Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel
Genre: Family/ Animation/ Disney
Based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, Frozen tells the story of the two princesses of Arendelle, the elder and future queen Elsa (Menzel) and younger sister Anna (Bell). Elsa has lived locked away from everyone, as unknown to her younger sister she possesses magical powers to freeze anything she touches that she struggles to control. During Elsa’s coronation, after an argument with Anna she accidentally places the whole kingdom into a deep freeze and runs away to the mountains to be alone forever. Feeling partly responsible, Anna sets out to hunt down Elsa and on the way encounters mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and living snowman (!) Olaf (Gad). The group of them set out to the treacherous mountains to find Elsa and somehow stop this deep freeze before everything in the Kingdom is completely frozen and it is too late.
So, after the video game themed excellence that was Wreck-It Ralph, Disney’s latest ‘classic’ is back on familiar fairy tale territory just like the excellent Tangled. With these two titles Disney definitely seemed to be back in business, and though lacking the panache of Tangled, Frozen is most definitely a welcomed addition to their recent efforts. There is of course plenty for the cynics to point at; it is formulaic and text book Disney but has enough there to entertain all ages.
There is almost a panto style to Frozen with constant uplifting numbers that are melodic, catchy and well written. These along with the crisp visuals make for a truly enjoyable experience that is made with genuine heart and never tries to be anything it is not. Though of course a text book Disney fairytale, there are a few different elements thrown in that, though perhaps never memorable, certainly add to the experience. Without giving too much away, the narrative tweaks a few fairytale conventions, though these are not groundbreaking or completely revolutionary, I found that they made Frozen that little bit better than your average children’s fairy tale film. The main corner stone of the plot is the relationship between the two sisters, a refreshing change to the usual over clichéd romances.
Of course the plot is a little more ridiculous than most fairy tales and often far from original but if you are willing to go with it then Frozen is a charming and enjoyable watch. Of course we have animals that can communicate with humans, plenty of (predictable) romance and a comedy sidekick (a talking snowman!) who often verges on very annoying. However, for a film that will entertain the kids and parents alike, Frozen in my view does the job.
While certainly nowhere near a Disney classic, and unable to jump out of the shadow of Disney’s fellow recent fairy tale adap Tangled, Frozen is a solid addition with great songs, breathtaking visuals, good characters and lots of snow.