Frozen

****1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The animation is breathtaking and the characters are funny, charming and occasionally scary."

Don't be chilled by the title. Don't let California baked princesses, swooning over molten mushed musical numbers, turn you away. This is classic Disney, enhanced by modern animation techniques that retain the beauty and the darkness.

The rule of thumb with these things is never take liberties with the story and always respect your characters. Frozen is goosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen. The baddie is not evil, at least not intentionally so, simply afflicted with fearsome magic powers.

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Elsa and Anna are the daughters of the king and queen of Arendelle who die in a shipwreck before we have had time to get to know them. Elsa has the ability to swipe freeze anything and anyone. During a game of leap and slide she almost kills Anna. Remembering her father's advice ("Conceal, don't feel"), she locks herself away and becomes a prisoner of her affliction.

The plot leaps into life at Elsa's coronation when she freezes the city and river, trapping the ships of her guests, before escaping into the alps to create an ice palace on the highest, snow-capped mountain to where Anna treks through deep drifts and across vast canyons with the help of a country boy, his loyal reindeer and a cheeky snowman who would have fitted in perfectly with Woody and Buzz and the toys.

The story soars into distances where tension tightens like a bow string. The animation is breathtaking and the characters are funny, charming and occasionally scary.

After the shame of Planes, Walt's studio has returned to its roots and discovered old gold in glittering ice.

Reviewed on: 11 Dec 2013
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Frozen packshot
The beauty and danger of ice exposed in an animated musical tale of royal siblings and treachery behind the throne.
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David Graham ***

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Writer: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Shane Morris, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciarán Hinds, Chris Williams, Stephen J. Anderson, Maia Wilson, Edie McClurg, Robert Pine, Maurice LaMarche, Livvy Stubenrauch, Eva Bella

Year: 2013

Runtime: 108 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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