Archive for category Frozen

Film News: ‘Frozen Fever’ Opens in March 2015 Before ‘Cinderella’

The beloved characters of “Frozen” will be returning next year in a special animated short, to be screened right before “Cinderella.” The special is aptly named “Frozen Fever” because unless you’ve been off the network, you’re well aware of the popularity of the 2013 film that started it all. It’s a surge that brought the “Frozen Sing-Along” only months later and to this day, still has adults and kids singing “Let It Go.” The good news broke today on Disney Insider, which hints that Elsa’s powers may wreak havoc at Anna’s birthday party.

One wonders if the move by Disney is a means of attracting more people to “Cinderella.” The live-action project is directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Downton Abbey’s Lily James in the iconic lead role. The Downton connection may be a good enough draw here for some. On the other hand, marketing “Cinderella” and “Frozen Fever” together is a tactic that might prove more effective. I’m always wary when the movie trailer exceeds two minutes (this one clocks in at a whopping 2:41). The events in the preview also seem to flow chronologically for the most part, practically giving the entire film away. Compare that to last year’s “Maleficent,” which hits a minute and a half and two minutes respectively for its trailers, yet it still left a lot of room for guesses. A mere difference in length of thirty seconds to a minute is enough to leave you wondering (even just briefly) whether you should just wait for the film to come out on DVD or Blu-ray.

Let’s get back to the more exciting news of the day. Just this past Sunday, the waves lit up when Idina Menzel said that a Frozen sequel and musical “were in the works.” However, she’s since clarified that she “assumed” the projects were going on, reflecting her confidence in the popular franchise. For now, we all know we’ve got a case of “Frozen Fever,” so hang on for the remedy, which arrives in theaters on March 13, 2015!


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TV Review: Snow Queen Brings ‘Rocky Road’ for All on ‘Once Upon a Time’

Caution: This review contains spoilers.

“There’s no problem that can’t be solved with a bit of ice cream.” The Snow Queen’s words would normally hold true, it doesn’t work that way if the tasty treat happens to be from Any Given Sundae and is enchanted. In last night’s chapter of “Once Upon a Time,” Marian (Christie Laing) falls ill because of a spell in her ice cream. It begins by adding a silvery streak to her hair, turning her into an ice statue as the cold threatens to reach her heart and kill her. Yes, yet another pull from “Frozen,” but that’s only one of the issues the Charmings have to tackle. Robin (Sean Maguire) tries True Love’s Kiss, which does not work, because Regina (Lana Parrilla) is his True Love.

Back in Arendelle, Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) spies on Hans (Tyler Jacob Moore), discovering that the villain intends to trap Elsa (Georgina Haig) in an urn and take the kingdom from her. Hans uncaps the urn and expects victory; instead, he’s unleashed a lady (Elizabeth Mitchell) who can wield powers just like Elsa’s. This Snow Queen, as we’ll refer to her, claims to be Elsa and Anna’s aunt. But just who is she really?

Any Given Sundae ice cream shop, Storybrooke (Steveston, BC). Photo by Pat Cuadros.

Any Given Sundae ice cream shop, on the set of Storybrooke (Steveston, BC). Photo by Pat Cuadros.

In Storybrooke, the townspeople are convinced that Elsa is responsible for the latest problem, along with the ice wall that remains at the borders. There’s also a renewal of tensions between old enemies. Regina quips to Emma (Jennifer Morrison) that the “Savior needs saving these days,” remarks that get under Emma’s skin. Hook gets Rumple (Robert Carlyle) to help Elsa track down the party responsible for framing her, which turns out to be the Snow Queen. It leads to a great confrontation, whereby Emma saves both Elsa and Hook from the “Dairy Queen.” Even though Emma seems insecure about her status as the Savior, she proves that she has a lot of power when she’s provoked enough. As in the previous episode, she’s still struggling to control her powers. Meanwhile, Regina has enlisted Henry (Jared Gilmore) in Operation Mongoose to find the storybook author and give her a new ending.

Return of the Dark One

The momentum continues to be strong in season four, introducing a new villain but also reviving the evil tendencies of both Rumple and Regina. Rumplestiltskin is certainly an interesting puzzle this season. It was only last season when speculation was abound about whether he would “go dark” in order to save Henry and defeat Pan. I’d argue that he never actually went dark and resorted to “old habits,” though he wrestled with the question a lot. Lately however, the pawnbroker appears to have reverted to his darker tendencies, looking rather gloomy when the Charmings and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) cross his threshold for assistance. He even goes so far as to have Belle (Emilie de Ravin) “command” him with the fake dagger to tell the truth to the Charmings. He’s digging himself deeper in his deceit, all in the name of power, which Rumple unquestionably finds addictive. It’s only a matter of time before Belle discovers the truth and leaves him (for good or temporarily is the next question).

It’s almost like Rumple has reverted back to the way he was in season one. His demeanor and bearing at the very end of the episode seem to mirror those old mannerisms. Arguably, he’s gone a bit further: his voice even changed in the Pawn Shop with the Charmings and Hook to a tone somewhere in between his regular voice and his Dark One voice. It’s difficult to pinpoint it, but I would argue that’s probably intentional on Robert Carlyle’s part as he’s proven before his versatility in portraying the complex history of Rumple. Anyway, Rumple knows the Snow Queen and her plans and he’s itching to make a deal with her.

What’s Next?

Next week, the episode is entitled “The Apprentice,” which may bring us back to the curious hat that Rumplestiltskin found. I imagine you have enough questions about last night’s episode alone! How does the Snow Queen know Emma Swan? How come neither Emma nor Elsa remember her? In any case, the Royals of Arendelle and Storybrooke face an uphill battle against their new and formidable foe. Moving forward, perhaps there are some epic showdowns you’re dying to see: Emma vs. Snow Queen? Elsa vs. Snow Queen? Or even the Fire Queen (Regina) vs. the Ice Queen? The older rivalries can also rear their ugly heads, so don’t be surprised to see Rumple vs. Hook or Emma vs. Regina. A little ice cream probably won’t resolve the issues of your favorite Storybrooke characters, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying a scoop of rocky road (or vanilla, my personal favorite) as you tune in in the weeks to come!

“Once Upon a Time” airs Sunday evenings on ABC at 8|7c.

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TV Review: Storybrooke and Arendelle Royals Meet During ‘White Out’ in ‘Once Upon a Time’

Caution: This review contains spoilers on the episode “White Out.”

Who would have guessed that Little Bo Peep (Robin Weigert) would turn out to be a warlord in Fairy Tale Land (FTL)? Or on the freakier side of things, would you link her Storybrooke identity with a butcher at the Chop Shop? Yes, complete with the exquisitely sharpened cleaver and apron! In “Once Upon a Time,” she’s a nasty villain that extorts tribute from residents in her area, turning them into sheep when they can’t pay up! It makes her a tremendous adversary for shepherd David (Josh Dallas) to overcome with the help of fearless Anna of Arendelle (Elizabeth Lail).

That’s not the only surprise from last night’s episode, “White Out.” Elsa (Georgina Haig) vows that no one will leave Storybrooke until she finds Anna. She puts up an ice wall, causing a black out in the town. Emma (Jennifer Morrison), David, and Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) investigate, which results in Emma getting trapped in the wall with Anna. Through Emma’s walkie talkie, Elsa demands that David find Anna.

Meanwhile, Granny and the dwarfs harass Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) about restoring the power. “It’s your curse, your town,” they tell her, because Regina (Lana Parrilla) doesn’t want any part in it either. Snow White is the new mayor of Storybrooke, her new kingdom. The dilemma is funny, highlighting how dependent the fairy tale characters have become on modern conveniences like refrigeration, computers, and the Internet.

It begs the question: Would the Storybrooke residents truly want to return to the Enchanted Forest forever, or is Storybrooke their real home now? Emma certainly admitted that Storybrooke, not New York nor Boston, is her home. We also get a bonding moment between Snow and Baby Neal, who inspires her on how to fuel the power plant.

Emma, who is freezing to death, manages to bond with Elsa when she finds out both of them cannot control their magic. It’s a predictable but welcome friendship to see, taking on aspects of a sisterly relationship. This dynamic is balanced in FTL by David’s new friendship with Anna, who teaches him how to swordfight. It’s a nice point to draw in that despite their magic powers, both Emma and Elsa feel powerless (unless they believe in themselves). In contrast, both Anna and (Storybrooke) David have power through their optimism and persistence.

David takes the Shepherd’s Crook from Peep at the Chop Shop. Relieved to find that David knew Anna, Elsa has enough confidence in herself to open up the wall. Where is Anna? Rumplestiltskin has a dark look on his face when he finds out that Anna’s necklace is gone. Anna went in search of him following her adventure with David.

The other clue is the mysterious woman (Elizabeth Mitchell from “Lost”) at the store Any Given Sundae (what a fantastic name!). She has powers like Elsa’s and it’s implied that she’s keeping the ice wall up around Storybrooke. If she is a new villain, one would hope for a showdown with Regina, whose weapon of choice is fire, of course.

Overall, “Once Upon a Time” has so much to offer this season. Today’s episode revolved about the concept of feeling stuck, physically and mentally, and being able to fight to set yourself free. The title “White Out” could be a play on “black out,” considering that Elsa’s white walls of ice turned off the power. Perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch, but in the operative (and modern) sense of the word, you can go back and “white out” or correct your mistakes. Elsa feels like she’s at fault but she works hard to undo the mess that she caused. That fits with the recent push by characters to seek redemption, but seems to clash with the principle that “all magic comes with a price.”

There’s a lot coming in from “Frozen” but the new twists are fresh and help to maintain a great pace on the plot. For instance, it was clever to make Anna proficient at handling a sword, showing how David had to work to become the Prince Charming we admire. It also fits the OUAT angle of having strong female characters. The jokes are top notch, particularly from the dwarves and side characters, who are such a source of humor in the old Disney films. The villains with top billing have retreated to the background for the moment, but we’re waiting to see what new projects Rumple and Regina will unveil from their respective lairs.

“Once Upon a Time” airs Sunday evenings on ABC at 8|7c.

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