The Watchers

The Watchers

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Review: Frozen (UK Cert PG)

Frozen is Disney's fifty-third- yep, fifty-third- animated feature. Princess Anna (voiced by Kristin Bell) sets off on a journey to find her estranged sister Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel), who has the power to control ice and snow, and whose powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in everlasting winter.

It's based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Snow Queen' and, like any good fairy-tale, it's a good deal darker than it first seems- death, betrayal and isolation are all here- but it's all handled well and I wouldn't say there's anything too traumatic for the kids to face (although I did hear a few sniffles at some points). There's also a particularly nice subversion of expectations at the end when it comes to 'an act of true love'. 

The voice cast is strong: Kristin Bell and Idina Menzel are excellent as Anna and Elsa, wilst Jonathan Groff is great as mountain man Kristoff who aids Anna in her journey to find Elsa (and, just as an aside, I'm glad they didn't make the reindeer talk) whilst I think the best performance is given by Josh Gad, who voices the utterly adorable snowman Olaf who not only fulfils the comedy relief role but is also surprisingly wise in places.

Some of the songs are a bit twee and a little insipid (like 'Do You Want To Build A Snowman?') but these are balanced out by some of the others, most notably the absolute belter that is 'Let It Go', sung as Elsa decides to embrace her powers. It's one of the best sequences in the film- the construction of the ice palace is a real showstopper- and Menzel's vocals are just sublime. 

Before the film was an animated short called 'Get A Horse', featuring Mickey Mouse, which was an elegant blend of old-style animation and CGI. 

All said, Frozen was an absolute delight. Well written, some good songs, impeccably animated and a lot of fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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