Tuesday 13 June 2017

Frozen: Search Me

Yesterday, owing to circumstances beyond my control, I ended up watching the feature-length (it felt more like week-length) Disney animation Frozen. More phenomenon than film - its branding and merchandise are everywhere - this fantasy drama is the highest-grossing animated movie ever and the third highest-grossing 'original' film of all time - yes, of all time - and it has won Oscars, Golden Globes, Baftas, Grammies, the lot. Why? Having sat through the entire thing, I can only shrug and reply 'Search me'. It certainly can't have been the lame script or the all-over-the-place storyline, or even the songs, which are pretty ordinary. The 3-D computer-generated animation I found almost physically nauseating, but I speak as one with a visceral loathing of computer animation as well as a deep distaste for Walt Disney and all his works. Chuck Jones is my idea of an animator.
  Leaving all that aside, though, the real strength of Frozen is that it has instant and powerful appeal to young girls - every age group, I'd guess, from toddler to teen. I think it's all about the relationship between Elsa, the troubled princess with magical powers she can't control, and her redoubtable sister Anna, who is determined to save Elsa from herself and, into the bargain, thaw out the kingdom Elsa has inadvertently plunged into the deep freeze. There are scenes that play out like those agonised teen dramas full of psychobabble about relationships and emotions, but set in a fairytale context that makes them safe and accessible - though no less alluring - to the aspiring pre-teen. And then there's that song. You know the one - that can belto horror Let It Go, the one that every mini-Elsa in the land (and many another land) is only too happy to belt out on any occasion.
 My adorable granddaughter - she with whom I watched Frozen - can belt out Let It Go with the best of them, and will casually drop the phrase 'Cold never bothered me anyway' into the conversation. However, I'm happy to report that her first love among animations is currently Ivor the Engine, Raymond Postgate and Peter Firmin's delightful series about a good-natured Welsh locomotive and his human and animal friends. Forget computer-generated 3-D - stop motion and cardboard cut-outs rule.


  1. A fellow who used to work down the hall from me, father of twin daughters now aged about eight, referred to Frozen as "crack cocaine for six-year-old girls."

    My own opinion many years ago was that it would be far more decent to give Disney its own press down at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving than to have it use the children as its tools to dig money out of their parents' wallets.

  2. Ho ho - very good George!