Monday, May 12, 2014

If Your Family Is Going to Be Overrun by a Cultural Phenomenom, It Might as Well Be This

I probably shouldn't reveal this, but there's a movie I've seen more times than "Pulp Fiction," "The Big Lebowski" or "Inception."

That movie is "Frozen."

Like many American households, we have been completely steamrolled by the Disney film. The kids have seen "Frozen" countless times, and the entire family has discussed the movie ad nauseum.

There have been endless conversations over which "Frozen" character each of us would be and what our favorite song is. (It's generally agreed that our family song is "Let It Go." The kids seem unaware that anyone else in the world also likes this song. Picking it feels like a gutsy choice to them.)

Plot points are rehashed over and over. The clues leading up to Prince Hans' betrayal have been analyzed more exhaustively than any film school has studied "Rashomon."

The other day I came across Alice in our bedroom. She had taken my iPhone and was secretly playing/singing "For the First Time in Forever" to herself. (I think I've discovered the source of my iPhone's battery drain.)

All this is a bit unsettling. I don't want my family brainwashed by a Disney cartoon.

And yet, we really could do worse.

"Frozen" is about two sisters helping each other (one of the reasons it resonates in our household). Neither of the girls feels compelled to get married at the end, and they don't need a prince to come save them. They rely on each other.

This is how Alice described the film after seeing it for the first time: "It had two sisters and they save each other and hug at the end."

Also, Elsa has one of the best mic drops in recent memory.

It's a sweet movie that strikes a chord. I joked recently about reading the Golden Book of "Frozen" on the subway, but what I didn't reveal is I got kind of emotional at the time. Even Elliot (the non-sister among our kids) gets so overcome during the scenes when Anna gets hurt that he has to leave the room. This is powerful stuff.

Think about it: If you start singing "Let It Go" in a crowded room, you'll probably get half the people to join in. When is the last time a cartoon musical had a universally recognized song? "Lion King" (1994)? "The Little Mermaid" (1989)? It's been at least a couple decades.

So if your family is going to be obsessed with a movie, "Frozen" really isn't so bad.