In Frozen, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee bring together an animated musical comedy of the standard and prestige of Disney's Renaissance-era 'Big Three' (The Lion King (1994), Beauty and the Beast (1991), and The Little Mermaid (1989)). It hits all the rights notes as it deviates away from Disney's tradition princess formula, and yet holds all the classic heart and magic associated with the name.
Princess Anna of Arendelle (Kristen Bell) grows up isolated and alone, her older sister kept at a distance since childhood. Unbeknownst to Anna, Elsa (Idina Menzel) lives in constant fear, unable to control the magic of ice and snow she has had since birth.
Anna falls in love with the visiting Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) at Elsa's coronation ball, and immediately requests permission to marry. Her determination to change Elsa's rejection of the marriage leads to a reveal of Elsa's dangerous magic.
Elsa, fearing that she is turning into a monster, flees into the mountains where she can live free of the risk of hurting anyone, but unknowingly traps Arendelle in an eternal winter in her escape
. Anna must convince Elsa to come back and restore Arendelle to summer. She hires the mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his pet reindeer Sven to guide her to Elsa. Joined by Olaf the Snowman (Josh Gad), they battle their way towards Elsa's Ice Palace. Anna soon realises, however, that the icy conditions are the least of her worries in her quest to save Arendelle and bring her sister home.
As a unique Disney Princess film with two Princesses, Frozen is funny, melancholic and heart-warming as the audience follows the two sisters' adventures. The optimistic Anna against the fearful and jaded Elsa play off each other perfectly for the audience, as they learn more about each other and themselves throughout their journeys. The film proves, as sung by Maia Wilson in 'Fixer Upper', that 'people don't really change… [but] throw a little love their way and you'll bring out their best' (composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez) as the true breadth of the sisters' love for each other is explored on-screen.
The soundtrack of Frozen complements the film magnificently, both in Christopher Beck's score, and Lopez and Anderson-Lopez's musical numbers. The young and the not-quite-as-young are treated with the playful songs such as Gad singing 'In Summer', exploring Olaf's desire to see what a snowman can do in summer, to Menzel's powerful rendition of 'Let It Go', as Elsa puts her fears behind her, and welcomes her powers for the first time since childhood.
Frozen holds the spark of magic and love that are synonymous with Disney's fairy-tale adaptations, through the interactions of Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Hans. It explores the depth of relationships, as well as of the self, and it certainly emphasises that true love is the strongest magic of all.