Okay, Frozen isn’t exactly a “find.” It’s been promoted and advertised and every kid in the neighborhood has seen it or wants to see it. But, a) alliteration and b) I wanted to talk about it today, so hence the post title.
I can’t be the first person to tell you Frozen is a great movie, for various reasons. I guess it won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature, although I stopped watching the Golden Globes on Sunday after Jacqueline Bisset made me squirm almost to death and Downton Abbey came on (and proceeded to make me squirm almost to death). It’s got a lot going for it.
My older daughter is interested in animation as a career, and she saw it twice, so in awe of it she was (and she’s in eighth grade!) My younger daughter the music lover can’t stop singing the songs since she saw it. And I, as someone for whom the story is paramount, (we interrupt this blog post to bring you this news update: ooh, ABNER! An ambulance just turned north on Fairmount at 8:05 am! And I hear fire engines, too! back to our regularly scheduled programming) I found the story compelling and heartwarming, although its relationship Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” is really, REALLY loose.
Here’s where I put a (positive) child psychology spin on what I liked about the story line. (Since I’m talking about the movie, there will be SPOILERS, so take heed.) When it comes to love, at least in the time and place where we live, media of all sorts push the romance angle. That’s sort of become they only definition of love we have.
But that’s not the love kids have; they’re not at that stage of development yet. They love their families, their pets, their friends. That’s the love they know and understand. Yet what they see on screens or in books doesn’t portray that kind of love, or at least not as its main theme.
So when Frozen shows a girl confused and hurt about why her sister and (previously) constant playmate won’t play with her or talk to her anymore, that is something kids GET. They GET why a guy would love his pet reindeer. And when the “true love” that saves the princess at the end isn’t some weird mushy stuff, but love between family members, they get THAT, too. Although they will never, EVER admit it.
But not only does it validate the feelings they have instead of confusing them with adult feelings they don’t understand yet, it doesn’t force them to grow up too soon like so very, very much of the other media bombarding them. Thumbs up.
Then, it also fosters an appreciation for love beyond something that just builds toward or includes sex. There is the family love, the friend love, but also the love for and responsibility towards community and country shown by Elsa as queen, Anna as princess and those adorable trolls. This movie is all about all kinds of love. Remember Olaf (the snowman’s) catch phrase?
The smoochy kind even shows up at the end. But this time, THAT love is the secondary supporting character. And that one squashes the “love at first sight with a prince” cliche with a love that proves itself through hardship, sacrifice and is more than skin (or smell) deep. Finally, love gets a makeover into something real.
I guess Pinocchio was kinda like that too. But this one has princesses.