After loving Wreck-it-Ralph I had great hopes that Frozen would match its standard. To my great disappointment...nah I’m kidding. Frozen is a magical adventure with some great songs and beautiful animation that ranks it up there with the Disney greats.
After a very Mulan-esque opening number I wondered how many similarities this film might have to what has come before it, but straight away after this first song, Frozen’s originality shines through. After an accident as a young girl, Princess Elsa is forced to hide her powers to create and control ice from the world, including her sister – Anna. When Anna inadvertently exposes her powers in front of the whole kingdom, Elsa is forced to flee the city, and retreats into an ice palace she builds atop a mountain.
The story follows many twists and turns, and is fuelled by the great musical numbers and the wonderfully realized characters. Elsa and Anna are your two princess sisters and the main stars of the film, but you also have the ice-seller Kristoff, who helps Anna on her journey to find Elsa and bring her back, as well as his reindeer sidekick Sven, who you’ll learn to love. Finally we have Olaf, the clumsy, stupid, hilarious snowman that has been brought to life by Elsa’s magic.
These characters are voiced superbly, with the sublimely talented Idina Menzel providing the voice of Elsa. Kristen Bell and Jonathan Goff do a great job as Anna and Kristoff but for me, Menzel was undoubtedly the star of the show. One of her musical performances was breathtaking, and almost had me wanting to stand up and applause.
The combination of performance and character development really had me caring about the characters, and managed to convey a whole range of emotions. A jolly opening quickly turns dark, then goes happy again, then sad, then intense, then sad, then happy, etc etc. These contrasting moods always have a reason for doing so, and don’t just abruptly and unexpectedly change.
Similarly the pace of the film has been done wonderfully, finding just the right balance between intensity and calm. There also seems to have been great care in inserting songs in just the right places so they don’t feel intrusive to the plot, yet there isn’t a particularly long stretch without one.
Which brings me to my next point. As well as being performed beautifully, the songs have been masterfully written, telling a story as well as entertaining an audience far more than just dialogue. They’re used in a variety of ways, first to show the progression of time, as Anna grows from a young girl to a young woman. They’re also used to show progression of pivotal moments, but for the sake of spoilers I’ll leave you to see that for yourself.
My only criticism is an extremely minor one. As the bulk of the plot centres around Anna and Kristoff, it is with them that most of the songs lie. I personally would have wished for more of Menzel. She has one solo song near the beginning that she performs brilliantly, but then doesn’t get much time in the film until near the end. I feel that her talent has been wasted in giving her only one big solo number to perform, as she could quite easily have boasted her huge voice had she been given the opportunity.
Still, Frozen is a wonderfully uplifting movie that will genuinely entertain a whole family. With some incredibly catchy songs (seriously, I haven’t been able to get some of them out of my head since I watched it), some astounding voice performances and a story that will take you through a whole range of emotions, I highly recommend that you watch it, it’s well worth the price of entry.