Frozen (2013) ****

Very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, Frozen, a Walt Disney animated musical fantasy is both familiar and original. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee to a screenplay by Lee (based on a story by Lee, Buck and Shane Morris,) Frozen ends up being, for a change, more about a special connection between two sisters. Not that the typical Disney sterilized romance is lacking -- unfortunately the Disney formula is still well-preserved, yet, when the snows finally melt, the knight on the brownish reindeer is somewhat secondary.
What makes Frozen work are sympathetic characters, including a twist on the Snow Queen's persona, one that gives her human motivation and thus allows us to feel her pain. The voice cast, including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Santino Fontana is excellent, with their heartfelt chemistry. The animation is impressive, including the ice works and related effects.
On the downside, the 3-D characters continue to be devoid of human feel. The Jungle Book with its relatively simplified 2-D drawings had much more credibility than these 3-D droids of people. I can also, personally, do with a little less musical numbers. Otherwise the music is much in line with previous Disney films. And what's up with princesses having tiny noses? Is that a prerequisite for being of royalty these days?
My kids gave the film five stars, I would have settled for three thus it gets four stars. Considering that in recent years animated films have been a pain to watch and that this one is energetic and fun, it well deserves the grade.