Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Disney Classic Re-Defines "True Love"

I'm still ga-ga over "Frozen," one of the best Disney films in years and maybe the best ever. A heartwarming tale of separation and redeeming devotion between sisters, Disney undoes 80 years of damage to girls' psyches by redefining "true love" as something other than the kiss of a handsome prince (or even of a handsome commoner). Kudos to screenwriter and Oscar-winning co-director Jennifer Lee for this broad and liberating vision.

The actors in "Frozen" bring all the characters vividly to life. Whose heart doesn’t ache at the dilemma of Anna and Elsa? Who doesn’t thrill to the action sequences and laugh at the hijinx of the adorable snowman Olaf? Visually stunning, the color scheme and saturations are gorgeous. The songs are short, witty and to the point. “Let It Go” has become a rather annoying earworm from constant play on the radio but is perfect in the context of the film. "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" always brings a lump to my throat.

Although the female characters are still skinny and cinch-waisted with little button noses -- let's hope it doesn’t take Disney another 80 years to give us a heroine of real women's proportions -- they are active, empowered individuals. Anna, in particular, is directly engaged in every effort to save her sister, from fighting wolves and a snow monster to decking the bad guy in the end.

“Frozen” is a wonderful change of pace for animated films. What a brilliant idea to get audiences to think about the meaning of "true love." Its messages of enduring love and female empowerment are important, especially for the young audiences flocking to see it. Thanks, Disney!