Friday, February 28, 2014

Good Fridays: The Message in Frozen

Good Fridays is a feature on the blog where I highlight a good thing (or things) I've discovered over the past week. This week it's Disney's movie Frozen, soon to be released on DVD.

Disney is changing. It's not a "You broke my childhood!" kind of change, but a "This is brilliant! Why didn't they do this before?" kind of change. (There may be a spoiler or two ahead.)

Disney 2013
This take on the Snow Queen tale turned the Disney princess franchise upside down. Frozen is a story of two sisters and how they both decide the fate of a kingdom. One has the power of ice and snow and the other has the power of optimism and determination. That said, I really like the older sister Elsa and how, through the troubles that come, she discovers her true self and the key to controlling her amazing power. (And there is no love interest for her! *gasp*)

Anna, the younger sister, is a princess similar to Rapunzel - hopeful, adventurous, and longing for a fuller life. She falls prey to the same pitfalls other Disney princesses do, seeking to climb out of her solitude into the world, but finding a man at the top of her ladder. That's usually where most princess stories end, but not this one. Anna's prince isn't the prize at the end of her quest, he's just a pit-stop on the way to it (and more later on, but I won't get into that).

What I loved most about Frozen is how Disney itself draws attention to the thoughtless notion of marrying someone you've only known a day (or in the case of Cinderella, only for one dance), and expecting that person to fulfill all your dreams. Between The Princess and the Frog in 2009 and Frozen in 2013, Disney has swung into the current millennium with more independent princesses than it's had before. One gem of these is Princess Merida from Brave who introduced young girls to a princess who didn't need a prince to be happy.

Frozen takes spunky princesses a step further by multiplying them. Two princesses (one who becomes queen in her own right), both understanding that true love isn't limited to romantic attraction. And that's the big lesson I took away from Frozen. Romantic love and infatuation doesn't guarantee happiness, but the greatest kind of love (self-sacrifice) does.

Have you seen Frozen? What did you think?

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