Though not quite comparable to the real Disney classics, Frozen is the best animated film I have seen in quite some time.
Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell, who knew she could sing?) and Elsa (voiced by Her Majesty Idina Menzel) are sister princesses in an unidentified but old-fashioned-looking kingdom. The two are very close until Elsa’s magical powers — creating snow and ice — cause harm to Anna, and their parents forbid her to use her powers ever again. After the parents die (I guess Disney has moved on to killing both parents instead of just the mother?) the girls’ relationship becomes very strained, and we are led to believe several years go by with Elsa locked away in her room and Anna never seeing her. She finally re-emerges into the world for her coronation, but during the celebration she becomes angry at Anna and accidentally reveals her powers, turning the kingdom into a winter not-so-wonderland.
Elsa flees the kingdom and creates quite the snowy paradise while singing about “letting go” — a truly excellent song that has been stuck in my head for an entire week. While some political figures in town for the coronation begin plotting how to get rid of Elsa (seriously, Disney, so predictable), Anna runs after her sister and along the way encounters ruggedly handsome but angry Kristoff, his reindeer pal Sven and the hilarious magical snowman Olaf. The four make a very entertaining group, and their journey creates warm and fuzzy feelings all around until Elsa accidentally strikes Anna’s heart with ice. Obviously this can only be cured by “an act of true love”, but in a very non-Disney twist this act is not a kiss from a handsome prince, it’s Anna sacrificing herself to save Elsa from one of the aforementioned political figures. Anna’s heart is thawed, the kingdom’s icy exterior melts away, Elsa suddenly knows exactly how to control her powers and everyone lives happily ever after.
My favorite part of seeing this movie with my darling niece, besides her shushing everyone around us, was her reaction when it looked like Anna was not going to make it. I grabbed her hand and whispered, “Don’t worry, it will be okay,” and she turned to me extremely tear-eyed and asked in sincere desperation, “Have you seen this movie?!” I said, “No, but it’s Disney!”