I can’t believe I’m writing a Disney-related post.
If you were to tell me ten years ago that I’d be one day writing a blog post on an animated movie from the capitalistic juggernaut, I probably would’ve had a good laugh. Yet, here we are. This weekend, I watched Frozen with my daughter (and son when he wasn’t pretending to be too cool for the movie) three times. That’s right. THREE TIMES IN 72 HOURS! During the third, and thankfully final, viewing of the film today, I realized something. Frozen is a fantastic film. Don’t believe me? Well, here are three reasons why Frozen should be considered a Disney classic.
# 1: The Emergence of a Relatable Heroine.
No, I’m not talking about Queen-To-Be Elsa. I’m referring, of course, to her sister, Anna. Voiced by Kristen Bell, Anna, the younger sister of The Ice Queen, steals the show and leaves audiences captivated by her fierce tenacity, unwavering grit, and adorable social awkwardness. She’s the Disney character I want my daughter to admire.
Look, does she make all the right choices? Of course not. Accepting a proposal from a man she’s just met is not something I necessarily want movie studios promoting to young girls across the world. However, Anna’s willingness to do anything to help her sister outweighs the random, highly unrealistic wedding proposal. Anna doesn’t have any special powers. She can’t turn things into ice. She can’t cast a spell upon the snowman from Hell. Anna has to use her wit and natural bravery to problem solve.
Anna of Arendelle is the perfect combination of Wonder Woman (sans super powers) and Amy Farrah Fowler of the television phenomenon, The Big Bang Theory. She’s more than just a young girl with superficial strength and fiery determination. She has these adorable, yet cringe-worthy moments of social awkwardness that psychologists write about. In my opinion, the embarrassing, yet charming, quips help young kids (and even adults) make a connection with the character. We’ve all been there! Thankfully, we have Anna showing us that it’s possible to power through social deficiencies and still find success.
Put it all together and you have a character worthy of your child’s adoration.
# 2: The Film’s Well-Developed Plot…
As a teacher and writer, I can appreciate well-told stories. I found the storytelling in Frozen to be above-average, particularly for a Disney flick. The opening song, “The Frozen Heart,” sung by the Ice Workers (and featuring a young Kristoff and Sven) masterfully sets the tone as it highlights both the beauty and danger of frozen water. The exposition of the film continues as we first meet Elsa, a young girl with the ability to create snow and ice, and her charismatic young sister, Anna.
After Anna entices Else to get out of bed by suggesting they make a snowman, the pair’s fun is cut short when Elsa accidentally nails her sister in the face with ice, sending her propelling to the recently-created snow below. Their parents, the King and Queen of Arendelle, take the kids to a gaggle of trolls who both save Anna and incite fear in the royal family. It’s decided that Elsa would become a hermit until they figure the whole ice thing out.
Fast forward many years later and the King and Queen have died. Elsa, who’s since shut everyone out of her life (including Anna), is set to become Queen. Yada, yada, yada. We’ve all seen the movie…
…Leads to a Satisfying Ending.
However, the beauty in the plot is just how well things come together in the last act. The winter weather, set in motion by Elsa during the Coronation Ceremony, had been strengthening throughout the film. By the time the film’s climax hits, the storm had raged into a devastating blizzard. The whiteout only helps the viewer understand that everything that had happened up to this point has led to this very moment.
Upon the conclusion of the climax, the film offers up a satisfying resolution and sends the audience home happy. In offering up a solid storyline, Disney gave us a film that makes repeated (and I mean repeated) viewings easier to stomach.
# 3: Supporting Characters Play a Major Role
Great movies need a great supporting cast. It’s as simple as that. It’s hard to create a successful film if it depends solely on its leads to deliver the goods. Films today need supporting characters that leave their mark, either by being a foil for the protagonist or adding a perfectly timed touch of humor when needed. Frozen has both.
Kristoff, in all his might and strength, often takes his cues from Anna, circumventing the misguided perception that the man is always the hero. Disney’s team masterfully created him to make viewers fall in love with Anna and her unbridled resolve.
Then there’s Olaf, the funniest snowman you’ll ever meet. That’s right, Frosty. You’ve got nothing on Olaf. If you don’t like it, you can take that pipe of yours and shove it. Even as the tone of the film increases in intensity, Olaf brings much needed humor by adding moments of brevity as events unfold.
I could say a lot more about this Disney classic. However, I need to move on. I’m still on a high following that Patriots victory earlier this evening and need to parlay that shot of adrenaline into getting some work done. Until next time, may your days be merry and bright. And if they’re not? Shrug ’em off and “Let It Go.”
The Pondering Father