“Frozen” is certainly one of my new favorite Disney movies, although that may not be that selective of a group. In my opinion, Disney film animation is at its best when it is doing it’s best, and that’s musical fairy tales. Just like they have taken quite a few liberties with the source material before, the same is the case here, with the original Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen” being present in only the barest sense, but that hardly matters at all because this film is a delight from beginning to end.
However, this film is not without its own Disney clichés either. We have two princesses now, but also cue the dead king and queen. Still, this film does its best to break as many conventional molds as it can. Queen Elsa does not need nor even desire a charming prince to save her. The romance here is reserved for her younger sister Anna, who is adorably naïve and hilarious in her own right with her reactions. There is a degree of self-awareness on Disney’s part in that particular aspect, almost in a self-parodying manner similar to that in “Enchanted.” The twist at the end concerning the villain was unexpected enough to legitimately surprise me, and in a good way. It can drag for a bit towards the end, and it overall has a problem depicting the passage of time well, but that doesn’t take away from the warm experience that “Frozen” delivers. The comic relief characters, the animal and the goofball Olaf, were not as annoying as I might have expected from the promotional material; quite the contrary actually. They are both a delight and that little snowman should replace Frosty as the definitive jolly happy soul in a package of human-shaped frozen water.
As expected of a Disney film, much of this film’s charm and success are closely tied the music. In a move that I greatly appreciate and seems to be recurring more with this studio as of late, all of the voice actors also do their own singing. If I recall correctly, both “Tangled” and “The Princess and the Frog” also did this, but not since “Beauty and the Beast” had it been done before that. At any rate, this cast is wonderful. In particular, Kristen Bell has as much innocence and charm to her singing as Jodie Benson and Paige O’Hara. And, of course, Idina Menzel has proven herself to be in a class all her own. She delivers, in all the best senses of that word, this film’s killer single “Let It Go,” which has become so popular in such a short amount of time, I doubt I need to elaborate much on it. Needless to say, it resonates strongly with anyone who hasn’t fit in at some point in their lives, which is pretty much everyone, and is now as iconic as “Under the Sea.” “For the First Time in Forever” also hits several emotional points wonderfully, its own “Belle” that’s fantastic. The first few stanzas of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” are so overly cute, they will probably give you diabetes. This is not to say, however, that the soundtrack is all hits; there are a couple of misses. Kristoff’s bit is creepier than it is endearing, the opening song about ice is as forgettable as that sounds, and the trolls’ song towards the end is kind of stupid.
Overall, whatever very minor faults this film has doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a modern instant classic. “Frozen” will go down in Disney history has great and as iconic as anything from its Renaissance era or the Golden Age. No one can go wrong with this film, as children and adults of all ages will absolutely adore it as I do. Basically, if you don’t like this film, it is you who has a cold heart.