Walt Disney’s latest animated feature, Frozen, is very loosely based on “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen. (Reportedly, Andersen was very interested in working on the screenplay, but couldn’t since he died in 1875.) Disney has had previous success with his stories; the biggest being The Little Mermaid (1989), which generated endless products, sequels, rides and restaurants in the Disney realm. Depending on the financial success of Frozen, you can look for all of the above extras in the Frozen genre, as well as a line of popsicles.
Frozen is a lot like other recent Disney films but strongly resemblances 2010’s Tangled. The horse character in Tangled bears more than a whinny-resemblance to the one in Frozen. Also look for Tangled star Rapunzel to appear in a cameo role in Frozen. She shows up with shorter brown hair in the scene where the gates of the ice palace are thrown open for the first time and the feature song, “For the First Time in Forever,” is first performed.
The adapted story line is about two royal daughters who become shut-ins when one of them is found to have a magic power where everything she touches freezes solid. The only good thing about this is that all the castle groceries that need refrigeration are left in her room without spoiling. Meanwhile the other sister, who is normal, wanders around the castle singing and acting sad.
When the King and Queen are lost at sea, the cold sister becomes Queen. She cannot take the throne until she is of age, and lots of insulation is imported for the coronation ceremony. When the non-cold sister falls in love with the first pretty face at the party and gets engaged the same day, trouble ensues.
Eventually we meet another pretty face – a talking, joke-spewing snowman and an even bigger snowman, who is not quite so nice. Along the way more singing and fun take place. And more snow.
While Christophe Beck provides a fine and majestically appropriate score, the songs will make you long for the music of Alan Menken’s tuneful The Little Mermaid.
Little kids, especially those of the doll-buying set, will love this film. I liked it a lot, even though I only want a couple of the toy tie-ins. A special treat is that Disney has added a pre-movie cartoon a la Pixar.
They’ve taken a classic black and white Mickey Mouse cartoon called Get a Horse and brought it back to life. It’s better than the main feature and made me wish that I had pony-ed up the cash for the 3D version.
Pay attention and you will find that the names of three of the main characters are based on the name Hans Christian Andersen. If you stay till the end of the closing credits, one of the characters makes a final appearance. Watch for the appearance of Frozen popsicles coming to a store near you. What other kind are there?
Rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reasons to bet that the sequel will be called Thawed.