Disney have a long tradition of turning much loved fairytales into classic cartoons, and in the tradition of The Little Mermaid here is Disney's take on another Hans Christian Andersons tales The Snow Queen.
This as ever with Disney is just an adaptation of the story, and maybe because of this the title gets a change to Frozen, which is perhaps more apt as that is certainly how you feel, psychologically, through the film.
That's not to say it's a bad film, the opposite, the animation is so good that the snow and ice have an incredible realism to it, using an incremental process of animating which is a sort of mix of hand drawn and computer animation, and it looks stunning.
The story centers around two sisters, princesses, one of whom has a magical power and is able to freeze things at a touch. After nearly killing her sister the older sibling takes to hiding herself in her room, that is until the day her parents, the King and Queen, are tragically killed on a trip abroad on a boat, sounds macabre I know!
When the princess appears in public for the first time in years to be crowned Queen, her sister starts to also meet people for the first time in years, the younger girl takes no time in finding a dashing prince and getting engaged, all within hours of meeting. This enrages the new Queen, she has a bit of a fit, sends an eternal winter over the town and runs to the mountains, where she builds an ice castle and decided to live in exile, naturally her sister goes looking for her, finding another man to fall in love with on the way, and all in a days work.
This sounds like a film that you wouldn't dream of taking kids to see, but put it in the hands of the Disney storytellers and you get a gentle telling with lovable characters, a journey that is pitched just right for the young and songs that will have the family singing as they leave the cinema.
There are criticisms, the story seems disjointed in places, there is no villain of note, everything sorts itself out a little too easily, and unlike Aladdin or Beauty and the Beast the songs feel staged rather than natural to the plot.
But this is one of the best Disney films outside of a Pixar movie I have seen in a long time, and one which will truly earn it's classic status in the coming years.