Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Perhaps it is just being a young boy at heart, but after watching Disney animated films for nearly three decades, I’m not quite that excited when the latest princess flick is announced. That’s not to say that I don’t still try to see every one of them, as was the case in the past couple of years with enjoyable entries like “Tangled” and “Brave,” but lately I’m veering my fandom more toward nontraditional entries like “Wreck it Ralph.”
However, today’ selection does stand in quality company in what is shaping up to be the weakest year in recent memory when it comes to animated films and I have a feeling the best feature prize will ultimately come down to this flick, “Monsters’ University” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” “The Croods” certainly had a chance earlier on, but it doesn’t quite have the same punch as these, which pretty much shuts out “Despicable Me 2” unless minion antics are more preferred than a developed storyline. “Frozen” may be cold as ice when it comes to the overall theme, but it is a funny, heartwarming tale that has a rare balance through a full range of characters that each audience member can find a match.
Set in a kingdom called Arendelle, which looks like a cross between Tsar Russia in “Anastasia” and the palace from“ Beauty and the Beast”, we are introduced to the latest princess icons, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menze). The two start out as inseparable friends, raising all kinds of mischief about the palace while regularly admiring what seems to be Elsa’s unique ability to manipulate ice; that is until said trait causes great harm to Anna during an accident one night.
As a result of this and a tragically classic Don Bluth moment that leaves them alone, they are separated as they get older, but not without a tune or two that attempts to keep in line with the house of mouse’s usual peppy style. However, that does not last forever and one day Elsa is forced to not be the richest regional shut-in when she is crowned queen.