Film: Frozen
Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel
Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Studio: Disney

Disney built a brand on lovable animations filled with humor and song, but over the last decade the singing aspect of their theatrical efforts has been tossed to the wayside in preference of more story-driven, computer-generated features. Tangled marked a return to form of sorts, with music becoming an increasingly important part of the filmmaking process once more, and now the return of the musical cartoon genre is back in full swing with the release of Disney’s latest feature, Frozen.

A long time ago a happy king and queen were blessed with two beautiful young daughters. One of them, the oldest of the two, was born with the power to turn water to snow and ice in a moment’s notice. They thought they could control this gift, but a near-fatal accident while the children were playing lead them to realize their daughter’s abilities would only grow stronger in time. With this in mind they asked their oldest to refrain from letting others into her life for fear more people could be injured, and when the king and queen died, their daughter kept her promise to shut out the everyone in the outside world (included her younger sister).

The above story is essentially the setup for Frozen, Disney’s new 3D animated adventure. Once this back-story is established, the real plot begins with the coronation of Elsa, the oldest of the two royal sisters. It’s on this day the castle doors open for the first time since the girls’ parents died, and it does not take long for the two to find themselves in a world of trouble.

Following a small disagreement that leads to Elsa’s powers being revealed, the newly crowned queen flees from the city while a terrified city looks on in disbelief. Her departure leaves the entire land covered in ice, and not long after she takes up a new home atop the highest nearby peak her sister sets off (accompanied by a hunky male, of course) to save the day. Along the way they meet a singing snowman, as well as mythical creatures who reside in the heart of the nearby forest, and oh yeah – they sing. A lot.

There are a number of side characters worth mentioning as well. This is a Disney movie, after all, and for Frozen viewers are given a comical (non-talking) reindeer, as well as a snowman who longs to feel the heat of summer. He even sings a song about it:

Disney’s efforts in recent years have heavily targeted the female demographic, but even though the two main characters in Frozen are female, the message being relayed is a universal one. As problems mount for Elsa and the land she’s supposed to rule, the answer remains as simple as can be. There may be layers of magic and special effects at work, but love is all anyone needs at the end of the day, and no one tells a finer version of the ‘all you need is love’ fable than Disney. Frozen is not the best feature in the Disney stable, but it’s a beautifully designed adventure filled with catchy (often humorous) songs that kids and adults alike will enjoy for years to come. I see absolutely no reason anyone interested in animation should skip it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the characters brought back for a sequel in the years to come.

Score: B+

Review written by: James Shotwell (Follow him on Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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