Unless you’ve got eight-year-old girls at home, you might not think you should give two figs for Frozen, even if it is the highest-grossing animated film of all time and the fifth highest-grossing film in any medium, like, ever. But you don’t have to be one of the 375 million youngsters who’ve viewed and sung along to the YouTube clip of Frozen’s hit song Let It Go to glean innocent pleasure from what is, in essence, a new-fangled Disney upgrade of an old- fashioned fairy tale.
Premiering on Sky Movies on Christmas Day (and the subject of a special programme on C4 the same day), this musical spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen turns out to be captivating, visually bejewelled and craftily written by its directing team Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, bringing 21st-century bedroom angst to the royal intrigues at play in a generic 19th-century Euro-kingdom.
Princess Elsa (voiced by Broadway star Idina Menzel) is cursed by a secret ability to produce sub-zero weather at will and isolated from her younger sis Anna (Kristen Bell) after inadvertently causing her icy harm. At her coronation, the pent-up Elsa forbids Anna’s marriage to a handsome prince, and their almighty tiff results in her own self-imposed exile in an ice palace, while the town is plunged into an eternal winter. Anna’s heart gets frozen and must be thawed by — you guessed it — an “act of true love”.
Despite lacking a dastardly villain (Elsa’s snow queen is merely acting out her “issues” and the monster Marshmallow is a Freudian manifestation of them), there is wiseacre comedy aplenty from Olaf the deluded snowman (“I like warm hugs!”) and Sven the hee-hawing reindeer, while the Oscar-winning Let It Go (penned by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez) will warm the blood of any age group.
Prepare to have your cynicism defrosted.
Christmas Day, Sky Premiere
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