Admittedly, I'm not exactly the target audience for Disney's latest film, Frozen, but still, with all the hype I really should have seen it by now. I mean one awesome magical lady and another lady who goes on a quest to bring her back? This is right up my alley.
Anyway, I remember seeing the preview in the fall. At first I was excited, and then as the preview progressed I thought, harumph, another disney princess movie where the story ends in marriage. Why is it always game over at marriage? THERE IS PLENTY OF LIFE AFTER MARRIAGE. LIFE IS NOT ALL ABOUT MARRIAGE. THERE ARE OTHER GOALS THAN GETTING MARRIED. I was, in fact, quite agitated.
I felt especially grumpy after the disappointment of last year's Brave. There was so much hype about how it was the first Pixar film ever to feature a female lead. I rushed to see it in theaters, and then… wah-wah... disappointment. There was none of the clever playfulness of the best Pixar films like Toy Story and Wall-E, and the driving tension of the entire film was all about a girl's right to choose her husband. Seriously, Pixar? That was the only story line you could think of for your first lady-hero? And what does it say that you spent so much on her hair? So with this as background, I saw a prince in the trailer for Frozen and I tuned out.
That was until one very-smart-very-thoughtful friend told me she had seen Frozen FOUR TIMES. Four times! Didn’t it just come out? Forget all the youtube sing-alongs with millions of views each –this got my attention.
What a pleasant surprise I was in for. Frozen is the story of not one, but two fabulously unique lady-heroes. One lady-hero goes missing and the other lady-hero saves her. Then lady-hero number two is about to die, and it is the true love of her sister (lady-hero number one) that saves her. This is so awesome.
Yes, marriage (desire to marry) still is an important plot driver – but most of the story pokes fun of and warns against diving in too soon. And to my great relief, the story did not end with any grand pronouncement on marriage at all. No wedding bells, and no (controversial?) statement on a woman’s right to choose her own mate. And most importantly, the movie was just damn good. The characters were entertaining, the plot creative, and the music great.
So yeah, would I still love a Pixar/Disney lady-hero film that doesn't mention marriage at all? For sure. But this was a huge step forward, and today I can't stop belting out the BEST SONG EVER, Let It Go.