As a massive Pixar fan (yeah I’m still going on about that) any Disney animation gets me excited as I can get my critiquing pen and absolutely slate it for not having the same majesty and heart to what Pixar produces. I was a firm believer than Disney’s animation hey-day had passed and whilst I still believe that, Frozen, alongside the wonderful Tangled, has managed to restore my love of Disney classics.
When Elsa (Idina Menzel) flees her Kingdom of Arendelle due to her catastrophic ice powers, her sister Anna (Kristen Bell) who has been kept away from Elsa most of her life, sets out on a quest to bring her sister back, rebuild their relationship and restore summer to the land of which Elsa has indadvertedly cast in ice.
I always comment on the acting, or voice acting in this case and as you’d expect it’s all top notch. Olaf the snowman is particularly funny, voiced by Josh Gad. Because let’s face it, we always need that annoying yet loveable sidekick.
The story isn’t miraculous by any means but this plays to Frozen’s strengths. The writers manage to subvert expectations just enough to almost make a mockery upon the stereotypical Disney movie frame work. Having two heroic female leads is a huge leap, leading on from the female lead in Tangled. They work well together and certainly throw female empowerment into the mix and all that good stuff. Just when you think it’s all getting cliche with the cure to everything being ‘an act of true love’, you’re in for a pleasant twist. A not so pleasant but equally clever twist comes in the reveal of the villain. I won’t spoil it, but it is surprisingly intelligent and really roundly crafts the movie; the cherry on the cake if you will. The animation is gorgeous with vibrant colours everywhere and the script is genuinely funny. I should probably comment on the songs since it is a musical… I hate musicals. However, a lot of the songs in this were catchy and the kind of things guys listen to in secret through their headphones, quietly feeling both teary and inspirational.
What’s bad? As good as the twists are and as self-aware as it is, it is hard not to be frustrated that many people reckon it’s the best Disney film ever. It’s not. It is very good, but at the end of the day we’ve all seen this kind of thing before. That doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, it just makes it… not the best film ever. (And still not as good as Pixar.)
Wonderfully catchy songs, pleasant antagonists and enough Disney to make you want to punch a wall to feel like a man again, Frozen can thaw any icy heart.