Disney has released the first teaser for their winter animated release, the musical-fantasy Frozen, finally kicking off wide promotion for the film in earnest. Don’t expect to learn too much about the movie’s story from the clip, though: the footage plays more like its own distinct short than anything else, focusing on antics between two side characters rather than plot.
Fortunately, Frozen happens to be based off of The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, so audiences may already be familiar with it. Here’s the official synopsis:
In “Frozen,” fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell ) teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff ) and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.
The teaser revolves entirely on the interactions between Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven, and even though it doesn’t say anything about the film, it’s funny and charming enough on its own merits. What may be most striking here is how much this feels like something out of Pixar’s wheelhouse; last year, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph pulled off the same feat, blurring the lines between the Mouse House and its subsidiary. Be that as it may, the animation and imagination on display here are both great, particularly Olaf’s attempts at rearranging his body to best Sven in a race across the ice.
It may also worth noting that Frozen boasts a smorgasbord of Broadway talent. In fact, Gad, Menzel, Groff, and Santino Fontana (starring here as Prince Hans) have each originated roles in plays ranging from The Book of Mormon (whose composer and co-creator, Robert Lopez, provided scoring for Frozen), to Wicked, to Rent. Those are some impressive credentials, and it’s going to be interesting to see how Bell keeps up with all of them.
Andrew Crump blogs at Screen Rant.