Welcome Frozen to the pantheon of great Disney animated feature films. Loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen,” Frozen follows the story of two princess sisters, the older of which, Elsa, discovers at an early age that she possesses magical powers that allow her to create ice and snow.
After she accidently injures her younger sister Anna with these powers, her parents agree to never speak of the tragedy again and put Ilsa into hiding for fear that her powers will be confused for sorcery.
Years later upon her coronation, Ilsa mistakenly casts a spell that leaves their kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Afraid of causing any further damage, she escapes into the frozen forest only to have Anna attempt to rescue. Battling the elements and the odds, Anna entrusts the help of a hapless snowman named Olaf, a mountain man named Kristoff, and his friendly reindeer Sven to guide her through an epic journey to save the world and save her sister.
The film’s release could not have come at a better time. Fans are more than ready for a great animated fairy tale from Disney. While Pixar is dominating the world of bringing anthropomorphic animals to life, Disney hasn’t become synonymous with any niche in recent years, releasing a mixed bag of films including Wreck-It Ralph, Winnie the Pooh, and Tangled. Audiences haven’t been treated to a fairy tale like Frozen in a long while, and it certainly delivers.
In addition to being beautifully animated and presented in 3D, Frozen has eight original songs that will remind you of how much fun animated Disney musicals used to be. While Kristen Bell is great as Anna, the filmmakers decided not to stack their deck with major celebrity supporting characters. Instead, they cast the film with one of the best musical talents of our generation – Broadway star Idina Menzel. The decision certainly paid off as the film’s music is a cut above most any musical in years and the singing brightens the screen no matter how bleak the weather. Winter may have officially begun but Frozen is the most heartwarming animated film of the holiday season. *** 1/2
Frozen opens November 27th, watch the trailer here.