This Disney film comes not from Pixar, but from Walt Disney Animation Studios and in style, story, and sensibility, this looks like classic Disney moviemaking. Somehow, for reasons I can’t define, it just feels different from anything Pixar has made, maybe a bit more timeless; and although it was created in the computer, it has a hand-drawn feeling. Its heroines are feisty, fresh, fully-developed as young women of today. Its settings are magical; its effects are dazzling, its secondary character – Olaf, the snowman — is fun in a goofy yet restrained kind of way. And its plot has enough depth and dimension to make the movie entertaining all the way through. The audience applauded at the end; they fully enjoyed this movie – and so did I.
It’s the first animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios that was directed by a woman (Jennifer Lee co-directed, handling “story,” with Chris Buck, who handled “animation”) and her “woman’s touch” shows. The story understands the bond between sisters; the music feels fresh, relevant and contemporary; Disney artists have faithfully captured winter’s awesome fury and mystical beauty. And those who drew and animated Olaf found a very fresh take on making a snowman unlike any we’ve seen before. But this story belongs (mostly) to Anna and she brings a sense of scrappiness and sisterhood to the long line of Disney princesses that feels right and unique. This is an endearing, enduring, and entertaining film that only could have been made by the animation studios named after Walt Disney. And of which Walt, who passed away almost exactly 47 years ago (December 15, 1966) would have been proud.