“Some things are worth melting for.” says Olaf, the re-animated, animated snowman of Disney’s latest offering; the astonishingly popular Frozen. While this is the kind of sickneningly sentimental dialogue we’ve all come to expect from Disney, Frozen made a valiant go at thawing my icy heart, with another story about princesses.
Though at first glance, this is just another formulaic tale of damsel in distress, designed to make kids sit still for 90 minutes while they come down off their sugar-high, there is some merit to the plot. Frozen could be construed as Disney’s attempt to refute any claims to sexism in its previous features, by casting off the almost sacred device; the always manly, always testicularly-endowed male hero. A ballsy move no doubt, but one I felt should have come a lot sooner. Instead, the male characters play second string to its two female leads; the two sister P.I.P’s (Princesses In Peril), one of which possesses powers on par with Storm from the X-men. Indeed, like the X-men, Princess Elsa is faced with prejudice when her miraculous control over the icy elements is exposed. Retreating to her very own fortress of solitude, Elsa runs away to articulate her plight in sweeping ballad form, as do the other characters.
One song in particular that deserves special mention is the quietly suggestive ‘Love is an Open Door’ sung in duet form by Hans and Ana. It has been speculated that this song, whilst catchy in an inoffensive sort of way, actually condones gay-relationships, a first for the ultra-conservative Disney. Personally I can’t really see anything in the lyrics that approves homosexual partnerships, other than the title itself. More likely it is a clever foreshadowing of a twist in the plot (one I shan’t spoil).
Fortunately, Disney does not rely on musical numbers like these to fill time, instead they have found a perfect balance between dialogue and song. Every word spoken contributes in some way to the story, rarely lapsing into exposition, except to mastermind some genuinely amusing comedic moments.
So, from my reluctant viewing of Frozen I was pleasently surprised, that this quintessentially Disney tale of royalty and love, so like any other in appearance, possesses a snow-flake uniqueness. Indeed, those wary of the sentimental kids movie, would do well to distil their cool detachment, and take Olaf’s advice; some things are worth melting for.