By Wesley Emblidge 12-1-13
Disney is back with another family-friendly fairytale adventure.
“Frozen” is a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” It follows the story of Princess Anna (Kristen Bell) from the kingdom of Arendelle. Her land has been coated in ice and snow since her sister, Elsa (Idina Menzel), lost control of powers over the winter elements.
Anna tries to save the kingdom and her sister. This leads her on a quest with an ice cutter named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his reindeer and Olaf, a comic-relief, talking snowman.
The hook isn’t the adventure, though. The complex and difficult relationship between the two sisters gives the movie its weight. Every moment between the two reflects the difficult childhood they had together as Elsa was secluded from Anna by their parents and her powers were kept secret.
As the danger of winter amps up, so do the tensions between the two sisters, predictably leading to the story’s conclusion. There are other subplots with trolls, a love triangle, and corruption in the kingdom. None of these compare to the moments between Elsa and Anna, though.
Much of their relationship is developed during the movie’s many fantastic, musical numbers. The songs give the film a lot of energy. “Let it Go” and “For the First Time in Forever” are sure to stick in viewer’s heads long after the movie.
Co-directors Chris Buck (“Tarzan”) and Jennifer Lee (who also wrote the screenplay) are inventive with the visuals, particularly in one musical sequence where Elsa is constructing a castle out of ice.
While not everything in the movie works, especially the comic relief with the troll characters (though the Olaf character is surprisingly charming), ultimately “Frozen” will hold its own with some of Disney’s best.