I feel as though this movie doesn’t really need a post all its own. After all, is there anyone not already familiar with the Frozen phenomena? After all, this movie was (and to a slightly lesser extent, still is) BIG. There are countless memes and articles about why this movie is the best, and how it’s the forerunner for so many wonderful tropes that Disney has thus far ignored, etc etc. Now before I go being all contrarian, let me make it clear: I actually like this movie very much. It’s well written, has beautiful animations and music, and the story itself is fun and heartfelt. That being said, I do feel as though it’s just a little overrated.
To be fair, that’s not the movie’s fault. It was released just like countless Disney films before it, and it somehow morphed into this worldwide obsession with the stories and characters that nobody could have predicted. A quick search online will show you numerous arguments that Frozen is so forward thinking, that Disney finally gets it. For the three people in the world who don’t already know the story: Elsa and Anna are sisters, as well as princesses. After their parents die, Elsa assumes the throne as queen, but she has a secret: mysterious ice powers that she has kept hidden from everyone her entire life. Unable to control them, Elsa thrusts her kingdom into perpetual winter and flees the castle. Anna then spends a good part of the movie trying to find Elsa and convince her that they can figure everything out together.
As stories go, this one is really well done, and I can certainly see where the obsession comes from. Neither Elsa nor Anna is focused on finding a husband (in fact, the movie finally addresses the absurd notion perpetuated in its previous films with Elsa’s classic line, “You can’t marry a man you just met”, eliciting a chorus of, “About damn time, Disney” from around the world.) There is a major emphasis on sisterly love and sacrifice here, leading many to claim that this is the first popular Disney film to not emphasize romantic love as its primary theme (to which I say umm hello? Have you seen Mulan?)
I get it, I really do. Top of a more progressive story with a cast of lovable and funny side characters and you’re sure to have a hit on your hands. I think my issue is just that so many people over-emphasize the groundbreaking nature of Frozen that I can’t help but feel that it’s being blown out of proportion. While I will agree that Frozen seems to present certain themes in a more straight-forward light than others, it’s not the first Disney film to address such themes. Beauty and the Beast features sacrifice for non-romantic love, and Brother Bear emphasizes the bond between siblings much the same way Frozen does. People seem to forget these points when discussing this film, and it just irks me because it detracts from the other great work Disney has done in its time.
Now that I’ve sufficiently pissed off the die-hard Frozen fans, I really must emphasize that I actually like this film very much. The characters are funny and the princesses are more relatable than many (compare how Anna and Cinderella wake up and you’ll know what I mean). Olaf is the cutest little snowman ever, and if you’re ever having a bad day, just turn on “Let it Go” and belt it out. You’ll instantly feel better, I guarantee it.
I hated writing this post, not wanting to sound like I was bashing a film that I enjoyed. I guess my issue is more with the fan reaction to the film than the film itself. Of course, I’m not begrudging anybody being obsessed with a movie, and certainly don’t want to criticize anyone’s interests. I just wish people wouldn’t lift up this movie by forgetting or insulting the rest of Disney’s canon by claiming Frozen is the first to do anything. Have there been some crummy Disney films? A look at my past posts will tell you that, at least in my opinion, there definitely have been. Does that mean they’ve all been sub-par? Of course not. Many of them are truly wonderful works of art, and shouldn’t be forgotten just because a great film has recently been released.
Now that this post has completely veered away from Frozen and turned into a diatribe against “in the moment” fandom, I think it’s best to sign off for now. If by some chance you haven’t seen Frozen yet, I highly recommend it. If you’ve already seen it, what do you think? Is the Frozen phenomenon just a little over-hyped, or am I completely off my rocker?
Both are equally likely.