So, what’s better than a magical story about a princess?
Simple – a magical story about two princesses. A lot has been written about how Frozen is a marked shift from Disney’s traditional romantic princess-in-distress-saved-by-prince-charming formula. Frozen is about a princess-in-distress saved by another princess-in-distress.
Hmm, I personally think the shift is debatable – why, for instance, do Elsa and Anna have to be princesses in the first place at all? They could have siblings in any kind of family. There is no denying the message Disney franchise keeps reinforcing that girls need to be princesses with pretty clothes and fancy houses.
However, there is something refreshing about Frozen. The animation for instance is very old school Disney. The ice castle, the kingdom of Arrendale, the snow monster – all with the beauty and simplicity of 2D dimension. The Nordic aesthetics of the movie are breathtaking. The action sequences are what cartoons should look like with no larger than life special effects – it’s a relief to not let CGI take over the story.
Elsa, the heir-apparent and the older of the two princess, is an x-man ( woman to be precise) and can turn things into ice. With no Professor X to guide and harness her power, she lives in fear of herself secluded from her sister and others. Anna, the younger princess, unaware of her sister’s powers, gets all the love and freedom that a princess would, grows up to a happy-go-lucky girl waiting to meet her prince charming. She has no real relationship with her sister but carries the hope that one day things will improve.
Life gets interesting when on the day’s of Elsa’s coronation, Anna meets the love of her life, gets into a fight with Elsa who exposes her power in public. Being afraid of hurting people and being called a monster, she runs away and finds solace in an ice castle. Frozen is really about Anna’s journey to find her sister and release Arrendale from eternal winter.
On her journey she meets Kristoff, an out of business ice seller and Olaf, a talking snowman. Olaf is probably the most adorable of sidekicks – he is a snowman who loves warm hugs and summers !
There is something comical yet deeply dark about the song “In Summer” when Olaf croons
Bees’ll buzz, kids’ll blow dandelion fuzz
And I’ll be doing whatever snow does in summer.
With some of the wittiest dialogs in the movie he provides most of the laughs.
Frozen works at several levels and I haven’t enjoyed an animated movie this much since Despicable Me. I definitely recommend watching it – it’s a great comfort movie. But to be one of the highest grossing movies ever? I just don’t get it.