When it comes to group movie-going, it’s not always a question of who you can take to see a film (as we previously explored with Blue Is the Warmest Color), but who you should take to see a film. Such is the case with the week’s expanding Disney release, Frozen, which has “holiday weekend crowd pleaser” written all over it.
The latest entry in the Disney princess canon (we are still partial to The Little Mermaid, but what can you do) has some familiar elements – Princesses! Dead parents! Fairy tale magic! Singing! – but it’s also nicely rounded out with some sassy humor and the occasional twist on a trope (let’s put it this way, one character very keenly scoffs at another’s chattery depiction of falling in love at first sight and it provides some very welcome respite for Disney’s romantic notions). But does that mean that the film has an appeal that will reach beyond the usual Disney fans? We think so – simply because there plenty of people you should take to see Frozen who will enjoy it immensely, thank you for making a solid holiday weekend film pick, and spend the next five weeks loudly asking strangers if they want to build a snowman. The magic of Disney! And also of getting out of the house and away from leftovers!
Yes, this is a no-brainer. The hardcore Disney fans in your life have probably been yapping nonstop about Frozen for months now (or perhaps even years, as the Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee film has been in and out of various states of production at the studio for decades), and they will most likely dance out of the theater feeling very satisfied indeed. Consider this the Occam’s Razor of movie picks for Disney fans – it’s the most clear and simple choice, and thus it’s probably the correct one.
Your Sister (Or Your Brother)
As an only child, the central conceit of Frozen — the eldest of a pair of Scandinavian sister princesses forcefully cuts herself out of her younger sis’s life after accidentally injuring her by way of her icy magical touch, and baby sis tries her damndest to understand her sister, even after she becomes kind of a crazed ice queen – might not prove entirely relatable to my tastes (I don’t have siblings, so I don’t fully understand that bond), but it is relatable to anyone with a heart. There are love stories in Frozen, but the real love story is between sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel). People who have siblings – especially sisters – have walked out of Frozen sobbing as if their lives depended on it. This movie connects with siblings in a big, big way, so why don’t you take your sibs to go see it and connect with them in the process?
People Who Were Disappointed in Brave
Sure, I may be a bit of a Brave apologist, but I get the problems that people had with that particular Disney princess film. The issues of Brave – a bumpy story, that disjointed narrative, the fact that our leading lady does something truly awful and selfish – are not present in Frozen. If you didn’t like Brave, you still might not like Frozen, but you won’t have the same complaints.
Frozen is a musical, and thus it’s packed with some very recognizable Broadway talent – from the divine Idina Menzel to the hilarious Josh Gad. If you can’t swing tickets to an actual Broadway musical, the film just might tide over the biggest Great White Way fan in your life until it’s time to pony up some cash for The Book of Mormon or whatever is hot with the all-singing, all-dancing crowd these days.
Movie Fans Who Still Don’t Get the Appeal of 3D
The 3D of Frozen is fine with a capital F, but the 3D of the attached short film, Get a Horse!, is remarkable. The Mickey Mouse adventure may start off like an old-timey cartoon in black and white, but it soon pops off the screen (literally – well, as literally as you can get with 3D) with color, flash, sass, pizzazz, and some hilariously modern touches. It’s the best use of 3D in an animated film this year, perhaps ever, and it demands to be seen on the big screen.
Fairy Tale Fanatics
Frozen is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” though it spins off into its own uniquely satisfying narrative. Fans of the traditional fairy tale stuff may be put off at first, but when Frozen is appreciated on its own, it (strangely enough) also serves as a nice counterpoint to some of Andersen’s more depressing outings.
People Who Like Anthropomorphic Beings
Like any good Disney flick, Frozen’s cast of characters includes some animals and non-human creatures that possess plenty of human characteristics. While the charming reindeer Sven doesn’t talk like a person, he otherwise acts like one, and he’s somehow able to be both the voice of reason and just, like, super-cuddly (keep your eyes peeled for some baby Sven early in the film). Likewise, the Gad-voiced snowman Olaf talks like a person, acts like a person, and participates in the film like a person. He may look totally terrifying in still art, but within the context of the film, he’s the source of lots of humor and lots of sweetness. Gad knocks it out of the park with this one.
Your Entire Hot-Headed, Bickering Family
This Thanksgiving week is crowded with a whole mess of new movies to choose from when the football is over, the food is consumed, and there’s nothing left to do but get out of the house to take in some fresh entertainment. Of all the new releases, Frozen is the only one that has even a hope of satisfying an entire family, from the littlest sisters all the way up to the most crotchety grandparents. Been fighting all week? Frozen will also literally cool everyone down – the winter-set film will make anyone feel like they need to throw on a big coat.