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FROZEN

SYNOPSIS:
Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (Jonathah Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven, in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad) in a race to find Anna's sister Elsa (Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.

Review by Louise Keller:
Destined to be the family hit of the Christmas season, Frozen has all the elements to make it an outright winner. Visually gorgeous in 3D with its winter wonderland setting, ice palaces and trees dripping with crystal icicles, this is a smoothie of a film with characters you can root for, hummable songs and a heart that is as warm as its theme is cold. Loosely based on Hans Christian Anderson's story The Snow Queen, there is enough humour to counter any notion of schmaltz with its princesses theme and you'll fall head over heels with Sven, the scene stealing reindeer who gesticulates with his eyes. There is also a buck-toothed snowman called Olaf who dreams of summer and whose carrot nose Sven wants to eat - plus magic trolls disguised as moss-covered stones, who are love experts.

Wreck It Ralph screenwriter Jennifer Lee has devised a tale in which its distinctive Nordic backdrop plays a credible role and in which orphaned princess sisters are pitted against each other in a conflict emanating from their love for each other. The fact that Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) is unable to control her power to create snow and ice from her hands is the basis for her becoming reclusive and remote from her younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell), who she fears she will hurt.

As soon as the very first song begins, it is easy to imagine Frozen The Musical. What a spectacle it promises to be with Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez's wonderful songs and unlimited production design opportunities. (By the way, Lopez penned the songs for The Book of Mormon, which is a high recommendation.) Anyone who writes songs whose lyrics suggest 'Reindeers are better than people,' and get the cute-as-cute trolls to point out in musical criticism the flaws of their adopted son Kristoff (Jonathan Groff, excellent) to the girl they want him to marry - are okay in my book.

While good and evil feature in the plot, Elsa's actions of bestowing a fate of an eternal winter on the land of Arendelle is unintentional, prompting Anna to follow her sister into the snowy wilderness. It is there that she meets up with blond Nordic hunk Kristoff and his strong-willed reindeer, Sven. The fact that Anna has just been swept off her feet by Prince Hans (Santino Fontana), a duplicitous, ambitious charmer, allows some push and shove when it comes to love's true kiss - and even then, the script gives us a surprise.

The voice performances are superb; Bell is especially good. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee have directed the film with great sensitivity but with a light touch and the humour is cleverly integrated throughout - with dialogue, actions and slapstick. There are moments when your heart will melt and others when the absurdity of the situation overtakes. In any event, don't miss the chance to get Frozen - it is hot, cold and everything in between.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

FROZEN (PG)
(US, 2013)

VOICES: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Ciaran Hinds,

PRODUCER: Peter Del Vecho, John Lasseter

DIRECTOR: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

SCRIPT: Jennifer Lee

EDITOR: Jeff Draheim

MUSIC: Christoph Beck

PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Womersley

RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Walt Disney

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 26, 2013







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