Director: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee.
Cast: (voices of) Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana.
DISNEY and princesses go hand in hand like New Year's Day and hangovers.
In fact, it was princess-starring Tangled - the 2010 computer-animated reworking of Rapunzel - that finally gave the House of Mouse a much-needed hit worthy of "Walt Disney Animated Classics" title after a bit of a dry spell.
That was followed by the ingenious video game story Wreck-It Ralph, but Disney has returned to what it knows best with another princess tale in Frozen, giving the animation studio its third winner in a row.
According to the credits, Frozen is based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, although any resemblance between this film and that fairytale is vague at best.
Frozen follows two sisters - Elsa (Menzel), a princess born with the power to create and manipulate ice and snow, and Anna (Bell), her non-magical younger sibling - as they grow up in the Scandanavian-like kingdom of Arendelle.
After a childhood accident involving Elsa's powers, the family is warned that Elsa should be kept isolated in case her powers should cause more trouble, but this becomes impossible when she is forced to take over the throne.
What's intriguing about Frozen, making it unlike most fairy tales, is that there is no real villain. The story doesn't lack anything because of this though. In fact, it yields intriguing and well-rounded characters, who seem to be unwilling to harm Elsa but instead are trying to help her deal with her ice problem (which makes me wonder - is this whole film some strange kind of drug addiction parable? Probably not but I'm sure I won't be the only critic to raise that analogy).
Frozen is great fun for all ages, bouncing along at such a great pace that not even the songs can slow it down.
Yep, that's right - there are songs here. This is a return to the grand old days of Disney princesses who burst into song at the drop of a glass slipper, but thankfully the tunes are pretty good.
There are also plenty of laughs, thanks largely to the presence of Olaf The Snowman, voiced perfectly by Gad, whose presence is inexplicable but welcome thanks to the humour he injects into the film.
Aside from the set-up feeling slightly forced, Frozen is fun from start to finish. The set-pieces look amazing, the voice work is great (despite the selective use of Scandanavian accents), the comedy is strong and all-ages, and the story rolls along nicely.
This is definitely one for the whole family to chill out with on a hot Aussie summer's day.
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