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Why is Frozen so Successful?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by valiant12, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

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    Disney officially announces that there will be frozen 2. Not surprising considering how much money they made from the first movie. So, why people like frozen?
    The animation and the voice actors are really good and children love snowmen, but is this really enough?
    The thing I find particularly hard to understand is why people like the character.
    The reindeer man, for example, is obviously a gold digger.
    Elsa is hard to relate to - she is a queen, she has godlike powers, she is skinny and her sister doesn't hate her despite the fact that she almost kill her and the whole kingdom. Yet she is a popular character?
    So what's the secret?
     
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  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Among little girls? My experience leads me to believe it's really just one thing...

    Elsa has way cool ice powers.

    No other Disney princess to date has had way cool powers and the little girls LOVE it. They all want to be Elsa because she has way cool ice powers. It's really that simple. Seriously. I once asked my 7 year old daughter why she liked Elsa so much more than Anna. The answer was that Elsa has ice powers.
     
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  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I agree. I haven't seen Frozen, nor will I ever, but ice powers seem cool. And the songs are catchy as hell, so that helps.
     
  4. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Simple--why shoot for true cinematic quality when princesses and easy-to-sing-along-to musical numbers are the go-to way to haul in the cash? Plus, a lot of people can relate to Elsa, in her struggles to accept who she is and have others accept her as well. And Anna's unconditional love for and loyalty to her sister is something a lot of siblings can understand and empathize with.

    Personally, I didn't like Frozen. Really the only part I liked was the emotional bond between Elsa and Anna. The songs were unoriginal (though Idina Menzel's performance as Elsa was great), and the animation underwhelming. Sure, it was nice, what with the detailed environments and special effects, but it just lacked...life. I was very disappointed with the character design--I was expecting Disney's classic visual storytelling, the kind that can tell you a character's personality just by their body shape and facial features. Take away trappings such as differing hair and dress styles, and Elsa and Anna look exactly the same. And it's not because they're sisters--it's because the same base was used for both of them (as well as their mother). That's just lazy animation.

    Bleh.

    I can't believe they're making a second one.
     
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  5. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I enjoyed Frozen quite a lot. As the father of a now 5 year old, I've had the opportunity to see it at least a dozen times, and it still hasn't gotten old.

    At its core, the two main characters face really relateable problems:

    Anna is lonely. Elsa is afraid. Who hasn't been lonely or afraid?

    The film moves a great pace. There's plenty of conflict and action and good humor mixed in. The songs are catchy. And I think that a lot of people loved the fact that it thwarted expectations. A typical movie like this is about the princess being rescued by a prince. Frozen is about a princess rescuing her queen sister.

    I don't think it's a mystery at all: Give people a relateable character, lots of conflict, have stuff happen, and end it in an emotionally satisfying way. Why wouldn't it be popular?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  6. I want to touch on a couple of things. First, ice powers meet the first standard in creating a magic system, the rule of cool (Sanderson's Rule 0). Second, the movie was well done technically and those songs are catchy. Third, while being a queen isn't relatable being afraid and sad is. Relateability has little to do with station, because who knows what it's like to be a hobbit, and more to do with more visceral things. Like wanting to stay home when everything is pushing you to do something dangerous and scary, even if it is needed. Further, you came to at least like the characters or like to hate them. (Side bar: Cristoff is not a gold digger. He didn't even like Ana at first.) Look at Hans, he's a jerk. People, adults mind you, cheered when Ana decked him in the schnoz. You can't get that kind of reaction without at least some emotional connection to both Ana and Hans. So it was very successful, it hit all the right points. Is it a masterpiece of cinema? No, probably not. But it is still a great flick.
     
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  7. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    No other film resulted in my daughters doing this:

    [​IMG]

    Two years in a row, there were Frozen-themed birthday parties. And even as recent as last night, my 2-year-old wanted to watch the Frozen Emoji video. My 7-year-old reads the Whatever After series, which smartly released "Snow Queen" to legally sponge off the popularity of Frozen. (The whole series is based on classic fairy tales, but the author wisely only used fairy tales that have been made into Disney movies, even though she follows the actual tale… so, for example, the MC needs to prevent the little mermaid's death which actually happened in the real fairy tale.)

    A few reasons/explanations for the success:
    1 - Disney knows their audience well.
    2 - Frozen has a princess (Anna) and a teenage queen (Elsa). That they're sisters really wins over little girls with sisters. My 5-year-old's a middle sister, so she can identify with either princess.
    3 - Mythopoet nailed it. Elsa's more powerful than any princess OR knight in shining armor.


    EDIT - @Brian, yeah, I liked Hans getting punched out. I was laughing and cheering, and I did enjoy the music too. My brother hates it, but he only watched a YouTube vid and he doesn't have kids. Watching it as a family helps, at least for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  8. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Lets hope the sequel has a decent villain this time.
     
  9. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    It's the song. It's "Let it Go." It's basically a fancy way of saying "Screw the world." And everyone feels that way, a little bit, even if eventually we have to go back and be queen.

    There are some other elements as well, though. For instance, the way it parodies older Disney movies' portrayal of love at first sight and these hey-we-met-let's-marry thing. Having two princesses also creates a very different dynamic than most movies of this type, which helps it stand out.
     
  10. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    I have two boys, the older has natural interest in the arts and loves music in the same way so many young children do. The younger is too small to really explain what he likes but, of the two, he is the more classically "boyish." They both sing along to the movie and ask to have the songs played on my wife's tablet... a lot! My older son likes all of the characters, especially Olaf. He will walk around singing In Summer. He has told me that Elsa is pretty. He also is fascinated by the trolls who turn into rocks and wants to understand it. My younger son (tries very hard to) sing along specifically with Let It Go, and he even dances to it. That's the macho one BTW.

    As far as I can tell, this is a case of Disney knowing exactly what they're doing but perhaps putting less work into animation than they should have.

    Also, I find it interesting that no one has mentioned Once Upon A Time, which, already being a Disney/Classic Fairy Tale TV show, immediately included Frozen's characters to borrow the popularity just like the show LS mentioned above, and Once is supposed to be for adults (although I think it falls short).
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  11. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I'm a single, middle-aged male, with no kids, and I like Frozen too - a lot. I bought it for myself upon recommendation from a friend and I've watched it a handful of times (which is quite a lot for me).

    What I like the most about it is that the bad guy (Elsa), isn't technically bad. She just tries to do what she thinks best and doesn't really realize what actually happens. My favorite parts are the ones where the story puts Elsa and Anna against each other trying work things out, but it just doesn't work.

    I'm not too bothered with the second half of the movie, but I like the beginning - and I like the music.
     
  12. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    Hi, I was disappointed when I saw Frozen as I'd read all the hype about it. I expected the Snow Queen and...:confused: Well, where was she?

    The song, Let It Go, is pleasant enough, but I thought the plot was flawed, to say the least. I mean, how come Elsa's gloves don't turn to ice when she puts them on?

    Admittedly, I'm not their target audience, but I know a few little girls who hate the film as well as some who love it.

    I haven't asked any little boys what they think...:eek:
     
  13. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    My little brother actually likes it a lot, and he's a very "boyish" little boy. He loves riding ATVs, playing with Nerf guns, picking fights, and...watching Frozen. And Tangled. And Brave, and Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan....

    It's kind of funny to me, but also encouraging. Maybe if he can subvert the "princess movies are for girls" stereotype, he can subvert other gender stereotypes as well!
     
  14. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Elsa isn't the bad guy, though. Possibly slightly antagonistic when in certain scenes with Anna, but she's definitely NOT the villain.
     
  15. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    She certainly appears to be, or at least that was my take the first time I watched it. I was glad Hans turned out to be the villain. He just came off as sort of a… well, I don't know. I was watching the movie with my daughters, so when Elsa wouldn't let Anna marry the guy she just met I was like, ​yeah, Elsa! Way to fill the role of your dead parents. I wouldn't let my daughters near this creep either.

    Even though lots of Disney princesses agree to marry the guy they just met, it was somehow creepy in this case. Of course, here I was thinking as a parent after epically failing to consider what crappy parents Anna and Elsa had. In my defense, lots of Disney princesses are locked in their room for an entire childhood and/or century.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
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  16. Ruby

    Ruby Auror

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    Hi Legendary Sidekick, thanks for posting the video. Have you seen the one for how Tangled should have ended? Brilliant!

    I must admit that the first time I watched Frozen I was confused about who Anna should marry. So, is this a film for girls, or do boys also enjoy it as Tom Nimenai says? Are films gender specific in terms of their target audience and should they be?
     
  17. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, it wasn't "Let it Go" that made the movie. It was "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?" It reminded me of The Wall as Elsa separates herself from the person who cares most for her. And of course, in the end the wall falls, and she realizes that she didn't have to be afraid. I've had my own issues with walling myself away, so I sympathized.
     
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  18. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    So let's assume I'm seeking monetary success with my writing. Which is more advantageous: legitimately enjoying popular works of fiction like Twilight and films like Frozen or having more "artistic" tastes?

    Seems to me that the obvious answer is that the author who enjoys writing things that people actually love reading is in a far better situation.

    I kinda feel for writers who do desire monetary success but honestly don't get what people liked about popular works.

    Just a random thought tangentially related to the topic.
     
  19. Trick

    Trick Auror

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    The thing I'd say about this is, if you're not writing something you like, then you need to rethink some things. Also, if your main goal in writing something is to please the masses and hopefully go gargantuan like Twilight etc. then you will probably be disappointed. Obviously, a lot of people like Twilight and the Hunger Games and whatnot but I don't. I do like some authors who are incredibly popular, perhaps only within their genre but still, and I want to emulate them. I don't want to emulate Twilight, even considering its success. So, as long as I accept that I probably won't write number one best sellers and choose to be happy with even a few fans some day, I will be able to live with myself and keep writing.
     
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  20. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    If anyone who has seen the movie can refute anything in this Honest Trailer, then I'll watch it. If not, I'll leave it to all the little girls who made it such a box office and merchandising success.


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
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