06/12/2013

Frozen

Much like everything Woody Allen does, each new Disney film is heralded as the best one since The Lion King which is ridiculous because The Lion King is overrated and not even the last iconic Disney film. Having said that, Frozen is definitely the strongest non-Pixar film to come out of the House of Mouse for some time even if it isn't perfect.

Walt Disney himself had trouble adapting Hans Christen Andersen's Snow Queen for modern audiences back in 1943 but apparently Chris Buck and relative newcomer Jennifer Lee knew just how to do it: add a few catchy songs, a snowman who doesn't know what heat does to his kind, two female leads and a typically dull Disney dude et voila! An instant classic.

Well sort of. Typically the story has been somewhat watered down so little girls don't cry and apart from the ice mansion and other stand out moments, the animation is nothing to get excited about which is fine since the characters are enough to draw you in. You immediately feel for Elsa (Broadway legend Idina Menzel) and the uncomfortable predicament she's in and her little sister Anna (Kristen Bell) has no idea why her sister locks herself away from her and their subjects. Throughout her youth and the beginnings of adulthood Elsa is told by her concerned parents to hide her homosexuality powers after hurting her little sister, but when her parents are killed and she assumes the throne, hiding away in her room isn't that easy anymore. During her coronation she loses her temper and freezes the entire kingdom, and only Anna can get her back from her ice palace in the north mountain.

Yes yes that's all great, but can we just take a moment to talk about snowman Olaf? There's always a sidekick brought in for comic relief and while there's been some excellent ones (Sebastian the crab, Abu the monkey) and some crap ones (Timon and Pumbaa), Olaf the friendly childhood snowman is destined for legendary Disney status because he's hilarious, has a great song and isn't crap (hello again, Timon and Pumbaa).

Despite some minor issues Frozen is carried by the laugh out loud humour and genuinely exciting last act which show Disney is still the tops when it comes to bastardizing/adapting classic fairytales. Final word of warning: liberation anthem and dead cert for the 'Best Song' Oscar 'Let It Go' will get stuck in your head for hours, but happily, that's fine.