What if Frozen is the new Sex and the City?
|Queen Elsa and Princess Anna in Disney animated feature Frozen. Source: Internet
Finally. I've watched Frozen.
I'm a fan of animation particularly those from Japan. But when it comes to Disney animated films, there's always this love-hate relationship going on between us.
On one hand, I admit that I enjoy fairy tales for they are easy, sweet and lift me up even on the worst possible day with a glimpse of hope, that miracles will happen eventually if the right ingredients are in place.
But on the other, the theme of princess-got-rescued-by-prince-charming-and-live-happily-everafter stemmed in many Disney cartoons is simply toxic. Little girls dream of themselves as princesses and all they have to do is to look pretty and then one day, prince charming comes along, rescues them from all the problems, and they will live happily ever after. And as for the boys, they have no choice but to grow up to become the prince charming and to rescue pretty girls whom they barely know. The notion of living happily ever after is the worst. For those of us who have been in and out of relationships, finding a partner is not the end but the beginning of a new chapter of the bittersweet life story. A relationship is not about dating someone who showers you with all grand romantic gestures and sweep your feet off the ground. A relationship is about living the reality and it requires a lot of work.
So when I see department stores' children section is crowded with (ugly) merchandises of Frozen, and my Facebook feeds are full of friends' daughters dressing up as Princess/ Queen Elsa, my guard is up. What has Disney done this time around? Why are the little girls so crazy about Frozen? Is it simply because of the pretty blonde princess who is gifted with the magical power of freezing everything off? Or is it because of some subliminal messages in theme song Let It Go (I much prefer the parody version Fuck It All actually) that have secretly gotten all little girls hooked? The more I think about these unresolved questions, the more I reject watching this Disney offering.
Thus for two years since it was released, I still had not touched it, until a recent long haul flight.
The lacklustre offerings in the in-flight entertainment system somehow directed me to click of Frozen. It was the end of 2015 and I thought, well, as a journalist who seeks the truth of everything, I should watch it before I hate it.
So in the name of research, I brought my sceptical self to watch this movie I have been hating for no reason, and my perception swung to opposite end of the pole afterwards.
I'm not going into the details of plot, as everything is available here. What this Disney feature surprised me was the emphasis of girl power and sisterhood, and a new (and relatively correct) rendition of true love.
Girl power was touched upon in Disney's previous offering Tangled (which, I admit, I enjoyed very much), in which Rapunzel plays some kind of a heroine and rescues her lover in the end. Frozen takes this heroine character further: Elsa finally comes to terms with herself - fucks it all to just be herself, despite she is seen as a freak.
But while all the little girls are obsessed with Elsa, her younger sister Anna is the real protagonist and heroine. The naive younger princess meets prince charming who sweeps her feet off the ground, but it turns out the prince is a fraud. She thinks the act of true love is a kiss that will save her life - just like how it has been portrayed in Snow White or Sleeping Beauty - but the act of true love is not confined to just romantic love, but the love of sisterhood. She meets a brave boy who accompanies her quest to find her lost sister Snow Queen, and although the boy (seems) to love her, he is just making her life better, a bonus to her life, rather than the centre of her life.
If this is a lesson from Frozen, I can't help but associating this with the earlier seasons of Sex and the City, which is about the friendship of four women (sisterhood) in their quest for love from a man. The prince charming might be their goal, but it is the sisterhood that stays with them regardless of who the man is. They don't need prince charming to survive. Prince charming is just a bonus to their already fabulous lives.
I don't know what young girls have learnt from Frozen, or if the girl power is what draws them to this Disney feature. But if this is the case, then I suppose Disney might have finally done a good deed.