Disney
Owen Gleiberman
December 14, 2013 AT 05:00 AM EST

Frozen

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
95 minutes
performer
Jia Hongsheng, Mia Xiaoqing
director
Xiaoshuai Wang
distributor
Fox Lorber Home Video
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Foreign Language

We gave it a B+

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+

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