The Triumph of Frozen, the First Disney Princess Movie About Girls Rather Than for Them

The first Disney princess film to completely root itself in anything like the true feminine experience

Frozen, however, is the true pioneer. Buck and Lee’s classic dispenses with anything but the faintest pretenses of romantic melodrama. While it’s preordained that sparks will fly between Anna (Kristen Bell) and studly mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff)—who join forces to stop Anna’s ice-queen sister, Elsa (Idina Menzel), from ravaging their land with an endless winter—their amour is so secondary as to be a narrative footnote. Rather, the film’s guiding focus is the relationship between its sibling protagonists.

That Frozen is primarily about sisterhood—and about women forging their own identities through endeavors whose goals have nothing to do with men or achieving some standard-issue happily-ever-after—makes it the first Disney princess film to completely root itself in anything like the true feminine experience. That it does this while delivering excellent comedy (courtesy of the warm weather-pining snowman Olaf, and Kristoff’s reaction-shot-friendly reindeer), as well as majestic fashion and grand musical numbers, all confirms that trademark princess tropes are compatible with more modern representations of developing womanhood—and as with Elsa’s elegantly glitzy performance of the Oscar-nominated song “Let It Go,” that they can serve the overarching portrait of women struggling to reconcile thorny issues of maturation and self-realization.

In other words, Frozen is an authentically glamorous princess film that’s not only just for girls, but also essentially about girls. And, mercifully, one that won’t spawn any cleaning-is-fun tie-in books, either.

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10 comments
Wendy De La Puente
Wendy De La Puente

I did not care for "Brave" when I see a Disney movie, I am looking for a beautiful princess, not a homely girl with a bow and arrow. She had a mouth on her and talked back to her mother. What a poor example for young girls. 1) It's ok to look homely 2) It's ok to talk back and disobey. And the list goes on and on

esquivel.ooh
esquivel.ooh

I recently read an article that disagreed with Frozen being heralded as groundbreaking for women, and while I love Frozen (I've seen it multiple times) I agree with the statements made in /that/ article. Her argument was that from the very beginning Anna sings of wanting to find true love (a man) not to reconcile her relationship with her sister, or just find friends but to find /the one/. This is very different from Ariel who just wanted to experience human life, her prince was simply a bonus prize. The same could be said for Belle, Jasmin, Cinderella, Tiana, Pocahontas, Rapunzel they had goals which didn't necessarily require a man's love. Belle wanted to escape that village, Jasmine to experience Agrabah, Cinderella to go to the ball, Tiana just wanted to open her restaurant, Pocahontas wanted to forge her own path, and Rapunzel just wanted to see the lanterns; falling in love and meeting a guy were all just bonus prizes. 
I love Frozen, the animation, story and music are all fantastic, but once you put it on a pedestal as groundbreaking then there's a problem. That is hype it is undeserving of. Admire the music, animation, voice talents, the dramatic story, but it is not in any way breaking any ground.

Demetra Cornwell
Demetra Cornwell

This article could have summed up everything in about three paragraphs instead of rambling on and on. We got the point. Plus, why no mention of Brave??

Alex Alonzo
Alex Alonzo

Ugh. I couldn't get through Brave. She was too whiney and bratty.

Michelle Hiranuma Harbaugh
Michelle Hiranuma Harbaugh

I would have to agree. In Brave they focused on the mother daughter relationship which, in itself was a revelation. Previously, the main focus was the father daughter relationship. But, it was nice to point out love at first sight isn't all it's cracked up to be in Frozen. It was the first time the initial Prince Charming from love at first sight became a douche. That was a huge spin to the other Disney love stories. Tangled was the other way around.. You kind of thought Eugene was a egotistical jerk but then he turned out to be great. One thing is for sure, every Disney princess can sing beautifully.

Gabriel Torres
Gabriel Torres

My baby loves it and now I love it. LET IT GOOOO LET IT GOOOOO . Darlene Miranda

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

A woman like you is more damaging to the women's movement than a whole room full of misogynist men. Please go back to watching your old-school "mother is dead, handsome man will save me" Disney movies and leave the rest of us disobedient, homely ladies alone. :-P

 

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