'Frozen'
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By Don Gibble  December 6, 2013 12:00 am

 “Frozen” is the film of the year! 

Perfect for both adults and kids. It’s like going to Disneyland for two hours, but you don’t have to drive to get there! 

Shrewdly calculated down to the smallest detail in terms of its appeal factor, this smartly dressed package injects a traditional fairy tale, Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen,” with enough contemporary attitudes and female empowerment touches to please everybody.

 Energetic and humorous, as well as the first Hollywood film in many years to warn of global cooling rather than warming, this tuneful film upgrades what has been a lackluster year for big studio animated films.

 “Frozen” was in development with numerous different writers and directors for more than a decade, as Disney hoped to strike gold with another Anderson story after the great success of “The Little Mermaid.” 

As even reasonably successful recent girl-aimed films, such as Pixar’s “Brave” and Disney’s “Tangled,” have shown, it’s not all that easy to recycle the well-worn princess format. 

Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee do a great job of hitting the required cues for youngsters’ dream-come-true expectations while also introducing darker tones by way of a mentally tortured youthful queen and a two-faced royal suitor.

This is also a full-fledged musical, with eight original songs, which make it ready-made for the stage when the time comes. 

As drastically refashioned from the Anderson story, this is the tale of two sisters, the older and brooding Elsa and younger Anna. 

Raised in the splendid isolation of an enormous castle, they lose their parents to a shipwreck, forcing Elsa to take the throne in her late teens. 

Long aware that she possesses the sort of dark powers ever-popular in these movies, Elsa has always heeded the warning not to let them show. 

But when, during her coronation, she removes the gloves that keep her powers in check, her capacity for sorcery becomes evident to all. 

Elsa runs off to splendid isolation while Anna has had her head turned by handsome young Prince Hans but soon departs in pursuit of her older sister.

The vocal performances are amazing. 

Kristen Bell as Anna and Idina Menzel as Elsa share the big number “For the First Time in Forever” that’s the centerpiece of the original songs written by the married team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. Watch for this song to win at the next Academy Awards!

Visually, “Frozen” is a pleasure and is the first widescreen Disney fairy tale since “Sleeping Beauty.” See this film in the theater with your family, do not wait for it to come out on DVD.

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