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Early Review Roundup: Critics Warm to Disney's 'Frozen'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 4, 2013 at 12:05PM

The first reviews have arrived for Disney's "Frozen," the studio's animated spin on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ice Queen." So far, so good. Variety calls it "always enjoyable," while the Wrap claims the film is Disney's best animated musical since 1991 classic "Beauty and the Beast." More below.
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Frozen

The first reviews have arrived for Disney's "Frozen," the studio's animated spin on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Ice Queen." So far, so good. Variety calls it "always enjoyable," while the Wrap claims the film is Disney's best animated musical since 1991 classic "Beauty and the Beast." More below.

The film, co-directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and featuring the voices of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Idina Menzel, hits theaters November 27, in time for Thanksgiving. We'll continue to add reviews as they come in. Check out TOH! columnist Bill Desowitz's take on the film, which he calls "boldly feminist" and the "most progressive approach to the princess fairy tale to date."

Watch the trailer below.

Variety:

Move over, Frosty. A quixotic snowman who longs to experience summer handily steals the show in “Frozen,” Disney’s 53rd in-house animated feature and one of its most classical, with a Hans Christian Andersen pedigree, a full-fledged showtune score and little of the ironic humor that has become the lingua franca of most contemporary toons. But this always enjoyable tale of mysterious magic, imperiled princesses and square-jawed men of action proves longer on striking visuals than on truly engaging or memorable characters. With the family crowd pretty much to itself this holiday season, “Frozen” should generate considerable box-office heat, if not quite the same level of critical and audience affection that attended the superior “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph.”

Hollywood Reporter:

You can practically see the Broadway musical Frozen is destined to become while watching Disney's 3D animated princess tale. Shrewdly calculated down the the smallest detail in terms of its appeal factor, this smartly dressed package injects a traditional fairy tale, Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, with enough contemporary attitudes and female empowerment touches to please both little girls and their moms. Energetic, humorous and not too cloying, as well as the first Hollywood film in many years to warn of global cooling rather than warming, this tuneful toon upgrades what has been a lackluster year for big studio animated fare and, beginning with its Thanksgiving opening, should live up to box-office expectations as one of the studio's hoped-for holiday-spanning blockbusters.

The Wrap:

“Frozen” has the smarts to tweak itself — Kristoff’s reindeer Sven, unlike most other Disney animals, doesn’t talk, so Kristoff does both parts when they “converse” — but it doesn’t take the irony route that’s in vogue for so many current family films. While it lags the tiniest bit on its way to the conclusion, the script by Jennifer Lee (who co-directed with Chris Buck) and Shane Morris, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fable, really delivers; it offers characters to care about, along with some nifty twists and surprises along the way.

This article is related to: Reviews, Reviews, Frozen, Disney , Animation


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.