We are all more than familiar with the classic Disney princess movie. More or less, the princess is almost always a damsel in distress (arguments can be made for Mulan and Belle, but that’s a different story) and after some ordeal, she finds her Prince Charming and lives happily ever after. But hey, I’m not complaining — those are the movies we grew up with and will always love.
Disney’s newest animated film is being released this week, and is supposed to be a refreshing and wonderful update to the Disney animated classic repertoire. Frozen will tell the story of two princesses, obviously, who are sisters ruling over a kingdom in Scandanavia. One of the sisters, Elsa, discovers at a young age that she has dangerous magical powers and can turn things into ice and snow and is locked away in a tower, upsetting her spunky younger sister. When the girls get older, their parents pass away (Sure to be a sob inducing moment, why do you always do that to us Disney?) and Elsa is crowned as the queen. Something happens, and she accidentally freezes the entire kingdom and is chased into the mountains by an angry mob. Anna is determined to find her sister and un-freeze the kingdom, and along her journey is where the hunky love interest and funny sidekick, a talking snowman, enter the story. It is also a musical, and who isn’t a sucker for those awesomely cheesy Disney princess songs?
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait to go see Frozen. Yes, the animation is pretty cheesy and the princesses are very cliche princess-looking, but the story just seems really unique and the trailer is really well put together and beautiful. If you are still on the fence about whether or not to please your inner child and go see this film, here are 3 factors that might convince you to hit up fandango and look up some showtimes:
1. It might be the best Disney film since The Lion King
I’ve come across a few reviews in the past few days that have said Frozen is the best film Disney has made since The Lion King. Lets just take a minute and reflect on that statement. The Lion King was released almost 20 years ago (that was mean, sorry, now we all feel old) and is such a spectacular film. The reviewers making that statement do have a point though. Think about it, since ’94, which Disney movies really stand out to you? Apart from Mulan, I don’t think any really. Between then and now, Pixar really took over the world of unique and fun animated movies, and Disney sort of took the mediocre back seat for a while.
Frozen is supposedly putting Disney back on top. The story has some really unique elements, such as emphasizing the relationship of the sisters, and is supposed to feature a few really fun and catchy songs. The best part of Disney movies, arguably, is the singing. And however plastic-y looking the characters are, overall, the visuals of the film are just stunning. None of the other films have really had such a dazzling, snow-covered landscape. They hit on the key elements of what makes a Disney movie a Disney movie, while updating the look enough to keep it recognizable, but embrace the animation technologies we’ve developed since the early 90s.
2. The female characters
Thank you Disney, for finally breaking the damsel in distress link and creating some female characters that are multi-dimensional, and like actual women. Even the more feminist princess, like Mulan, were pretty one-note, and especially when it came to love, had a pretty easy time. Sure, Mulan had to pretend she was a dude around her crush for a while, but as soon as he found out she was a lady it was a sure thing. While Anna does meet a hunky prince charming type in Frozen, the message is not one that true love comes easily.
Anna and Kristoff (who assists her in finding Elsa) do not experience love at first sight, and Anna’s primary goal is not to fall in love with a man. She wants to find her sister first, and this is emphasizing the idea that for many girls, the relationship between you and family should come before finding true love. Instead of having her heart broken by a “true love,” Anna has her heart broken by her sister, and that is part of what is going to make this film truly touching. I’m going to bring my sister when I see it, and we are probably going to cry. I love the moment in the trailer where Anna is embarrassingly stumbling over her words when she is talking to Kristoff, that is what the real world of dating is like.
Elsa is another multi-dimensional female character. Although she is responsible for freezing the kingdom, she is not a villain, which is the other one sided trap female Disney characters also get roped into. The women are usually either love-sick or evil, and thankfully, Frozen is breaking those molds by giving their characters a range of emotions and experiences with different types of love and relationships.
3. To get you in the holiday spirit
It’s just about December now, and here in New York we’ve had a few days that have been actually freezing, and I’ve even seen a few snowflakes, so basically it’s winter. This is the perfect film to warm you up to the holiday cheer, not only because a few hours of staring at snow will make you want some hot chocolate, but because the movie just looks like a ton of fun.
Feminists will complain about how in adapting the story for Frozen (Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ice Queen) Disney eliminated a lot of female characters, animation buffs will complain that the characters look just like Rapunzel, but in the end it is a Disney movie. The potential effects Disney had on ruining romance for women our age are still being argued over, but in the meantime, Disney is all about having fun and pretending to be a kid again. Enjoy the wintry scenes, grab a candy cane and your little sister, and just go see Frozen. I haven’t seen it, but just the 2 minute long trailer gave me a burst of happiness. And at a time when you are surrounded by the stress of finals and holiday shopping, a little bit of Disney magic can’t hurt.
If you still haven’t decided either way, I’ll let the trailer do the rest of the talking: