This is one of the lessons that Olaf (the snowman) teaches Anna in the movie Frozen. This Disney juggernaut ran away with the box office raking in a staggering $400 million domestic and another $713 million worldwide for a mind-bending $1.1 billion overall. Not bad for a children’s movie that opened #2 to Hunger Games: Catching Fire with a healthy $67M, and then went on to also pick up a shiny new Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. This all begs the question, what was the appeal?
Well, to begin, it’s a clever musical adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” fairy tale; although you would never notice with all the memorable musical numbers and state of the art animation. It also boast many timeless sequences that will be watched on Blu-ray for years to come, I’m sure. But the true magic, in my opinion, is the enduring sisterhood story that girls of all ages just can’t resist. Even though Disney tried hard to sell it as an action-filled movie, presumably to attract boys as well, they knew that the heart-warming princess fairy tale would win the day. How do I know?
“Kids, you want to watch Frozen?”
David: “No way! That’s a girl movie!”
Dayana: “Yes, yes, please! I love the songs!”
Yet both sat and watched every moment with equal delight. That is the value of skilled story-telling – indeed, a culmination of Disney’s efforts to blend a good fairy tale with modern appeal. One of the main building blocks was the success of another well-known fairy tale turned Disney film – Tangled. I would hazard to guess that the producers of Frozen kept those Tangled production notes very close by. Both are a welcome change from the toy-selling, in-your-face commercialization of the Toy Story franchise.
So what is it about? Once upon a time there were two princess sisters who loved each other growing up. That is until the older one, Elsa discovers she has a knack for freezing things (a classic Disney curse). So as to not hurt her sister, she runs away. Her beloved younger sibling, Anna, spends the rest of the film trying to save that sisterly bond that they both cherished. Along the way, she has to leave her suitor-turned-villian, meets the irresistibly charming snowman, enlists the help of the a hunky mountain man-turned love interest, battles a snow monster – all the ingredients in place for an epic adventure in a spectacular frozen wonderland. Cue the music…
Disney made sure to top off the film with their trademarks: goofy talking animals (in this story, a snowman and a reindeer) who help and teach the protagonist along the way, memorable songs and a lesson learned. Add a pinch of a love story and a villain and there you have it – a Disney Classic straight from the pages of literary masterpieces (see Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin, Tarzan, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, The Jungle Book, the aforementioned Tangled, etc,etc.) It is Disney at it’s best.
If you have any reservations about grabbing the Blu-ray for the kids … “Let it go, let it go…”
By Mauricio Bonifaz
For continued reading about the important life lessons in Frozen, look at these great links: