It’s been one heck of a ride folks. When Disney released “Frozen” I don’t think anyone expected it to be the huge success it was. Who knew it would spawn an iconic song, win tons of awards, and finally dethrone “The Lion King” as the highest grossing animated film of all time? The song has been played to death on the radio, YouTubers have karaokied it out, and how many times can it win awards before you wish something else would win? The film was released in November yet it’s more popular now than ever. Almost a whole year has gone by and people act as if we haven’t seen it before. For me, I just sigh and shake my head when I look at the results of this film. So I’m going to say this now – loud and clear – then I’m going to defend my position: People really need to let go…of the “Frozen” hate.
Yes, I said it. If you hate “Frozen” because people are still enjoying it, the song is still popular, and Disney is actually capitalizing on the success of the film you need to just (sorry I can’t resist) “LET IT GO, LET IT GO!!!” First off to all you people who are just sick of this movie I want to say that I do sympathize with you. Really, I do. It can be rather frustrating when something becomes so big it just takes a hold of the market and relentlessly buries itself in it. I have been there where I’ve tried recommending people see an excellent movie called “Mystic River” only to watch as they went to see “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” for the fifth or sixth time. I’ve known what it’s like to not be able to avoid the love theme from “Titanic.”
Things that become very popular do come off as imposing and it’s only natural that there is a bit of push back when this happens. Here’s the thing though: The sort of love we see for “Frozen” is extremely rare and harkens back to the old days when good, quality films ruled box office. Before things started coming to DVD at a rapid pace and streaming invaded homes, the movie theater was the ultimate place to go see movies. People would trek to the theaters multiple times to see movies they really loved just so they could experience them on the big screen again and again. Today we live in a world where content is not only more readily available to people, but there’s almost too much of it out there. We have content for theaters, TV, cable, premium cable, tablets, game systems, phones, and so much more.
We live in a world that gives and gives to an audience that is obese and undiscerning. It’s like having a fat kid who is so consumed with wanting more food that he continually eats without taking a moment to enjoy his food, getting bigger and bigger all while getting no nutrition for his body. Entertainment is like that these days and it shows. Heck, my brother won’t even listen to half of a song on his iPhone before he needs to skip to the next track. I know this is where the world has been heading for a long time, but it’s not healthy. In the sixties a hit song could stay on the charts for months on end if it was good. Now they come and go like social media start up websites. After all, why listen to what was popular last week when you can listen to what’s popular this week?
When I first saw “Frozen” a week before its nationwide release I wrote a glowing review and predicted that it would have the kind of word-of-mouth that money couldn’t buy. I warned some people in advance to see it early though, because I knew once this thing got big it would sour the experience from people who just don’t like it when things get too big (to the point where some people started claiming “Tangled” was a better film, and I think even they know deep down what’s wrong with that statement). “Frozen” was not only big though, it did the unthinkable: It stuck around.
“Let it Go” became a radio hit and STILL plays on the radio (all without the help of a pop star)! The DVD is still a best seller and more theatrical re-releases are on the horizon (maybe even an IMAX re-release?!). Kids are watching it over and over again…alright, so that’s not strange, but to still want to watch it when “The LEGO Movie” is also on DVD is something else altogether. People are tired of this. They say the movies not THAT good! It’s been almost a year since the movies come out. Can’t people move on to something else? The thing is folks I don’t think you realize just how good “Frozen’s” continued popularity is for the world. Remember how I rambled about how people had too short attention spans to focus on a movie for more than one week?
Well, it’s true. This is the reason the opening weekend box office is so important for the studios; because if you don’t get them the first weekend then you might as well cut your losses because there will be something new next week. The fact that “Frozen” is being revisited almost a year later is progress. It means people are stopping to smell the flowers. They are slowing down their consumption to actually enjoy the meal. The movie is being nutritious for their brain and heart because it is a smart movie as much as it is a touching movie. And really, why should people stop doing any of this just because you think it’s been around too long? “The Lion King” was around for about a year before it finally came to VHS (where it continued to thrive for many years afterwards). “Star Wars” was (and still is) a beast unto itself. There was a time where people had to take a break from “Titanic” before they could appreciate how good it was again.
Movies are about experiences. Emotional experiences. When a really great one comes along you want to share it with other people and keep enjoying it. Sooner or later the popularity will wane a bit, but why do people need to stop enjoying it? People have every right to love a movie as long as they want. “Frozen” is one of those instant classics that hit everyone at the right spot and you will never stop hearing about it. Sooner or later you’ll hear less about it, but this film is here to stay. It’s a great piece of film making that deserves to live for a long time. In world where that’s a rare quality for a film to have, it’s really saddening to see people want to bury it because they think it’s gotten too big. Just let the hate go and let people continue to love movies, which is what is most important here.
P.S. Some of you are going to ask if this defense means I’m in favor of Disney making a sequel to the film. Well…let’s talk about that next time, as that’s a little more complicated.