.
  • Animated Short: Get a Horse! (HD, 6:00) Mickey Mouse breaks the fourth wall in this humorous short.
  • Original Teaser Trailer (HD, 1:32)
  • DVD/Digital Copy: disc and code sheet enclosed in the case.
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