Review: Disney is back in top musical form with 'Frozen'

Review: Disney is back in top musical form with 'Frozen'
This image released by Disney shows , from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, and Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff in a scene from the animated feature "Frozen." (AP Photo/Disney)

If you've been longing for Disney to return to the animated musical format, your wait is over with Frozen. The "House of Mouse" has outdone itself with this production that has been years in the making.

Before we talk about "Frozen," I want to emphasize that you should be in your seat and ready to go BEFORE the feature begins. Yes, we're harkening back to when Disney's first cartoons graced theater screens. You have to catch the update of a classic Mickey cartoon, "Get a Horse." Animators have literally spun it into the present. Great work and very clever! Now on with the show:

In Frozen" we get two princesses for the price of one. These sisters, Anna and Elsa, live in a kingdom that looks a lot like Norway (the country was the inspiration). The older, Elsa (Idina Menzel) has just been crowned Queen. Elsa has lived in isolation for years, even isolated from Anna, and she wants to keep it that way. Anna (Kristen Bell) wants to know why, and soon we all find out.

Elsa has the power to turn anything to ice, but she can't control her power. When confronted, she runs off, sending the entire kingdom into a deep freeze. Determined to set things right and save the kingdom, Anna goes after her sister.

But the story is deeper than that, and of course there are side characters. Particularly entertaining is Josh Gad, who voices "Olaf," a snowman brought to life by Elsa's power.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the big scary snowman, too, but hopefully his short time on screen won't scare the little ones too much.

While we're engrossed in the story, we're also enveloped in song from almost the very start of the film. The songs are modern, poppy and certainly catchy. You'll be singing "Fixer Upper" and "Let It Go" as you leave the theater. Menzel and Bell are both fantastic singers, and Bell's talent in particular was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, Frozen is a holiday treat for the whole family. Since it's in 3D and those tickets can be pricey, I recommend a matinee.

Frozen is rated "G".