On the morning of Sunday 17th November, we headed out to a preview screening of Frozen in Leicester Square. As we turned the corner we were surprised to see it was transformed into a winter wonderland with snow, reindeer and ice sculptures to celebrate the release of the film, Norway andloosely based on ‘The Snow Queen’; here’s my take on it.
The new Disney offering for Christmas has not one but two female protagonists following in the footsteps of studio-mate predecessor Brave. The premise is based around two sisters, Elsa and Anna who are Norwegian princesses, one if whom is possessed of magical powers much to the enjoyment of her younger sibling.
Elsa is able to create snow and ice at the wave of her hand which means she can turn a huge ballroom into an ice rink in an instant. One morning as the sisters are playing, Anna is knocked unconscious as she falls on the magical ice. Their worried parents head off to meet up with some mystical trolls who cure of her injuries, erasing all memories of the accident and the magical powers that are to blame.
Elsa’s her parents tell her she must conceal her secret powers forever and from this point on, the relationship between the sisters inevitably changes; one scared to show her true self and the other bereft as she’s lost her closeness with her only sister, leaving her lonely and confused.
By a freak of fate the parents are drowned when they take to the sea to visit another country – the sisters world shrinks even further until Elsa comes of age and must take her place on the throne to become queen. This is where the drama, adventure, and lots of humour on the way, begin.
While this is no Grimm brothers fairy tale, it is moralistic and littered with a few cautionary tales; for example the younger princess Anna falls in love and decides to get married on the first day she meets the good looking but feckless Prince Hans; so no surprises how that one ends up.
And of course, Elsa the young queen is treated as a witch once her concealed powers are revealed; but will she be saved from the peril within and without?
Laughter plays a big part in this film. Olaf the snowman really does steal the show with his comedic capers and his desire to experience Summer, even though he has no idea he could melt.
Fun also comes in the shape of a reindeer called Sven and his escapades with Kristoff, the ice farmer, who comes to the aid of Anna when she’s trying to reach her sister.
Without spoiling the film for you I can say its a case of true love conquers all; and some very good twists at the end which made the plot work well, the baddies all get to show their true colours at some point or other and poetic justice is delivered with aplomb.
It’s easy to imagine this will become a successful Disney franchise as the door is definitely left open for a sequel and the musical style of animation would make it translate well to the stage, although it would have a long way to go to beat wicked
All in all this was a thoroughly enjoyable film which exceeded my expectations and those of my 13 year old daughter and her friend. We had expected it to be more puerile which is wasn’t so it definitely is one for the whole family. The main criticism all three of us had was that the princesses both had pin thin waists and very unrealistic bodies; surely in 2013 the creators of this should be more amenable to creating realistic and credible characters even if it’s an animation?
Olaf’s Summer Song http://youtu.be/UFatVn1hP3o
(Also I thought it was a total fail not to use Madonna’s frozen track which would have fitted the film and the plot perfectly – but that’s just me!)
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Walt Disney Animation Studios, the studio behind “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph,” presents “Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”). Featuring music from Tony® winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit”), “Frozen” is in cinemas in 3D on 6th December.
Frozen is released on 6th December, Cert: PG, Running Time: 108 minutes