Viewed – 19 April 2014 Pay-per-view
A Disney movie is always an attractive prospect for me … beautiful animation, a classic storyline and lots of fun characters and sing-a-long tunes. In recent years with the likes of Pixar and Studio Ghibli earning critical acclaim and doing things a little different, it would be easy to forget the blue print created by the house of mouse.
This latest offering is based on the ‘The Ice Queen’ by Hans Christian Anderson and tells the story of Elsa, a princess cursed with the ability to control ice, who after an innocent playtime turns to disaster, is forced to live secluded from her sister, Anna and everyone in their kingdom.
This is classic Disney fair, a fantasy world, enchanted creatures, spells, magic and a wintery backdrop – all topped off with a series of loud and brash songs. Although think more Broadway than other Disney offerings with some of the musical numbers feeling more operatic than usual, and apart from the enjoyable ‘Let It Go’ mostly blur into one. Thankfully we do get a decent comedy side kick in the shape of talking snowman Olaf, some fun side characters including a comical shop keeper and plenty of action (a giant snow monster!!). I don’t know but for me it relied a little too much on Disney tradition, offering little new to an old concept. I was left clueless as to the origins of Elsa’s curse, surprised by a plot development early on that was just glossed over (ahem, it involves the parents) but impressed by the great twist to a message that was getting hammered home a bit too strongly.
The character of Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) however does lift this out of near mediocrity; all feisty, clumsy and genuinely likeable … and I did feel for Elsa’s plight also. Yet for Disney this seemed stuck in a past that the likes of Pixar and DreamWorks etc. left behind long ago (for good or bad). Maybe I’m being a bit harsh, but when a movie makes you feel like you’ve seen it a dozen times before – no matter how well done (and this is well done) – then it’s still doing something wrong.
Verdict: 3 /5