Could ‘Frozen’ be the next Disney classic? Wait and see

By Steve Salles
April 3, 2014

 

Disney makes a ton of money converting its movies into Broadway musicals. So, it’s no surprise that those movies feel like Broadway musicals right out of the gate.

“Frozen” is the latest example of cross-pollinating media from screen to stage as it features dueling, singing sisters who sound like they were left off the “Wicked” soundtrack.

This is the tale of two princesses (wouldn’t that be princessi?) living in the vast castle of Arendelle with their loving royal parents. And in true Disney fashion, the parents are quickly dispatched in an untimely, seafaring accident. What is with the one-parent/no-parents Disney template?

My kingdom for a two-parent Disney family!

Anyway, so younger sister Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) does not know her older sister Elsa (“Glee’s” Idina Menzel) has an odd glandular problem (I guess) that turns everything she touches to ice.

And rather than tell Anna, “Hey I am the ultimate ice queen,” Elsa lives for the next several years in complete isolation from not only their loyal subjects, but more importantly, from her heartbroken, lonely sister.

Now, years later, as Elsa is crowned as the new queen, she flips out and runs screaming into the hills, determined to stay away in her newly created ice castle forever. Only one small problem: She’s turned Arendelle into a perpetual ice sculpture, which is going to make life fairly tough for everyone else.

So Anna goes in search of Elsa by enlisting the help of a Norwegian mountain man, his reindeer sidekick and a nutcase snowman. But she leaves a dashing young prince from a neighboring province in charge in her absence and he seems like a really cool guy.

What’s a princess to do?

She’s got a real prince helping back at the castle, while she’s out on an adventure with the goofy, but kind mountain man. Dilemma!

How will the filmmakers rectify this unintended triangle? May I say with a steady hand, a determined wit and with enough zest to make this one of the better resolutions I’ve seen in recent Disney history.

In fact, the resolution of the dueling suitors is handled so masterfully that it elevates the movie to another level. Dare I say classic status? I dare not. Let’s allow it to breathe a little and see how audiences react before we go so boldly into that good night.

Suffice it to say, it’s cute, it’s clever, it’s funny, it’s heartbreaking, breathtaking and it’s pure Disney!

Have a good time, ‘cause you know you’re going, unless you still haven’t seen Katniss and company. Then make it your next destination.

 

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