Critics Warm to Disney's Frozen

Disney's latest fairy tale is Broadway-ready

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 27, 2013 10:20 AM CST

(Newser) – Disney looks poised for another fairy-tale success with Frozen, a tale of two sisters based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen." In the first Disney animated feature co-directed by a woman, Jennifer Lee, filmmakers appear to have their sights set on Broadway, reviewers note.

  • The movie's "gleaming dream world of snow and ice is one of the most visually captivating environments to be found in a Disney animated film," writes Stephen Holden in the New York Times, though he notes that the film "is not fundamentally revolutionary." The music, however, "comes closer than any score for a Disney animated film to capturing the charm of the Alan Menken-Howard Ashman collaboration in its glory days."

  • In the Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy calls the film "energetic, humorous, and not too cloying," noting that "visually, Frozen is a pleasure," with "good, unforced use of 3D." It's also "shrewdly calculated down to the smallest detail in terms of its appeal factor."
  • But at RogerEbert.com, Christy Lemire sees Frozen as wanting "to enliven and subvert the conventions of typical Disney princess movies while simultaneously remaining true to their aesthetic trappings for maximum merchandising potential." It "encourages young women to support and stay loyal to each other ... as long as some hunky potential suitors and adorable, wise-cracking creatures also are around to complete them."
  • At Ain't It Cool News, Nordling feels differently. Sisters Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) show "a self-sufficiency and a spirit that goes beyond the normal tropes to create something wonderful for an entire new generation of little girls and women alike ... For Elsa and Anna, happily ever after is something worked for, not something given."

This image released by Disney shows, from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff, in a scene from the animated feature Frozen.
This image released by Disney shows, from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff, in a scene from the animated feature "Frozen."   (AP Photo/Disney)
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A trailer for the film.   (YouTube)

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