5/5

New animated Disney musical Frozen, influenced by a Hans Christian Andersen story — in this case, “The Snow Queen” — is one of the famed company’s best in years. It follows the ever-optimistic Princess Anna (Kristen Bell) as she pursues her sister, the recent Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), to convince her to thaw the land after Elsa’s fear caused her uncontrollable magic power to bring on an eternal winter. With the help of a wonderfully goofy snowman, Olaf (Josh Gad), and a handsome mountain man, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Anna embarks on a mission full of m

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Magic and lessons about Disney’s favorite topic: love.

Modern Disney movies have recently been gaining a reputation for being terrible. Nothing seemed to be able to compare to the pure genius of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. This stunning new animation has firmly put those criticisms to rest. The graphics are incredible, and the use of 3-D adds to the film without s

Seeming overwhelming. It is used with purpose and to great effect; it’s not just thrown in to add a 3-D tag to the film poster, something many other current children’s films do. Then there’s the music: Opening to sounds reminiscent of those The Lion King days, the songs are clever, funny and actually very moving. The whole thing is just so deliciously satisfying.

But what really makes this film so special is the plot and script. Disney has often tried to present its princesses as being strong and to some extent, independent, but the inevitable true love discovery always s

Seems to come at the cost of that female strength. Not so in Frozen. This is a story of love between sisters, and the strength of love beyond that of romantic relationships. While Anna is also in search of true love, that plot line is firmly secondary to the main focus: Anna’s brave pursuit of her sister, and Elsa’s acceptance of herself. Moreover, in a very unexpected plot twist for a Disney movie, true love is shown as not always being what it seems at first.

On top of this, Disney has finally managed to find a way to laugh at itself. Disney shows the silliness of Anna thinking she has found the love of her life after one conversation, and uses songs to mock the typical cheeriness and exaggerated joy found in these magical lands. So, bravo to you, Disney Animation Studios, for being able to laugh at the classic expectation in a way that is witty, unexpected and just genuinely fun.

To those cynics who remain unconvinced, I would encourage you all the more to see this film. Put aside your woes and anxieties, immerse yourself in the magic and hopefulness that Disney pours out and delight in finding you really are still a child at heart.

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