In ostentatiously effective Disney form, the cinema exterior of Frozen’s premiere is almost impossible to find through the hyperactive crowds of children in various kinds of princess garb, heavy fake snow flurries and an atmosphere filled to the brim with the sort of secure expectation that only a new Disney release can create.
Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s old tale of The Snow Queen, Disney has produced the long-awaited animated spin off from a tale that, at times, never seemed as though it was going to cross the indefinable boundary between fairy tale and animated picture. Starting off with the tried and tested diving block of two princesses getting up to mischief, the forthcoming plot is securely predictable within the first few minutes of the film.
Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, is the Snow Queen made identifiable to the PG-rated viewing public. This jigged presentation of a young girl with a gift that looks set to taint her life is a twist clearly intended to add a human angle to the age-old portrayal of the wicked queen, which is also sentimentally achieved by the relationship between her and her younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell). The story is far more about the trials of coming of age and the love between sisters than a typical happily ever after, offering a more modern, almost feminist perspective on the age-old notion of love and sisterhood than has really been seen much in Disney before.
Following Anna’s path to maturity through a desperate hunt for her absconded sister in the midst of an eternal winter that Elsa inadvertently cast upon her kingdom during her coronation, Frozen neatly delivers all the trademark Disney essentials. Catchy musical numbers, a lovable snowman named Olaf who yearns to experience summer, and the Prince Charming in disguise as a gruff iceman with a reindeer as a sidekick all come together in tuneful harmony to make the film a feel-good family outing.
Frozen drags a little when it gets close to the end, a little self-indulgent in its age-old pretense that a happy ending isn’t necessarily forthcoming. However, it picks up its pace quickly enough with pulse-quickening emotional drama and an unexpected sacrifice that, for a moment, seems very uncharacteristically harsh – but thankfully, true love can seemingly melt even the hardest of hearts, and this tale of sisterly love is certain to send the frostiest of audiences away smiling.
Frozen is released nationwide on 6th December 2013.
Watch the trailer for Frozen here: