Frozen (2013)

A beautiful princess with powers that she can’t control, her optimistic sister, a rugged local sharing carrots with his goofy reindeer,  an adorable snowman wanting to sunbathe with a carrot nose & a picture perfect prince who is revealed to be a scheming, opportunistic cad. Disney’s new animated fairytale Frozen has endearing characters like this, some good-natured comedy, a bunch of show-stopping musical numbers, and gorgeous visuals. It’s a throwback to the studio’s classic musical adventures from pre-Pixar times, and yet it feels modern because the writing is so fresh and the humor so irreverent. Loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale The Snow Queen, this movie tells the story of two princess sisters Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) who live in the kingdom of Arendelle. Born with the power to turn everything she touches into ice, Elsa is kept away from Anna, after a life-threatening childhood incident, lest she hurts her, and her secret is hidden from the world. But on growing up, when Elsa is crowned Queen of Arendelle, she accidentally freezes her village and is branded a wicked sorceress, thus prompting her to banish herself to an isolated life away from home. Determined to find and help her sister, Anna boldly sets off into the mountains. She has some company in the form of a local rug (Jonathan Groff) and a goofy snowman (Josh Gad) who provide romantic and comic relief, but like a girl on a mission, Anna only has her sister’s safety on her mind. Interestingly, the film has no villain as such; the big conflict here being Elsa’s inability to control her own power. This is not your typical good vs evil battle we’re accustomed to in Disney films, but in fact a story that reflects the complications of real life. Given that they’re both inspiring tales of girl power, Frozen is a far more enjoyable film than Pixar’s Oscar-winning Brave from last year. Frozen has eight original songs by the married team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, musical theatre veterans whose blend of playful wit and sentimentality here comes closer than any for a Disney animated film to capturing the charm of the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman collaboration in its golden days. There are moments of genuine humor, mostly provided by the lovable snowman Olaf who yearns for summer, unaware of the consequences. The songs have hip, modern lyrics, and the stunning images of snow-covered vistas, and intricate ice structures are eye-watering. This is a film that has enough to please the little ones and adults alike. I’m going with four out of five for Frozen. It’ll sure melt your heart.