Heralded by critics as the best Disney musical since the Golden Age of The Lion King and Little Mermaid, Frozen provides the little bit of snowy magic in what has so far been a wet and windy couple of months.
Set in the fantasy kingdom of Arendelle, Frozen follows the story of two princesses, Elsa (Wicked’s Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). Elsa has the power to create and control ice. To begin with, the story is a happy one: the girls make the most of Elsa’s powers, turning the palace into a snowy wonderland. But when events take a turn for the worse and Anna is injured. Elsa is forced to become a recluse, hiding her powers from the world. But at Anna’s coronation, all is revealed and Elsa is expelled from the kingdom, plunging the world into an eternal winter. It is up to Anna to put things right, with a little help from ice trader Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his dog-like reindeer Sven and the summer-obsessed snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).
For me, there are two stand out things about Frozen: Firstly, the music. IT IS FANTASTIC. Written by the creators of Avenue Q and the acclaimed Book of Mormon, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the songs are funny and memorable. No other Disney Princess sings about how she’s not sure if she’s ‘elated or gassy’ and her desire to ‘stuff some chocolate in my face’. With the tremendous vocals of Idina Menzel in the show-stopping performance, her ‘Let It Go’ has jumped straight into my top favourite Disney songs.
Olaf’s ‘In Summer’ is hilarious, as the delusional snowman dreams of getting a tan, whilst also wondering what happens when ice gets warm. And that brings me on to my second favourite part of the film: Olaf. The snowman who dreams of summer steals every scene he is in, bringing some real laugh out loud moments to a fairly serious addition to the Disney family, with explorations of love and family, given slightly different twists than the classic Disney style.
Frozen is an immediate classic. Great music, amazing animation and new loveable characters. Perhaps one criticism of the film is that Olaf is so show-stealing, other characters lose out on their development, in particular the Kristoff/Sven relationship which I think could have been a larger source of comedic value as well as bringing in ideas of brotherhood in a very princess-centric film. However, it is a fantastic film that is suitable for all and a fantastic addition to the Disney portfolio.