Disney's Renaissance era produced celebrated classics including Tarzan, The Lion King, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. They revived traditional stories to fresh vigour. These works were revered by children and adults alike: the aesthetic beauty and agreeable colour, the comedic characters and the magic of a story well-told. This, as many of us know, was lost for most of the new decade. After the millenium, a good Disney film was hard-pressed to be found. Audiences were met with disappointment after disappointment including flops such as Treasure Planet and The Emperor's New Groove, with the delightful exceptions Up and Finding Nemo. In the past few years however, Disney animation has experienced something of a comeback with the release of Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled and now Frozen.
Based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen fairytale The Snow Queen, Frozen entails a rich journey fuelled by sisterly obligation and love as the princess Anna struggles to bring back her sister, the Queen of Arendelle, to save the Kingdom. The Queen Elsa, who possesses supernatural powers of a winter affinity, has unintentionally trapped her Kingdom in an eternal icy winter. Anna teams up with 3 unlikely companions: mountaineer Kristoff, his trusty reindeer Sven and the quirky joy that is Olaf the buck-toothed snow-man. Olaf is no doubt the most endearing sole supplier of comic relief since Up's Doug.
Frozen's script is most impressive - avoiding clichés and tired lines that are so common in animated children's' films. The comedic elements of the screenplay are truly genius - the incorporation of a delusional, indestructible snowman is children's humour at its best. Many of the jokes however, I find, can be enjoyed by only older audience members. For instance you would be rather harried to find a 10-year old child who would understand the joke "I've been impaled".
The film, as you may well have heard is also a musical delight. From epics such as the Idina Menzel sung sequence "Let It Go" to the transitional "Do You Want To Build A Snowman" and of course the hilarious "In Summer", each song is instrumental to the plot. It is a neat, organised musical that does not allow its musical component to overpower the storyline. Original as it is heartfelt, simple and tremendously entertaining, Frozen is a shoe in for an Oscar win in its Animated Feature category.
Another winning feature of the animation is that whilst the traditional love story is no doubt there, it is not central to the plot. The romance is sidelined by a greater message depicting the significance of familial company and relationship from sister to sister. It is a refreshing change from the idillic vision of perfect romance often portrayed by Disney which make us wonder what we are really teaching our children.
Beautiful to look at, Frozen is the epitome of technical animation perfection.
For children, Frozen is an easy solace in a confusing world and for adults - a reminder of the purity that we once had but can still appreciate.