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FILM FANS: ‘Frozen’ is charming, cute for all ages

It’s the story of two princesses from the Scandinavian kingdom of Arrendell

EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: “Frozen.” Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

4 out of 4 stars

I went into the movie “Frozen” not being sure what to expect. For once, the previews for the movie had not given much away. All I had seen was a talking snowman and a silly moose. What I got was so much more! The story was charming and captivating. The talking snowman, Olaf, was funny, but they didn’t overuse him. The moose was cute, but, like the horse in “Tangled,” he said not a word.

In the end, the princess didn’t need a prince to save the day, she found all she needed inside herself. What a wonderful turn of events. There were even jokes about marrying someone you just met which, as we all know, is common in Disney fairytale movies. It was nice to see something original that appealed to both kids and adults without resorting to adult or potty humor. If you have young children (or not so young children) don’t miss this one.

— Laurel Grams, Lawrenceville

3 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

Disney is out to show that its sister company Pixar doesn’t have a monopoly on producing great animated movies with engaging storylines and characters with lots of heart, and “Frozen” is certainly proof of that.

“Frozen” tells the story of two princesses from the Scandinavian kingdom of Arrendell: Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel from the broadway hit musical “Wicked”), who has the power to freeze things around her by touch and by thought, and her plucky younger sister Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell of TV’s “Veronica Mars”). As the two grow up, Elsa’s magic grows more powerful and less under her control, resulting in an accidental zapping of Anna. Magic is invoked to save Anna from becoming a popsicle, but the result is that Elsa is locked away in solitude until the time of her ascension as queen, while Anna’s memories of Elsa’s powers are wiped clean.

When it comes time years later for Elsa to claim the throne, her coming-out celebration turns into a disaster, bringing perpetual winter to Arrendell and fear of Elsa among its residents0. Elsa flees into self-imposed exile, where her powers threaten to consume her. Anna goes on an epic quest to find and redeem her sister, enlisting the help along the way of Kristoff the ice-delivery boy (voice of Jonathan Grof) and his trusty reindeer sidekick Sven. Eventually they are joined by the magical snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) in a race against time to save Elsa and break winter’s icy grip on Arrendell.

“Frozen” features outstanding animation, a good story line, good musical numbers and characters that you want to invest in emotionally. Younger viewers will really like little Olaf; I personally thought him to be extraneous to the story and a bit of a distraction. Still, “Frozen” compares favorably with another Disney classic, “Beauty and the Beast,” and is well worth the time and money to see.

— Tim Weekley, Suwanee

3 and 1/2 out of 4 stars

“Frozen,” the newest animated release from Walt Disney Studios, is a modern twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen.”

Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel provide the voices for Princess Anna and Queen Elsa respectively. Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad portray supporting characters Kristoff and Olaf the Snowman. All do excellent jobs with their songs and scene work.

Robert Lopez (Tony Award-winning co-composer of “The Book of Mormon”) and wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez wrote a handful of tunes for the film. While not as timeless (or creative) as classics by the Sherman Brothers (“Mary Poppins”) or Ashman and Menken (“Beauty and the Beast”), these catchy (albeit somewhat repetitive) songs help to bring the story to life and are well-sung by the talented cast.

“Frozen” features top-notch animation and is visually stunning and captivating from its opening scene to the closing credits. A rather demonstrative parent and child on my row in the movie theater spoke out several times as a reaction to things occurring on the screen and, after the final scene, said parent proclaimed “What a good movie!” for all to hear. I concur. It was refreshing to spend 90 minutes watching a film that will be enjoyed by multiple generations for years to come.

— Paul Tate, Sugar Hill