A Pleasant Surprise
I am pleasantly surprised by this movie. For the most part, it's good clean fun for families and kids. My 7 year old loved it and has been pretending to be Elsa ever since. She said, "You know why I like this movie, Mom? Because there's no prince with a kiss - her sister saves her!" My almost 11 year old son also really enjoyed it. The animation is beautiful, and the characters are well balanced and relevant. Both of my kids loved the character of the snowman, Olaf. The story is sweet, there is no real villain, and the singing is contemporary and lovely. The musical element is also well proportioned - the action and plot are not interrupted by the singing, they are actually enhanced by it. Even for adults, the movie is engaging and entertaining. The positive messages include: don't marry a guy you just met, true love can be sisterly love, and fear is destructive and can turn a person's gift into a curse, but love and acceptance can turn our gifts into beauty. One complex element that is not addressed is that young Elsa remains in fear and isolation because of her parents' reaction to her power, not because of her power itself. A four year old sitting behind us in the theater was whimpering during some of the action scenes; the characters are in peril at times, so little ones may be afraid. The elements I don't care for about this film for kids are: the sisters are very skinny, and Elsa's liberation is unnecessarily sexualized. My 7 year old noticed how skinny the sisters are, and we talked about that they clearly are not meant to be real people because you never see people with giant heads and tiny bodies walking around. Also, as Elsa stops trying to control her powers and uses them to create beauty, she sings the song "Let It Go." During the song and her transformation, her cartoon character is converted from a sad and controlled young woman in a high necked gown into a very sexy character, wearing an updated lower cut, sheer dress, including swishing hips, more makeup, and a knowing expression. The idea that freedom from your fears and converting your gift into beauty means becoming sexy and wearing stilettos while walking around in an ice castle is absurd, especially for little girls. That part demeans the beautiful message it is attempting to convey, in my opinion. Having said that, Frozen is an improvement on the usual itinerary of the Princess story line. I recommend this movie for families, and I believe it will be right up there with the other Disney favorites. The powers that be will make a mint releasing this just before Christmas, because little girls will want to dress up as Elsa and Anna, and have the toys associated with the movie. All in all, this movie is great, and an improvement on the usual Disney theme, but the misguided message of sexy = liberated for women, and consumerism are still very prevalent.