This past weekend we watched the Disney movie, Frozen. Twice, actually. (I know, we’re a bit behind.)
Both times as the end credits were rolling (even knowing what was coming the second time) I felt impressed. Not by any technology or effects, though the animation was flawless. It was the story.
The princesses are beautiful and “princessy”, but flawed. The “act of true love” is one of giving, not receiving. The “villain” is Self, Fear, and Worry about what others will think of you. (And so, you end up legitimately liking the “bad guy”. Well, not the one who turns out to be a bad guy, but… don’t want to give too much away!)
I’m pretty sure it just leapt up to the top of my favorite family movies list. Spots previously only held by Pixar. (Up, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, etc. It’s likely no coincidence, as John Lasseter (of Pixar) is the Executive Producer.) As I thought about how well they told this story (which was based on a Hans Christian Andersen tale, The Snow Queen), and as we discussed it together, I only became more impressed.
There are really funny moments, too. Olaf the snowman was a highlight, and Sven the reindeer. (We liked when Kristoff would “do” Sven’s voice!) There are trolls, and magic, and other things you might expect in a Disney movie.
For me, the difference with Frozen is the tumultuous inner battle in Elsa. She pushes everyone else away—including her sister, Anna, who is her best/closest friend—all in the name of doing the “right” thing. Being the “good” girl. But when she tries to break free from this iron-fisted self-righteousness, she (literally) freezes the entire village.
In the end, the one whom we think must receive an “act of true love” is the one who gives it, which breaks Elsa free from her own, lonely, frozen prison. Love always wins.
The imagery and truths in this story are just fantastic. Well done, writers.
If you haven’t seen it yet, we definitely think it’s worth owning. (We will be buying a copy very soon!)
(Bonus: The music is really good and fun, too. Lots of singing happening around here now, inspired by the movie!)