Spectacle but no Disney sparkle

FILM
FROZEN
Cert PG | By Melissa York
Two Stars

IT’S ABOUT time Disney set a film in Scandinavia – and what better time to do it than Christmas? Frozen is very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen; thankfully, there are no children running around with shards of troll mirror glass in their eyes.

In this child-friendly musical version, Elsa is a princess born with the power to create ice and snow. She accidentally reveals her secret during her coronation and runs away to the Nordic mountains, where she creates an impressively ornate ice castle to live in isolation. But in her chilly rage, Elsa also froze the entire kingdom of Arendelle. To break the spell of perpetual winter, her sister sets out on an adventure to bring Elsa back.

The swirling snowflakes are impressively realistic in 3D and the animation is the film’s greatest accomplishment. Music-wise, though, apart from the excellent opening number, Disney doesn’t seem to have drawn much inspiration from the film’s Nordic setting. It’s mostly filled with bland pop songs about finding a prince, and yourself, while the narrative about love melting icy hearts is unabashedly saccharine.

Underneath the slick facade, Frozen is just another seasonal spectacle with little originality or genuine warmth.