This adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's THE SNOW QUEEN hits all the right notes, starting with a stunning opening sequence with Nordic chanting while men cut ice from a frozen lake.
FROZEN tells the story of royal sisters Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). Elsa has mysterious icy powers which allow her to conjure up blizzards and freezing weather. (The cause of Elsa's power is never explained, but I don't think it matters...it's a fairy tale.) As Elsa matures and her powers become harder to control, especially when she's upset, she lives apart from Anna in order to protect her.
When elegant Elsa comes of age and it's time for her coronation, she attempts to step into the public at last, with disastrous results which cause her to flee the kingdom.
Anna determines to help Elsa, aided by mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), as well as Olaf (Josh Gad), a talking snowman who was Elsa's creation. Olaf, along with Kristoff's reindeer Sven, provides needed comic relief in counterpoint to the dramatic story.
This is a film with strong emotional heft, and it has a soaring score and impressive production design to match. "Let It Go," sung by the solitary Elsa as she embraces her inner Snow Queen, is one of the great Disney anthems, which is also a visual stunner; I admit that I watched it through tears, deeply moved by its power and emotion. It's an unforgettable sequence.
FROZEN was directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Lee wrote the screenplay based on a story she authored with Buck and Shane Morris. The film runs 108 minutes.
The voice cast also includes Santino Fontana, Ciaran Hinds, Edie McClurg, Maurice LaMarche, and Robert Pine (father of Chris).
Here's more on the film from the Los Angeles Times ("with heart and heart-stopping action...fabulous") and Disney historian Leonard Maltin ("show-stopping renditions of soaring new songs...Disney still reigns supreme when it comes to sweeping musical fairy tales").
The trailer is available at the movie's official website. The trailer, curiously, gives no hint that FROZEN is a musical.
A must for those who love Disney animation or musicals, FROZEN is very highly recommended.