"Frozen" Disney's Most Misunderstood Success
Frozen was one of Disney’s biggest successes making it so much money between the films and the merch (mostly the merch, oh my gosh!) as well as breaking some Disney stereotypes that needed breaking. It’s a great film with great message, great song, and tons of fan appeal. It was a closed whole story that didn’t have many holes and the holes that were there just made it better because the fans could speculate and discuss the holes.
But Frozen gets way too much credit for things it just doesn’t have.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Frozen as much as the next Disney fan. Perhaps a bit less. And let me explain why. I didn’t see Frozen when it came out. I have mentioned before I didn’t get to see it until it had be on DVD for maybe about a year or so. When I did, I was dying of excitement. The world set it up as the greatest thing Disney ever made. The music is stellar, the story is solid, it has it all!
So I sat on my couch, munched my popcorn and expected a tale about women empowerment, a powerful ice queen, and the most sweet relatable dork of a Disney princess ever in Anna. I got none of that. I still got a great film, but I did not get a movie about an Ice Queen. I got a story about a relatable girl who’s whole world was about how alone she was, learning what true love is and being that true love to those who needed it, all while being a total millennial klutz by the way.
From advertising, merch, and fan appeal, I honestly thought the film had broken so far from it’s “Ice Queen” roots as to make the villain the protagonist. That didn’t happen. Anna still was the protagonist. Let me say that again. Elsa is not the protagonist.
So that was a shock, but that just made the story more powerful. It wasn’t the girl with powers that was the hero. It was the girl who made mistakes in love, and just was fighting for love in her life. And she learns that love isn’t what she’s found in books. It takes time. It takes sacrifice and she learns that through the people who she felt rejected her really cared about her, and showed her sister what true love was as she learned herself.
Great film, great music, but the fans had built up an image of the film that did not represent it at all, but it sold. The social media videos of adorable children singing let it go, Marine’s cheering on Elsa in her “Let it Go” moment, the media and fans made the movie something it wasn’t. Elsa’s empowerment moment is not the point of the film, though the best part most likely. It was a message about true love. Disney has always been about love, romantic, family, and more. This movie explored that in a way Disney had not yet before. It explored what true love really is. It’s not just a match made in heaven. It’s a match chosen, worked on, built, and sacrificed for.
“Let it Go” was not the message. That was not the power of the heart of the film. In fact, “Let it Go” is what caused the mess for everyone else. And on learning the truth, Elsa immediately regressed. Letting go is not the answer. It was in accepting the love of her family. Elsa thought letting go of her past and love was the way to be happy only to have things get worse, was not the message I expected to see. But that’s what the film showed. IT wasn’t in letting go of her feelings and desires, but it was letting her love outweigh her fear.
Frozen is a brilliant film. It is over rated, but beautiful. And I’m glad to be able to enjoy it and to see how it brought Disney back into the main stream for more than Disney fans.
But what do you think? Did the fans skew Frozen too much? Or is it really all it’s cracked up to be?
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