A rip-roaring ice-infested fairytale based on Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Snow Queen’, ‘Frozen’ is Disney’s latest addition to their family-friendly films.
Set amidst the beautiful backdrop of a super-summery kingdom and following the adventures of two sisters- one feisty annd fearless called Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and the other possessing powers to produce ice and snow at will, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel). On the day of Elsa’s coronation, after her sister angers her, Elsa’s powers are discovered by her, making the vaguely Nordic kingdom eternally wintery. Elsa is forced to flee and Anna sets off to retrieve her and meets a young, rugged ice salesman called Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his loyal pet reindeer and a comical, inquisitive snowman.
The flick premiered on 19 November 2013 at the El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood and was officially released on 27 November. It earned over $515 million in worldwide box office revenue, $271 million of which has been earned in the United States and Canada. And so far, it has been met with universal critical acclaim, with several film critics considering it to be the best Disney animated musical since the studio’s renaissance era between 1989 and 1999.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, ‘Frozen’ is full of wonderful songs, characters with real personalities, snappy jokes and Disney’s traditional happy ending with a few stumbles along the way. The 102 minute film also boasts Christophe Beck’s talents of composition. Having previously worked on a huge range of films, from ‘Burlesque’ (2010), to ‘Bring It On’ (2013) and the up-and-coming ‘Muppets Most Wanted’ (2014), Beck had certainly composed some belters in the past and has done nothing less for ‘Frozen’. The tracks are emotional, charming and full of Disney magic, particularly the film’s single ‘Let It Go’.
It’s a wide-eyed Christmas treat with all the trimmings, but this is no same-old Disney princess film. The character personas and dynamics are much more detailed than you’d expect from what is fundamentally a kids’ film, for instance, Elsa is misunderstood by pretty much everyone but Anna, yet Anna is a convincing enough ‘good’ character that the audience trusts her opinion. It’s also priceless to watch a feisty female on screen that’s not a tomboy!
With a dark, heavyweight backstory brought to a more optimistic light with cheery characters and songs, ‘Frozen’ is a spunky sisterly conflict story with sparkle. It’s also not utterly focused on finding a man, although romance does still play a significant part and creates struggles for several characters. The animation is also pretty astounding, particularly in scenes containing Elsa’s ice palace which, although delightfully fantastical is also realistic looking.
The goofy, hilarious sidekick comes in the form of Olaf, who is voiced bye ‘The Book of Mormon’s’ Josh Gad. Not only does he add a lighthearted air to the film and keep kids interested in the storyline, but creates some fantastic physical comedy and great one-liners. He also sings a beautiful track called ‘In Summer’, which is about all the adventures snowmen could have in warmer weather as Anna and Kristoff don’t have the heart to tell him the truth.
With almost every wonderfully-crafted frame crammed with emotion, wit and morality, with two unmistakably fearless heroines and a ravishing musical score, Disney are back to doing what they do best.