Is Disney Frozen?
Disney is the biggest animation studio on the planet, right? Are we clear on that? Good! But it isn’t the best, by quite a big margin. It’s lost its footing, churning out live action film after live action film instead of the Academy award winning animated feature films it made during the 90′s.
Disney is a global brand that demands respect on the same level as Coca Cola, Ford and Corn Flakes. The cinema going public looks to Disney for the greatest in animation. Walt’s Disney is a byword for loving, funny, beautiful animation. And this is why Frozen has to be a classic. Pure Disney; funny, magical, musical and heartfelt. Tangled wasn’t a bad film, by any stretch. It looked fantastic and adapted the Brothers Grimm story of Rapunzel remarkably well. But it wasn’t a classic. Even Flynn Rider questioned the spontaneous song break outs.
So what is it that makes a Disney film a classic?
Let’s look at The Lion King. 3 strong lead characters (Simba, Timone and Pumba) , a superbly realized African setting and a story that tears your heart out (if you don’t cry when Mufasa dies, get off this page). Cheerful, bouncing and lovingly scored songs break out at optimum moments and the coming of age story resonates with the entire audience. This made it a classic. Not just because everyone has seen it, though.
It would be pointless to deny the fact that a film must be a hit at the box office for it be worth anything – especially if it’s a Disney film. But look back at Sleeping Beauty, a massive box office bomb. But a classic story and a stunningly beautiful story based on a classic fairy tale, fantastic animation for the era and a big budget. Disney princesses haven’t always been bankable, but they have always blown the critics away.
Frozen has every element in its hands to succeed, but that’s not enough. They have to form a perfect sculpture. It must have a warm enough heart to make you melt, songs that you will be singing along to for decades and a lead character pure of heart, strong of mind and funny as a grumpy cat meme. And looking at the trailers, it’s not hard to see those key elements that made Disney the global super power in animation that it is.
A female lead, a male counterpart, an evil big sister, a goofy animal and an adorably funny sidekick snowman. And $150 million budget. Sleeping Beauty was beautiful, The Little Mermaid was gorgeous, Beauty and the Beast was stunning, Tangled was hilarious… And Frozen has to be the best Disney Animation Studios film in 10 years. Last year’s Wreck-It Ralph was a great film, look brilliant and scored hugely at the box office. Frozen needs to be Disney’s Finding Nemo moment. Olaf (the cute little snowman) needs to be as funny as Dory. Only time will tell.