The first reviews have arrived for Disney’s “Frozen,” the studio’s animated spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ice Queen.” So far, so good. Variety calls it “always enjoyable,” while the Wrap claims the film is Disney’s best animated musical since 1991 classic “Beauty and the Beast.” More below.
The film, co-directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Idina Menzel, hits theaters November 27, in time for Thanksgiving. We’ll continue to add reviews as they come in. Check out TOH! columnist Bill Desowitz’s take on the film, which he calls “boldly feminist” and the “most progressive approach to the princess fairy tale to date.”
Watch the trailer below.
Move over, Frosty. A quixotic snowman who longs to
experience summer handily steals the show in “Frozen,” Disney’s 53rd in-house
animated feature and one of its most classical, with a Hans Christian Andersen
pedigree, a full-fledged showtune score and little of the ironic humor that has
become the lingua franca of most contemporary toons. But this always enjoyable
tale of mysterious magic, imperiled princesses and square-jawed men of action
proves longer on striking visuals than on truly engaging or memorable
characters. With the family crowd pretty much to itself this holiday season,
“Frozen” should generate considerable box-office heat, if not quite the same
level of critical and audience affection that attended the superior “Tangled”
and “Wreck-It Ralph.”
You can practically see the Broadway musical Frozen is
destined to become while watching Disney’s 3D animated princess tale. Shrewdly
calculated down the the smallest detail in terms of its appeal factor, this
smartly dressed package injects a traditional fairy tale, Hans Christian
Andersen’s The Snow Queen, with enough contemporary attitudes and female
empowerment touches to please both little girls and their moms. Energetic,
humorous and not too cloying, as well as the first Hollywood film in many years
to warn of global cooling rather than warming, this tuneful toon upgrades what
has been a lackluster year for big studio animated fare and, beginning with its
Thanksgiving opening, should live up to box-office expectations as one of the
studio’s hoped-for holiday-spanning blockbusters.
“Frozen” has the smarts to tweak itself — Kristoff’s
reindeer Sven, unlike most other Disney animals, doesn’t talk, so Kristoff does
both parts when they “converse” — but it doesn’t take the irony route that’s in
vogue for so many current family films. While it lags the tiniest bit on its
way to the conclusion, the script by Jennifer Lee (who co-directed with Chris
Buck) and Shane Morris, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fable, really
delivers; it offers characters to care about, along with some nifty twists and
surprises along the way.