The biggest compliment I can thus give Frozen is this: somebody watching it is going to feel the same way about Disney's latest that I felt over 20 years ago when I first saw Beauty And The Beast. At its peak, Frozen is Walt Disney Animation Studios firing with everything, demonstrating why it's emerged in recent years as the most interesting mainstream producers of feature animation (with terrific features such as Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled, The Princess And The Frog and Winnie The Pooh). And this is very much a Disney film, the kind you feel nobody else could make. It's a fairytale, but co-director Jennifer Lee's screenplay manages to modernise it, whilst never losing the feeling of tradition. There's no cheating here - it's the story itself that's been made more relevant, rather than any gimmicks attached around it.
But I'm racing ahead. This is, as longtime Disney geeks (guilty as charged) will happily tell, the final realisation of the many, many attempts to bring Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen to the big screen in animated form. Many brilliant Disney people have tried before, most notoriously when a fascinating-looking hand-drawn venture fell apart just over a decade ago. But the team this time around, led by co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck (Tarzan), have utterly cracked it.
They've done it by adjusting the story, and making it the tale of two sisters, Elsa and Anna. This single switch, of making the lead two characters related, has immense pay-off. Courtesy of an excellent opening sequence, we learn that both have magical powers, but an accident puts in place what looks like a lifelong division between the pair. This is most wonderfully demonstrated by the tremendous, moving song 'Do You Want To Build A Snowman?' And to zoom in on