The most lucrative films in Disney’s vault are the ones involving their Princesses. From Snow White to Rapunzel, these are the films that the legendary animation house spends the most time and care to perfect. For the first time, they are doubling down with “Frozen,” now in theaters, offering two princesses and giving audiences the best Disney film since “Beauty and the Beast.”
Loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Snow Queen,” “Frozen” is the tale of two sisters – one who has the power to create snow and ice with the mere touch of her hand. After Elsa creates a winter wonderland that ends with her sister Anna getting injured, Elsa is taught to be ashamed of her gift and begins living a self-imposed life of isolation. On the day of her coronation as Queen, Elsa accidentally freezes the kingdom and exiles herself. Ever the optimist, Anna teams up with an ice seller and his reindeer to bring her back and undo the eternal winter.
“Frozen” offers a more realistic approach to the classic fairy tale princess. These aren’t damsels in distress waiting to be saved by true love’s kiss; they are heroes in their own right. Anna is also more of a clutzy, tom boy than most of the princesses that have come before her. In embracing her less dignified side, you’ll find that she is even more endearing.
Offering more laughs than some recent Disney films, “Frozen” also has a strong supporting cast. From Olaf, the snowman who dreams about frolicking in the summer heat, to reindeer Sven and the cuddly stone trolls, there’s hardly a character that isn’t memorable in the entire film. The only downside to having so many great characters is wanting to see more of them! The trolls only have two scenes in the film, which is not nearly enough.
Like many of the films during the Disney renaissance that started with “The Little Mermaid,” “Frozen is a musical. However, the filmmakers have created an uneven film with most of the songs appearing in the first half of the movie. Rather than placing them organically through, the songs got shoehorned in without necessarily helping move the story along. Having Broadway heavy hitters like Idina Menzel (“Wicked”), Jonathan Groff (“Spring Awakening”) and Josh Gad (“Book of Mormon”) helps to create timeless Disney songs.
Disney has found their next instant classic in “Frozen.” If this film doesn’t melt your heart, you just might not have one.