Why is Frozen so Popular?

By Sally Greider

Freshman, Exploratory major

Frozen, the icy new Disney movie, has thawed the hearts of almost everyone since its release over Thanksgiving break. But what makes this musical, upbeat story of sisterhood so popular?

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*SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD!*

Disney has gotten progressive. Everyone is used to the classic Disney stories of a prince and princess and a decidedly evil villain. A charming prince sweeps in to save the passive, demure princess and marry her (usually the next day). But in Frozen, nothing could be less traditional. The main characters, Anna and Elsa are fully developed and interesting sisters, and not even a bit demure. They have flaws and human qualities. Anna is clumsy, impulsive, and often awkward, but these qualities are what make viewers love her. We relate to her emotional intensity, her clumsiness, and her bravery. Anna isn’t afraid to tell a guy he’s gorgeous, unlike past Disney princesses who have no ability to be romantically forward. (Seriously, what is up with Cinderella? She makes the prince come find her with a shoe.)

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Image Credit: Disney blog

Who doesn’t love Elsa? Anna’s older sister is Elsa, who has been hiding her magical powers of manipulating ice and snow from her sister for her whole life. She is, let’s face it, awesome. As someone who has dealt with a secret her whole life, she breaks free from her fears and insecurities (while singing an epic song) and empowers herself. She accepts who she is and finds beauty in herself. Her anthem about being true to herself, “Let It Go,” is now up for an Oscar nomination.

Although Elsa was originally intended to be an evil ice queen, Disney changed its mind. Hooray! We, the viewers, love Elsa and Frozen because there is no villain. Instead, there are people (granted, people with magical powers) who are dealing with tough stuff in their lives and ultimately succeed in overcoming their obstacles.

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Image Credit: tumblr

Sisterhood of the Ice. If you have a sister, then Frozen is the movie to see. The whole story revolves around the relationship between Elsa and Anna and how they grew apart and then together again. I have two sisters, and seeing this movie with them was the best way to watch it. From the first rendition of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” to the last note of “For the First Time in Forever,” the sisters’ relationship is tested and strengthened. Throughout the movie, they watch out for each other and try to help each other. Elsa immediately knows it’s a bad idea when Anna wants to marry that back-stabbing jerk, Hans, and Anna relentlessly believes that her sister is good and can lift the eternal winter that has fallen upon their kingdom, even when everyone else has turned against her.

And in the end, it isn’t about a prince that sweeps in to save the day (although Kristoff is totally everyone’s new favorite Disney love interest), but it’s about the sisters who save each other and their kingdom with love and trust. Disney’s focus on the familial relationship instead of the romantic one throughout the movie is just another reason that Frozen is so epically great.

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Image credit: tumblr

Basically everything. There are more reasons why Frozen is awesome than I can count, but overall, the entire film is one that is funny, touching, and generally great. Olaf, the animated snowman that comes to life through Anna’s magic and wants to experience what summer is like, provides comic relief and a voice of reason that helps to guide Anna through her adventures. (“Some people are worth melting for.”)

Kristoff, the new most lovable Disney man, manages to be the kind of prince that Disney had not yet been able to create: one that is a partner and an equal to Anna. Kristoff isn’t afraid to call Anna out on her bad choices, but he is also ready to admit when she is right and admires her bravery.

The other musical pieces in the movie are creative –even the cheesy “Love is an Open Door” number that Anna and Hans sing. The film has even been confirmed to launch a Broadway musical adaptation. Frozen is an amazing movie that has managed to stick in every viewer’s mind with its poignancy, its comedy, and its progressive elements. I fully recommend that everyone see it, at least once!

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Image credit: tumblr

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