REVIEW: Frozen

Basingstoke Gazette: REVIEW: Frozen REVIEW: Frozen

Frozen (PG)

Featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff

Directors: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck

Running time: 125 minutes

Our verdict: Watch it

Released: December 6 (UK & Ireland)

LOOSELY based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen proves that Disney's animated heroines have unquestionably come of age.

Long gone are the rose-tinted days when princesses waited patiently for Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet or save them from some grim fate.

Now, the spunky, independent and self-assured heroines are just as smart and resourceful as their male contemporaries, and they don't need the love of a man to affirm their self-worth.

Frozen is a terrific fairytale adventure that melds old-fashioned values with state-of-the-art visuals and a rousing musical score with infectious songs by husband-and-wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

Every beautifully coloured and crafted frame is crammed with wit and joy, drawing in audiences of all ages to the story of two sisters battling against both the elements and their fears to claim their rightful place on the throne.

Director Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck don't let the pace flag and the 108 minutes pass in a blur of laughter, tears and frost-bitten action sequences, that look especially stunning in 3D with all of the computer-generated snowflakes fluttering just in front of your face.

You won't need to wrap up warm though because the story casts an irresistible warm glow to thaw even the most cynical and jaded heart.

As children, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) love to play together, taking full advantage of Elsa's ability to create ice and snow from her fingertips. When accident late one night almost ends in disaster, the King (Maurice LaMarche) agrees to wipe Anna's memory so she forgets about her sibling's hidden talents.

At the same time, Elsa retires from public gaze, fearful that she will hurt someone else with her powers.

When the King and Queen are subsequently lost at sea, Elsa reluctantly emerges to claim the throne. Unfortunately, on her coronation day, her gloves come off and the locals witness her powers, branding her a witch.

She flees into the snowy mountains to live alone in a castle of ice. Anna gives chase, leaving the kingdom in the hands of her trusted sweetheart Prince Hans (Santino Fontana).

As she ascends towards Elsa's hideaway, Anna meets hunky ice trader Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his loyal reindeer Sven and a blissfully naive talking snowman called Olaf (Josh Gad).

Frozen is one of the best animated features to canter out of the Disney stable in years. Warm-hearted, uplifting and constantly surprising, it's a timeless fable that will appeal to both boys and girls thanks to uproarious comic relief from Olaf (who is too cute for words).

Bell and Menzel add vim to their plucky heroines, the latter singing the film's stand-out song Let It Go.

As an added treat, Frozen is preceded by a black and white Mickey Mouse short, Get A Horse, that seems to hark from a bygone era but has a wicked sting in the tail.

Damon Smith

 

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