Frozen (2013)

Frozen (2013)

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A talking snowman! Whatever next?
A talking snowman! Whatever next?

Twitter Plot Summary: One princess has the magical power to freeze things. When things go pear-shaped, she plunges the kingdom into an unending winter.

Genre: Animation/Adventure/Comedy/Family/Fantasy/Musical

Director: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee

Key Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciaran Hinds, Chris Williams, Stephen J Anderson, Edie McClurg

Five Point Summary:

1. Time passes in a montage…
2. Let It Go. Man, that song was belted out.
3. Sven, Olaf, Kristoff, Anna. Entertaining quartet.
4. Ahh, things aren’t all that they seem…
5. Status quo restored. Not the band.

Disney are back again after their success with Tangled, this time with a story inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. We follow two young princesses, one of whom has magical powers that allow her to manipulate, create and generally tinker with snow and ice. An accident early on leaves the younger sister, Anna, with a streak of white hair and results in older sister Elsa shutting herself away and cutting herself off from the world lest she harm anybody else with her powers. As the years pass, Anna wants to head outside, see the world and perhaps more importantly, see other people, whilst Elsa wants to remain cut off from the world. This leaves Anna starved for attention and desperate to find adventure and “The One”, ultimately flinging herself at the first man to show interest in her when the castle gates finally open to the world, when her sister comes of age and takes the throne.  We of course know how that’s going to turn out.

It’s Disney at their most unashamed, chock full of catchy, heartfelt songs and fun characters. The animation is superb, as you would expect, and even without seeing it in 3D there’s a distinct possibility that I’ll go back and watch it with an extra dimension. Can’t say that about many films. There are a couple of caveats to take into account though. The first is that if you’ve seen Tangled then you’ve essentially seen Frozen as well. The lead female character isn’t too dissimilar to Rapunzel, and Sven the reindeer is almost a carbon copy of Maximus. The songs too are of a similar ilk to those in Tangled – big Broadway numbers that are belted out with relish by the cast, none more so than Let It Go where Idina Menzel puts 120% effort into it.

"You can't see it because I'm wearing a really good corset, but I'm usually THIS wide!"
“You can’t see it because I’m wearing a really good corset, but I’m usually THIS wide!”

The other sticking point is that both sisters look the same other than their hair colour, and that ultimately they are bit players in a film that should really focus on them quite extensively. In more positive news, Olaf the snowman isn’t anywhere near as irritating as the trailers made out, and there is lots of fun to be had with the buddy pairing of Kristoff and his trusty, carrot loving reindeer Sven. A couple of sequences involving magical trolls are a little at odds with the rest of the story, but they provide a brief distraction from what would otherwise be a dull A to B quest.

I can still heartily recommend the film in any case. Disney films are usually entertaining even when they hit an iffy patch (Disney’s 80s output, I’m looking at you). Thankfully the songs and amusing dialogue save it, so not only is Frozen a perfect festive movie but it also has enough going for it to justify viewings at other points in the year. A bit like Die Hard in that respect. Just don’t confuse it with the other movie called Frozen that was released in 2010 – renting that accidentally will give your kids nightmares.

Favourite scene: The wrathful snow giant seeks vengeance!

Quote: “Some people are worth melting for… but perhaps not right this second!”

Silly Moment: Olaf wondering what snow does in summer, but not joining the dots.

Score: 4/5

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