Ages 11 and under
Disney Princess Musical
It’s been three years and there is still no hope in us letting it go. But you know what? We have every right to cherish the magical, wonderful, timeless charm that is Frozen.
We have seen a lot of animated movies geared towards the little ones over the past decade, and few of them have reached the emotional impact across all walks of life that this precious gem achieves. It doesn’t even have to be a movie for the holiday season, although it does trigger your winter bug. Whether it be spring, summer, or autumn, Frozen is always the essential tool to bring father, mother, sister, and brother together again. Kids will love the songs, teens will love the problems between siblings, and parents will love its tributes to Disney’s classics such as Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast.
The emotional ups and downs that go on between the two princesses of Arendelle is beautifully expressed through the environment around them; be it the chaos of winter or the awe of the northern lights. It starts off with an innocent playtime between the two as children, enjoying the very best of what the ice-wielding older sister can express. Then right away your heart turns cold as you see an accident cause the younger child’s brain to get frozen by her sister. It leads to all sorts of isolating events: the ice-wielding princess is locked away behind closed doors, in a desperate attempt by her parents to force control over her powers. Then the parents die in a shipwreck, leaving the two sisters hopelessly apart from one another.
The feelings you feel within the first several minutes translate to the overall experience of watching this new Disney classic. After ice princess Elsa lets her secret loose minutes after her coronation, the appearance of her ice powers become a visual for her true emotions. The same goes to every time snow, icicles or snowflakes are seen: each one appropriately placed to reveal Elsa’s relationship with all that she knows. Frozen is a true triumph in visual storytelling.
Then like every great classic by the Disney studio, this one has a villain so despicable in motive, that he makes Maleficent and Scar look like saints. It would have been a Disney triumph in character writing if the other men in this feature were not looked upon as gross, manic pigs; not to mention offensive stereotypes towards the Danish, the Norwegian, and the Swedish. This includes a stingy Duke from the fictional kingdom of Weselton who wants a greater portion of his trade agreement with Arendelle. He could have contributed a great deal to the weight of the story, but instead is exploited for the sake of laughs.
Yet I still have to commemorate the staff of animators for their passionate work in getting the best facial expressions out of every last character, whether it be the leads or the comic relief or somewhere in between. They have crafted remarkable creations that win your heart without you even knowing it. Elsa, voiced by the Broadway star Idina Menzel, leads commanding vocals in each of her duets, especially when she sings her immortal anthem that I don’t even need to name at this point.
Equally as great as the ice princess is her adorable younger sister Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell. She carries an energetic motivation to find the man of her dreams to make up for the long-lasting absence of her sister, one that is expressed through her awkward rambling and fidgeting fingers. Both of these leading ladies are easy for anyone, no matter what gender or walk of life, to connect with on a personal level, guaranteeing a greater understanding between real-life friends and families.
Then there’s the snowman they built as kids who for some reason came to life when Elsa built him again while on her own. His means of sprouting to life is not explained, but he still pours much needed humor and sweetness into the sisters’ struggling relationship.
Amongst all the highs and lows of this heavy-handed family feature, there is one other spectacular element that utilizes the very best of its emotional power: the conscious use of lighting and 3-D. Every single frame in this feature is worth framing in your living room, enriching the vibrancy of the story with colors that travel all across the spectrum, matching precisely how the characters, and you, ought to feel. This is accomplished by the tremendous might of the magic hour, and the countless dramatic lighting possibilities offered by ice and snow. Every winter lover would faint of joy when looking at this motion picture.
I encourage you to set aside the oversaturation of Frozen’s marketing strategies, and see this wonderful tale for what it truly is: a testament to siblings everywhere to the true power of love. That is what Walt himself has committed his work to, and that is what we still to this day get the privilege of sharing with our children to better tomorrow’s generation.
Anna and Elsa depict two extremes of socialization: Anna is so open to others that she lets the wrong people in, while Elsa is shutting everyone away because she’s afraid of hurting anyone. In both circumstances, they each put each other and everyone around them in considerable danger. Meeting people and handling issues about loving others is never easy for anyone, and for somebody on the autism spectrum the entire concept of love is practically a foreign concept.
Basically, they often just cannot find a balance between the two extremes of getting out too much and not getting out enough. That includes myself.
This can get especially confusing when the autistic child is in high school, when fishing for friendships is the ultimate concern of the entire community. Your lifelong best friend from kindergarten finds an interest in the life of drugs, and you two end up drifting apart. You feel a romantic drawing to a girl in the math society, but your social clique forbids interaction with that group. You want to come out as gay, but you’re afraid of all your closest friends turning against you. These are confusing times for anyone. Even more so for the autistic individual.
I was the type of student who was more like Anna, wanting to make friends with anybody and everybody, as I was so desperate for a social life like everyone else had. It resulted in me wasting my time on people who either took advantage of me for their own amusement or simply tolerated me. It was not doing any good for myself or them. What I was doing was worrying more about appearing social rather than naturally developing wholesome worthwhile friendships that were mutually beneficial.
Six-Word Lessons on Female Asperger Syndrome, Lesson #48: Avoid Being Possessive of Your Friends.
But when I went off to college, I transitioned out of an “Anna” stage and more into an “Elsa” stage, where I had more anxiety in meeting with people. Since the world outside of high school is filled with change where people rarely stay, I naturally picked up a lower enthusiasm when it came to making new friends or arranging to meet up with the friends I already had. The result is that I felt lonely more often, and others were not seeing the incredible character I had to offer.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #8: They Very Rarely Share Their Thoughts.
All throughout life, anybody on the autism spectrum can peak at either one of these two extremes, and meeting common ground between the two seems nearly impossible at times. It’s hard because the social pressure is exhausting, yet at the same time just as vital for personal satisfaction as any human being with a desire for relationships.
Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic, Lesson #24: Balance Solo Activities with Parental Interaction.
Although it is not impossible. There are ways to help yourself and your autistic child find that balance between time alone and time with others, thawing a deeply frozen heart.
- Plan on setting up one social outing a week. If it turns out you can’t find somebody with the same schedule availability as you, simply go out to a museum or the city on your own, and don’t be afraid to talk to people if you feel urged to.
- Go ahead and ask some simple “starter questions” to anybody you first meet. You can usually tell after the third or so meeting if somebody’s a compatible friend. If it turns out they’re not a suitable friend, simply (excuse the pun) let it go.
- Don’t refrain from meeting with others if you have no good excuse not to. You should always be living for today with the people you can tangibly meet today. You never know when that will change.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see reviewed, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
101 Conversation Starters. Web. <http://www.conversationstarters.com/101.htm>.
Frozen. Disney. Web. <http://frozen.disney.com/>.
Schaefer, Sandy. ‘Frozen’ Review. Digital image. ScreenRant. 27 Nov 2013. Web. <http://screenrant.com/frozen-movie-reviews-2013-disney/>.