Frozen is a squarely enchanting fairy tale that shows you how the definition of what’s fresh in animation can shift. With the full-throttle emotionalism of its Broadway-style musical numbers and its two spunky-princess heroines, the movie is a throwback to the Disney cartoons of the pre-Pixar era. The surprise is that its wholesome spirit suddenly feels bolder than the compulsive cleverness that is Pixar’s stock-in-trade. Elsa (Idina Menzel), a royal heir, was born with a power that’s really a curse: Everything she touches turns to ice. Her secret is kept under wraps until a wintry tantrum gets her banished from the kingdom. It’s up to her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell), to trek into the frozen wilds and bring her back. The journey is a little generic — a motormouthed-snowman sidekick (Josh Gad), a studly guide (Jonathan Groff) — but the tale of these sisters, and what happens when one girl’s power exceeds her ability to control it, is touching in an original way. And the exploding-ice-crystal visuals are spectacular: You can almost feel them freeze-burning your fingers. B+
WARMING UP Frozen is delightfully entertaining in the way that only Disney moves can be. (Disney)
Genre: Animation; Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Idina Menzel; Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee; Release Date Wide: 11/27/2013; Status: In Season; Runtime (in minutes): In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season; Distributor: Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures
Posted December 14 2013 — 12:00 AM EST
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