Written by Steven Panzarella (@ProCreateSteve)
The Short Version- FROZEN is the first animated musical from Disney since 2011’s TANGLED and one of its finest works since POCAHONTAS. Thanks to a classic story, and the talented voices of its leads Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel( Broadway’s “Wicked” and “RENT”) who manage to knock each song out of the park with Gusto. FROZEN is everything you will want from a Disney musical with the addition of 21st century wit, charm, and music that catches on quickly. One of the best animated features in a long while with a perfect cast of characters and simply the best piece of animation in 2013.
The Long Version- When Disney announced the cast of Frozen, for any fan of Broadway sensations “Wicked” or “Rent” the addition of Idina Menzel was extremely exciting. For those not familiar, Menzel is the women who not only helped carry one of the broadways most successful shows but blew the doors off the place daily. She literally defied gravity 7 days a week, so for Disney to have the luck to lock in one of the country’s most magnificent voices was absolutely the right choice. The Face of Frozen is Anna, voiced by the incomparable Kristen Bell (VERONICA MARS, FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL), if you didn’t see the short run of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” on Broadway you probably had no indication she could carry a tune but Bell manages to hold her own singing with the Broadway veteran.
Both Bell and Menzel lead Disney’s newest exploit of two young princesses Anna and Elsa. The two are the best of friends until one day Elsa reveals the magical power of creating ice and snow from her hands. After she nearly kills her sister with the power, Elsa is locked away and both princesses are kept under lock and key until Elsa is of age to take the throne. Frozen is filled with plenty of fun moments for the kids but like all great animated films these days also manages to get adults laughing. Frozen brings that vintage Disney darkness that helps move the film along and does not get stuck in the mud after all the setup is over. Along with Anna and Elsa, you meet Kristoff (Jonathon Groff) and his trusty moose Sven, as well as Anna’s love interest Hans (Santino Fontana), and talking snowman Olaf (Josh Gad). Each member of the cast brings a classic Disney element with Gad (“The Book Of Mormon”) being one of the most memorable pieces of comic relief in a Disney film. In an interview before the film hit theaters the Broadway vet Gad admitted he took notes from Robin William’s classic portrayal of The Genie in ALADIN. While nothing ever tops The Genie, Gad manages to create a fun, lovable, clueless character that is the films main source of laughs during its more serious moments.
Frozen as a whole is a near perfect piece of fun, animated goodness that fails to go into the final act and get wrapped up into the clichés that normally end with true loves first kiss. The writers put an unfamiliar and refreshing spin on the classic Disney musical ending which is what makes Frozen stand out from a list of quality animated films throughout the years. It’s well scored, beautifully animated with each voice actor given chance to shine. Kristen Bell who most notably will return to the role that made her famous early next year in the VERONICA MARS movie, channels the quirky charm that makes her popular and Menzel is given full permission to bring the house down as many times as she can. Frozen is good adventurous fun and worth at the very least one look in theaters.
Final Grade= A+ MUST SEE