“My sister Elsa and I were really close when we were young,” says Princess Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), “but one day she just shut me out and I never knew why.” Anna is talking to Prince Hans (voice of Santino Fontana) – with whom she is falling in love – in this Disney animated film, full of visual and aural pleasures.
Can Anna and Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) save the kingdom of Arendelle from perpetual winter? Does Queen Elsa (voice of Idina Mendez) return from self-imposed isolation? Will you and your family enjoy this heart-warming entertainment? See “Frozen” to find out.
As effusive Princess Anna, Kristen Bell leads a voice cast of excellent singer/actors. Anna, younger sister of the royal family, is eager for love and life and, as the story unfolds, reconciliation with older sister Queen Elsa. “Nobody wants to be alone,” she says. “Love is an open door.” She doesn’t understand why Elsa has chosen to live by herself. Idina Menzel is Queen Elsa, introspective and solitary, who, in her ice palace, sings, “I’m alone, but I’m alone and free,” no more a danger to Anna or Arendelle. “I belong here where I can be by myself and not hurt anyone,” she says. Jonathan Groff and Santino Fontana voice hunky Kristoff and not-quite-so-hunky Prince Hans, between whom Anna must choose. All four actor/singers are first rate.
Others in the voice cast include Josh Gad and Alan Tudyk as comic characters, vaudevillian Olaf the Snowman and doddering oldster Duke of Weaselton. Livvy Stubenrauch and Eva Bella are the voices of young Anna and Elsa.
“Frozen” is animated fun for youngsters – if somewhat scary for pre-schoolers – and adults, full of artful animation, funny animals, singing trolls, Broadway songs (and singers), and smart story-telling. It’s loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson’s 1845 tale “The Snow Queen” (adults may be reminded of C.S. Lewis’s wintry Narnia and Kurt Vonnegut’s ice-nine, each drawing from Anderson’s story), with a script by co-director Jennifer Lee, directed by Lee and Chris Buck. Among “Frozen’s” other pleasures are splendid art design and a villain-free story (there is a scary snow creature – but stay through the credits to see him tamed). The take-away is something to discuss on the way home: “Love can thaw a frozen heart.”
Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor, “Frozen” runs 85 minutes. Its story of sibling separation and reunion will engage adults but might be a bit of a stretch for younger children. Still, it’s got two Disney princesses.
Two sisters torn apart,
Visual pleasures, songs –
Love thaws a frozen heart.