Disney: Heating Up

Article by: Isabel Quah

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For many, Disney is the essence of their childhood. With iconic characters and sing-along songs for the family, Disney films are nostalgic for every generation. The Disney animated film Frozen has amassed more than $600 million since its release in December, and is the second highest grossing Disney film since The Lion King. Critics and viewers, alike, recognize that Disney is approaching a new era of animated masterpieces. The Broadway-esque feel to Frozen, with such power ballads as Elsa’s “Let It Go” number, makes Frozen stand out among the Disney repertoire and increases the movie’s appeal for the ISM student body. Renowned singer Idina Menzel, known for her lead role in the Broadway production Wicked, brought the character of Elsa to life with her powerful voice and sassy character portrayal.

 Aside from a stunning cast, what makes Frozen truly unique is its departure from the cliché Disney template of princesses and prince charmings, complicating the idea of love by focusing on family and friend relationships, such as that between sisters Elsa and Anna.

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By breaking from tradition, Disney has opened itself up to a wider, 21st century audience. That being said, Frozen includes enough classic film elements, like quirky sidekicks and the theme of true love, to satisfy Disney’s vast fan base.

As film critic Christy Lemire remarks, Frozen “wants to enliven and subvert the conventions of typical Disney princess movies while simultaneously remaining true to their aesthetic trappings for maximum merchandising potential. It encourages young women to support and stay loyal to each other—a crucial message when mean girls seem so prevalent—as long as some hunky potential suitors and adorable, wise-cracking creatures also are around to complete them.”

Frozen was the perfect movie to end 2013, and anticipation is high for future Disney romps. For now, though, Disney fans worldwide will just have to “let it go”.

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