Following last year’s Wreck it Ralph Disney have gone back to what they know best with their recent animation Frozen as it see’s them returning to the good old princess and prince story, but this time with a twist. Based, very loosely, off of Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen the adaptation was directed by Chris Buck (Tarzan) and Jennifer Lee (who was a writer on Wreck it Ralph). It’s release has seen it break a collection of records in North America, all of which it has to be said are the kind of records that no one really cares about, but nevertheless has still made a nice sum of money and appears to be doing very well critically as well.
The story focuses around the relationship between two sisters, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) who at the start of the film are young and the best of friends. However, Elsa has a magical power that allows her to control snow and ice, which she accidentally almost kills her sister with. This moment changes their relationship and after the death of their parents they grow up in an empty house never interacting, until the day of Elsa’s coronation where an angry outburst leads to her revealing her powers and fleeing to the mountains, at which point Anna gives chase.
It’s a tale that has a lot of different plot points running through it and I obviously don’t want to spoil too much but it all comes together nicely in a good twist on the old fashioned fairy tale story, particularly in the ending. It’s an example of Disney’s recent attempts to move away from it’s rather sexist past and although some of the female characters still exhibit some of those classic Disney princess behaviours, it has to be said it achieves that ambition, purely by it’s decision to make the relationship between Anna and Elsa central to the film.
The animation is of course wonderful and despite the fact the tale generally takes place in desolate snowy tundras, it is transformed into a beautiful landscape by the skill of the Disney team. While the songs are what holds really holds this film together. Composed by husband and wife combo Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez they will constantly delight you and either make you laugh out loud or wipe a tear from your eye.
It also has to be said that there are few films I have laughed at more this year. In Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad), who loves warm hugs, and Sven the reindeer, they have two of the best comic sidekicks I’ve seen in a movie for a long time and Olaf is particularly likely to induce hysterics every time he saunters onto the screen.
Disney seem to be rediscovering that magic formula, that made them the animation company they are and Frozen is the latest example of it. It’s a wonderful tale that looks beautiful and will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. It’s also worth mentioning that you should arrive on time, as they have yet another great short before the movie starts. All in all though this is a movie that is likely to delight audiences the world round, so whether you’re a parent with young children or an adult, who likes to be a bit childish sometimes, make sure this isn’t one you miss.