Walt Disney is back in more ways than one with a frosty yet heartwarming must-see holiday treat for the entire family. “Frozen” brings classic Disney magic back to the big screen with a full blown musical and the most joyously entertaining animated film in years. Inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” it’s a suspenseful, touching and very funny story of two sisters. Elsa (wonderfully voiced by “Wicked’s” Tony winning Idina Menzel) is a girl with the secret ability to create ice. A nearly fatal icy accident with her younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell) calls for Anna’s memory to be erased and forces Elsa into the ice-olation of her room. Years later, newly crowned Queen Elsa accidently freezes her kingdom and flees to the mountains with Anna in hot pursuit.
“Frozen” features some of the most enchanting human characters Disney has ever created, a loveable reindeer sidekick named Sven and a delightfully funny living snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad). Particularly clever are the conversations and a short duet between rugged ice trader Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Sven in which Kristoff talks and sings for both of them. The terrific and plentiful original songs bouncily propel the story forward and the fast paced computer animated visuals are quite exciting. However, a particularly ferocious wolf attack is almost too fast paced to take it all in and should have given us a clearer look at the scary beasts. There is also a mildly amusing stinger if you wish to sit through the lengthy end credits. If you do, be sure to look for the funny and unexpected disclaimer at the end of them.
An added bonus is the pre-feature short titled “Get a Horse.” This brand new black-and-white hand-drawn bit of animation beautifully recaptures the look and spirit of the first Mickey and Minnie cartoon, “Steamboat Willie,” then cleverly blends it with modern color computer animation. Walt Disney himself, through painstaking editing of old recordings, gives voice to Mickey Mouse in this short that would have made him proud.