Frozen (2013), the most recent of the Disney Princess movies, pulled tears and tickled the laughter out of its age-diverse audience. Now, it's been three years after the big Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck film hit theatres, and you can still catch “Let It Go,” arguably the movie’s most popular song, on the radio. But was it only the catchy anthem that rung in over $1.276 billion at the box office? Or was it the storyline, which strayed so far from a regular Disney Princess movie?
The plot focuses on two sisters, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) who slowly grew apart after the death of their parents, as well as Elsa’s rather magical discovery. In most Disney Princess movies, there is some benefcial magical aspect - from a genie to hair that heals wounds. However, the audience was shocked to find that Elsa had uncontrollable, harmful ice powers - what a twist! Unfortunately, the queen’s destructive abilities are outed in front of all of Arendelle after hearing Anna’s plans to marry a man she just met - typical Disney. Elsa runs away in shame and fear. Anna leaves the kingdom in the hands of Prince Hans (Santino Fontana), her fiance, and journeys to find and save her beloved sister.
Along the way, Anna meets Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an iceman, and Sven, a carrot-munching reindeer. The three of them encounter a talking snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad), who was created by Elsa. Olaf leads Anna to her sister, only to be rejected, and ultimately hit in the heart with ice - another typical Disney plot twist. And of course, just like Sleeping Beauty’s eternal slumber, the only way to stop the curse is by an act of true love. So what makes this Hans Christian Anderson based film different than the previous Disney Princess flicks? Unlike Snow White's true love's kiss and Cinderella's romantic shoe-fitting, the act of true love was not presented by a man.
As Anna prepares to run into the arms of Kristoff and plant a smooch of true love, she overhears that Elsa’s in danger. Instead of putting herself first, a usual Disney princess move as seen by Mulan, who saved her captain instead of running, Anna chooses to save her sister. Ultimately, her heart finishes freezing and she becomes stationary. Elsa embraces her immobile sister, and cries tears of loss and heartbreak - And that was true love. The act that caused Anna to thaw was not rendered by a spouse, but rather by a sister who loves her deeply.
This movie is potentially one of the best, and certainly most realistic Disney Princess movies. It teaches children, and even adults, that a woman does not need a true love's kiss to be saved. Nor does true love have to be between a couple.True love can be between those who are blood-related, best friends, and even pets. And so, even after declaring her love for Kristoff, Anna does not marry him immediately. Finally, Disney creates a realistic romance, in that couples do not get married days after meeting each other. It also shows the value of family. Siblings do fight, and while none of them are physically shot in the heart with a flash of ice, they always need each other to thaw the metaphorical frozen heart. In the wise words of Olaf, “Some people are worth melting for,” and this movie is definitely worth watching.