FROM A TEXAS MULTIPLEX — With “Frozen” being a Disney fairytale (loosely based on “The Snow Queen”), there’s never any doubt how things will end. That said, this film is everything one expects from a family-oriented, animated Disney epic. It’s funny, uplifting, reasonably well written and visually stunning.
The film’s musical numbers are energetic and well done, too, and never become overly long, making for a tolerable balance between narrative and musical storytelling.
The story revolves around two princesses, one of whom – Elsa (Idina Menzel) – is cursed with the ability to manipulate and create ice and snow. Early on, Elsa’s younger sister – Anna (Kristen Bell) – is accidentally injured by Elsa’s powers when the two are children and is saved through the intervention of a tribe of magic trolls. The tribe’s leader (Ciarán Hinds) decrees that Anna’s memory of Elsa’s powers must be magically erased; her magic is too dangerous and must remain secret.
Thus begins a life of painful isolation for Arendelle’s royal heir, with a great wedge developing between the sisters as they grow into early adulthood. Things turn tragic when the pair’s parents are accidentally killed, making Elsa queen. At the celebration of her ascendency, a spat between the sisters leaves Elsa’s powers exposed to all. She’s branded a monster and flees to a mountaintop, where she creates a castle of ice and isolation.
In the process of escaping, however, Elsa inadvertently plunges Arendelle into never-ending winter. Anna still believes in her sister, though, so she departs into the wintery wilds, hoping to reconnect with Elsa, end eternal winter and bring Elsa back to Arendelle, where one and all will see she’s no monster.
“Frozen” has issues with character development that bugged me; worse, about three-fourths through, one of the primary characters exhibits a major, unexpected, inconsistent shift in motivation.