Friday, 20 December 2013

Frozen

Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in an eternal winter.

Directed and Written by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana.

Approx Run Time: 1 Hour 40 mins


Frozen is Disney's latest Princess adventure, loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen, and follows the story of Elsa, who has the power to create ice and snow. This is a secret she keeps from her younger sister Anna in an effort to protect her from the potential dangers her magic could bring. 

A family-fun movie and a definite must-watch this Christmas, Frozen is filled with magic, music, love and laughs, beautifully emphasised in 3D. The characters are wonderfully likable and there's humour for both adults and children to enjoy - particularly from the living snowman Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, with his dry wit and knack for stating the obvious with a touch of sarcasm. 

It's a musical, so of course there are songs galore which I have now been humming continuously since I left the cinema a week ago. Idina Menzel's Let It Go is the highlight of the show and I can imagine it being performed on a west-end stage in a few years time (this song is also covered by Demi Lovato which you can hear during the end credits). The opening half hour perhaps has a song too many and they probably could have dropped at least one and used the time for some better exposition; my one complaint of the movie was the lack of explanation into Elsa's powers and how and why she had them in the first place. The opening of Tangled did an amazing job with explaining how Rapunzel came to be in her tower with her glowing, magic hair, but Frozen skimmed over the finer details which is why, if I had to choose between the two movies, I'd pick Tangled. 

That being said, Frozen is still a brilliantly moving film and where it lacks in exposition it makes up for in its themes and concluding climax. While romance is explored to a certain extent, a Princess falling in love is not at the centre of the plot. Don't expect any damsels in distress here; instead this is about women supporting women and the real relationship to root for isn't between a Princess and a Prince, but two sisters, a Princess and a Queen. The climax is a combination of shock, grief and beauty and wholly fitting for the sisters, symbolising the power of the sisterly bond. 

Charming, beautiful and fiercely strong, Anna and Elsa encapsulate the perfection that has become the modern Disney era. 

Rating: ****


Amber