Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey to find Anna's sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
During the 2nd Golden Age of Disney that was ushered in with The Little Mermaid we were treated to movies that had beautiful visuals, compelling stories, and moving music. I'm convinced this age died with Tarzan for one reason, music! Disney movies were basically animated musicals, but without that piece we were given films like Bolt, Meet the Robinsons, and Atlantis. They aren't bad movies, but they can't hold a candle to Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King, which have both been turned into Stage Musicals.
When movies were first computer animated they were vastly inferior to traditional animation. Frozen is so flawless you find yourself completely immersed in the world. I wasn't thinking, how in the world did the do all the detail in those snow flakes, the reflections in the palace of ice, or how snow flowed like liquid as the characters were trudging through it. It just seemed real to me and this allowed the characters on screen become alive to me.
Elsa is one of the most tragic "villains" in a Disney movie in some time. One of the few flaws in the film is not giving us more of her. You sorrow for her experiences and yearn for her redemption. Anna and her Prince Hans have a hilarious abbreviated courtship with one of the two of the film's Arrested Development references that you can hear in the iTunes preview clip. (The other involves dancing and chickens) Elsa and Anna scenes are must see for any pair of sisters who have ever had a rift between them.
It is a brilliant thing that the voice actors in Frozen are also the vocal. The music is fantastic! I cannot wait for the soundtrack to come out on Amazon & iTunes. I am so glad that Robert Lopez is using his brilliant musical mind for good rather than the irreverent Book of Mormon or Avenue Q.
The music is used excellently in the first act to establish Elsa and Anna's relationship and eventual distance in the song "Do you Want to Build a Snowman?" Their tracks together are some of the best. It really has a similar feel to Wicked. Especially when Idina Menzel sings "Let It Go," which is perfectly suited for stage, but projects a little too much for screen. Like many musical Disney films before it, the music in considerably lacking in the third act. Luckily powerful story telling and a rich score compensate, but it would have been nice to have some sort of climactic reprise as in Pocahontas.