Disney fans rejoice! Little girls now have two new princesses to adore, as the animated film “Frozen,” loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson story “The Snow Queen,” has continued Disney’s recent princess movie trend. As usual, Disney did not disappoint.
Disney’s princess movie revival began with 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog” and continued with 2010’s “Tangled” and 2012’s “Brave.” All of these movies were wildly successful and displayed Disney’s perfected princess movie formula.
Recently, we have seen Disney take a turn away from the typical princess love story in favor of a more family-oriented plot. In “Brave” specifically, the plot focuses on a mother-daughter relationship, with no romance at all. While “Frozen” does have romance weaved into the story, there is a strong family element, as it deals with the relationship between sisters.
The two sisters, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), are the princesses of the fictitious kingdom Arendelle. Elsa has the power to conjure up snow and ice with a flick of her hands, a power that she doesn’t fully understand. The two sisters begin as close playmates, until Elsa accidentally harms Anna with her powers. Because of the incident, Anna forgets all about her sister’s powers, and Elsa is forced to protect herself and others by secluding herself from the outside world and keeping her gift a secret.
The two grow apart, until Elsa is forced out of seclusion for her coronation. During the festivities, Anna sparks her sister’s anger, causing Elsa’s powers to soar out of control, launching Arendelle into an eternal winter. Anna is forced to seek out her fleeing sister to end the winter. Along the way, she encounters Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), a loner mountain man, and Olaf (Josh Gad), a spunky animated snowman, who help her with her journey.
The story moves along quickly, jumping from plot point to plot point. Disney didn’t nail the pacing with this film, yet this was a minor flaw in an overall stellar movie.
One of the best aspects of “Frozen” is that it’s non-stop hilarious. Like most Disney movies, “Frozen” has humor thrown in for everyone; both children and their parents will leave the theater laughing. Funnyman Gad proves that his humor is evident through voice alone, as Olaf leaves the audience in stitches throughout the movie. Of course, the quirky Anna and other outrageous minor characters offer their own sidesplitting moments.
“Frozen,” like most animated Disney films, is a musical. Husband-and-wife songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez have written toe-tapping and often beautiful musical numbers for the movie. True to their background, the couple has written a more classic musical theater score for “Frozen,” and the audience often sees dialog being sung and characters bursting into song, even more so than in previous Disney musicals. While this will be nothing new to musical theater fans, the style of the movie may take some getting used to for the average viewer.
That being said, “Frozen” has something for everyone: humor, romance, scheming, battle, and at the heart of film, an uplifting tale about the importance of family. Don’t let the animation fool you; it’s the perfect holiday movie for all ages.