By Owen Gleiberman
December 14, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST
Disney
type
  • Movie

Frozen is a squarely enchanting fairy tale that shows you how the definition of what’s fresh in animation can shift. With the full-throttle emotionalism of its Broadway-style musical numbers and its two spunky-princess heroines, the movie is a throwback to the Disney cartoons of the pre-Pixar era. The surprise is that its wholesome spirit suddenly feels bolder than the compulsive cleverness that is Pixar’s stock-in-trade. Elsa (Idina Menzel), a royal heir, was born with a power that’s really a curse: Everything she touches turns to ice. Her secret is kept under wraps until a wintry tantrum gets her banished from the kingdom. It’s up to her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell), to trek into the frozen wilds and bring her back. The journey is a little generic — a motormouthed-snowman sidekick (Josh Gad), a studly guide (Jonathan Groff) — but the tale of these sisters, and what happens when one girl’s power exceeds her ability to control it, is touching in an original way. And the exploding-ice-crystal visuals are spectacular: You can almost feel them freeze-burning your fingers. B+

type
  • Movie
Genre
mpaa
  • Unrated
runtime
  • 95 minutes
director
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