Don’t be chilled by the title.
Don’t let Californian baked princesses, swooning over molten mushed musical numbers, turn you away. This is classic Disney, enhanced by modern animation techniques that retain the beauty and fear, not the darkness.
The rule of thumb with these things is never take liberties with the story and always respect your characters.
Frozen is loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. The baddie is not evil, at least not intentionally so, simply afflicted with fearsome magic powers.
Elsa and Anna are the daughters of the king and queen of Arendelle, who die in a shipwreck before we have time to know them.
Elsa has the ability to swipe freeze anything and anyone. During a game of leap and slide she almost kills Anna.
Remembering her father’s advice (“Conceal, don’t feel”), she locks herself away and becomes a prisoner of her affliction.
The plot leaps into life at Elsa’s coronation when she freezes the city and river, trapping the ships of her guests, before escaping into the alps to create an ice palace on the highest, snow-capped mountain to where Anna treks through deep drifts and across vast canyons with the help of a country boy, his loyal reindeer and a cheeky snowman who would have fitted in perfectly with Woody and Buzz and the toys.
The story soars into distances where tension tightens like a bow string. The animation is breathtaking and the characters are funny, charming and occasionally scary.
After the shame of Planes, Walt’s studio has returned to its roots and discovered old gold in glittering ice.