Disney’s newest hit musical, “Frozen” has garnered massive success due to the brilliant music as well as the new model for heroines. But the movie wasn’t originally planned that way.
Who do we have to thank for the new hit disney film? The married songwriters, based on a recent interview with the power couple, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The duo revealed that the “Frozen” story arc has been a work in progress for years. Originally, Anna was written to be the perfect pretty princess while Elsa was the jealous older sister plotting revenge with her army of enchanted snowmen. Aren’t you glad that movie didn’t get made?
The Lopez’s confessed that a Perfect Anne and Jealous Elsa didn’t evoke the kind of emotion that musicals require. They found themselves reflecting: “What kind of character sings? Your main character has to have some optimism, and she has to feel things so deeply that she will burst into song.”
So, after some major adjustments, Robert, Kristen and the writers came up with a new character dynamic. The team identified the opportunity to create the first really funny disney character, “I’m so exited about the potential that Anna has to sort of bring in the world of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, the goofy self-deprecating female heroines that are in our culture now,” confessed Mr. Anderson-Lopez. How cool is it that such fantastic ladies are now influencing pop culture? Anna wasn’t necessarily the first Disney Princess to have a sense of humor or act silly, but she’s certainly a new model.
Of course, one of the things that makes “Frozen” so wonderful is the juxtaposition of a goofy princess who embraces her quirks next to her queenly sister who pushes herself towards perfection. The story emphasizes the strengths both characters possess while still highlighting how goals of perfection can be limiting. The movie’s oscar nominated track, “Let It Go,” is all about self-acceptance, “letting your past go and also letting your power go,” as well as empowerment. Out of all the people out there now covering “Let It Go,” it was the couple’s daughters who were the first to sing it repeatedly around the house.
Finally, “Frozen” did something wonderful to teach children about love. Classic disney movies always leave the heroics up to the prince, and in the end he’s rewarded with a princess and they ride off into the sunset. At last we have a movie that, rather than emphasizing the power of romantic love, teaches young girls not to overlook the bond between family. Anna and Elsa are phenomenal characters for many reasons, but the narrative they present through their redeeming love for each other, that’s something this writer hopes to see from Hollywood more and more.