FROZEN: 3 STARS. “blueprint for a Broadway show or an Ice Capades extravaganza.”
Don’t have time to see “Frozen,” the new animated Disney film, at the movies? Not to worry. The beautifully animated film takes Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen and turns it into a blueprint for a Broadway show or maybe even an all-skating Ice Capades extravaganza that will soon be playing at a theatre or rink near you soon!
Frozen is the story of two royal sisters, the Princesses of Arendelle, Anna, a spirited adventurer (Kristen Bell) and Elsa, a cryokinetic queen (Idina Menzel) with the awesome power to manifest ice and snow. Like Carrie, but colder.
On the night of her coronation an emotional Elsa accidentally unveils her icy power, plunging her kingdom into an endless winter. Shunned by her people and called a “monster” by the haughty Duke of Weselton (Alan Tudyk) Elsa turns a cold shoulder and goes into hiding on the remote North Mountain.
To save the realm from the eternal cold snap Anna sets off with mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his reindeer and a sun-worshipping snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad). On the way the Elsa’s ice palace Anna discovers why her sister is cold-hearted, some magical trolls and the true meaning of love.
“Frozen” has all the elements of classic Disney. There are handsome princes, amusing animals, catchy songs and not one, but two princesses. All the fundamentals are in place and perhaps that’s part of the problem with the film. It feels like all these elements banged together to create one whole.
The music, by husband and wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (who also wrote “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q”), are plentiful with Broadway style tunes popping up every couple of minutes. But the songs don’t feel like they fit together as a whole, almost as if they are from different shows. The Celine Dion style show-stopping pop of “Let It Go” is at odds with the goofy fun of “In Summer.”
The songs themselves are top notch, as is the animation and the most of the voice work—luckily Josh Gad spices things up with his unhinged Olaf voice—but the film as a whole doesn’t have the wit or the invention of “Get a Horse,” the short that is scheduled to precede “Frozen” in theatres. In this case the opening act freezes out the lukewarm main attraction.