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Frozen review: Disney’s animation sparkles and will melt even the coldest heart

Disney’s Frozen absolutely sparkles. Where Tangled took our breath away with Rapunzel’s hair, in Frozen Disney’s talented team of animators have created a splendid snow-covered world with shimmering ice so real you can’t believe it’s animated. Below we’ve included some of the best clips from this new Disney animation, plus our Frozen review.

We had seen the hilarious snowman-nose-stealing-reindeer trailer earlier this autumn, so were delighted to be invited along to the Frozen preview in Leicester Square today. 

Disney Frozen invitation

By the time we took our seats, the children were beside themselves with excitement. Up first, a hilarious classic Mickey Mouse short, rendered in 3D. Honestly, the kids laughed so hard I thought they would explode.

My daughter’s jaw dropped as the real live Snow Queen strode on to the stage. Willemijn Verkaik, who also stars as Elphaba in Wicked, is the voice of the cold-hearted Elsa in the Dutch version of Frozen, and treated us to a live performance of “Let it go” before the film began.

Review of Disney’s Frozen

Frozen is loosely inspired by The Snow Queen, one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most highly acclaimed stories. If you’re a fan of the story though, be warned that almost nothing is the same besides the wintery setting and the underlying message about the power of love. Far from being a child-abducting fur-clad sorceress, Disney’s snow queen Elsa is a misunderstood, grieving young woman forced by tragedy to grow up too soon. At the beginning of the film, we see the real Elsa playing happily with her little sister Anna. The sisters are close and unbelievably cute together, and everything is wonderful until Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her freezing powers. Her parents’ misguided attempt to help Elsa control her powers spell the beginning of the end for her – once a warm and loving girl, she soon learns that the only way to control her cryokinesis is to close herself off to the world and force herself to feel nothing.

Elsa cryokinetic powers

By the time she comes of age, Elsa is a cold, rigid, young woman who can’t abide other people. Her little sister Anna is the complete opposite, with boundless enthusiasm and desperate for love and company. At Elsa’s coronation, the two argue, causing Elsa’s normally contained emotions to boil over, and that one moment of fury brings a snowy winter to Arendelle and beyond.

At this stage, the audience finally takes a breath. The first 30 minutes are so mesmerising and stunningly beautiful that my daughter sat unmoving, her snack partway to her mouth the entire time. The animation is the best I have seen to date, and there is no way to describe how real the ice looks, even to a Canadian ice connaisseur like me. As for the music, the male chorals for the opening scenes resonate beautifully and will give your spine a little tingle, and Elsa’s Let It Go as she flees the frozen Arendelle bursts with energy.

Soon after, we’re treated to Disney’s new-found multi-level humour. Some of the classics were lacking that little something for the adults, but Frozen has it in spades, with some cute interactions between Anna and mountain man Kristoff.

Disney - Frozen - ice beast

There are also some brilliant chase scenes which hover somewhere between being funny and terrifying. My 6 year old hid under my arm for a few minutes but was otherwise fine – she says she wasn’t scared because she knows Elsa has a good heart!

Moments later, the unexpected star of the show, sun-loving snowman Olaf, bursts onto the scene. He’s very much a take on Shrek’s Donkey, but is side-splittingly funny.

As he’s singing about how much he loooooves the idea of a hot summer, the kids were laughing so hard I thought they were on the verge of hyperventilating.

All in all the characters are believeable and completely loveable – and despite her cold heart you absolutely feel for Elsa. Our heroine, Anna, is once again a modern Disney princess – she’s feisty, determined, and charmingly clumsy and socially awkward. You’ll absolutely love her and the friends she makes along the way.

I won’t give away the rest of the story – go see it for yourself! – but will say this… The story takes some surprising twists and turns, and the ‘happily ever after’ has a lovely spin which will melt even the coldest heart. Magnificent.

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 released in UK cinemas on December 6th.

Written by Janis P.

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