Since its release last Autumn, Disney’s latest animated offering has stormed the box office, with its eight-week cumulative takings giving classics such as The Lion King a run for their money. This is a welcome return to form for Disney animations after the lukewarm reception to Monsters University and, er, Planes.
A follow-up to 2010’s surprise hit Tangled, Frozen retells the tale of The Snow Queen, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel), as seen through the eyes of her younger sister, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell). Elsa is born with the power to manipulate ice and snow, but unable to control it. After a near miss puts Anna’s life in danger, both girls are kept shut away in the castle by their parents for their own safety. However, when the King and Queen are suddenly lost at sea, Elsa is forced to take over control of the kingdom, with predictably disastrous consequences.
In many ways, Frozen merely matches Tangled note for note – both in style and in substance. There is a girl who has never seen the outside world, a long-suffering animal companion (a reindeer stands in for Tangled’s Maximus), an unexpected hero and the classic fairytale fight between scheming and true love. However, comedic relief is brilliantly provided by a naive snowman, who dreams about all the things he will do when summer comes, and there is an amusing Bollywood-style dance number by a horde of singing trolls.
With songs worthy of a singalong, this is the perfect remedy to a dreary January. And the ending will melt the coldest of hearts…