frozen

Frozen is conjuring up a new storm!

We thought we’d seen it all from Disney’s Frozen but think again…

Walt Disney productions have been delighting children and adults alike for generations releasing their first feature length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in 1937. Since then their many superbly beautiful animations have been captivating audiences worldwide making them laugh, cry, cheer and in some cases even changing something in themselves.

Their tales have derived from a collection of sources from the Grimm’s Brothers fairy tales, to well loved novels from authors such as J.M Barrie and Dodie Smith, to original screenplays. Childhood experiences of watching such films is universally shared across a whole range of cultures and love them or hate them you cannot deny the influence they have had over all our lives.

Recently, however, many people feel Disney films have lost some of the magic they once held so dear. Maybe this is the nostalgia-induced opinion of adults feeling Disney’s latest releases don’t live up to the ones that had them in such awe as children, but whatever it is no one could have predicted the storm Frozen would unleash when it hit UK cinemas in December 2013.

Frozen calendars appeared and are still appearing in shops across the globe. Lunch boxes, jewellery, clothes and let’s not forget the infamous Elsa’s dresses have been in popular demand and there has been more than one occasion where I’ve seen children carrying their own Elsa dolls.

Sing-along cinema screenings and live-action shows have been filling up with fans, the Norwegian tourist board has been offering trips to the ‘real’ Arendell (Norway allegedly being the inspiration for Frozen’s fictional kingdom) and Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) have even been drafted into script’s of ABC’s fantasy television series Once Upon a Time.

As a dedicated childhood fan of Disney Princesses’ I know that I would have dressed up in an Elsa dress and sung my own rendition of ‘Let it Go’ if only Frozen had been released when I was a child. But there is more to Frozen’s success than its mere sellable marketing merchandise.

Believe it or not Frozen is one of the few films out there to centre its action on two female leads, and poses several twists on the classic Disney Princess formula. For starters its primary concern is exploring the relationship between the two estranged sisters, Elsa and Anna, whilst side-lining Anna’s relationship with Hans (voiced by Santino Fontana) and Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff) and instead portraying the two sisters attempting to solve their own problems.

It pokes fun at the stereotypical elements of princess stories such as the ‘love at first sight’ concept that baffles both Elsa and Kristoff, whose reactions to Anna’s hasty proposal mirror that of any adult watching a Disney film. It also continues to surprise the audience when it is revealed that the ‘true love’ needed to cure Anna’s freezing heart does not come from her love for Kristoff but from her love for her sister displayed in the film’s most moving sequence when Anna throws herself in front of a sword intended to kill Elsa. There are no comatose princess’ waiting helplessly for their Prince’s kiss in this film, merely two head-strong girls out to prove to themselves what they are truly capable of. As much as I still love the princess films I grew up with, I think I’d rather have this idea invested in me as a child.

Alas, despite all this hype that continues to surround Frozen it seemed we had seen all we would of Disney’s beloved characters. Until it was revealed that Disney would be producing a short sequel, featuring the original cast of the film, to be played at cinema screenings of Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella scheduled for release on March 13th 2015.

The film, around seven minutes in length, takes place two months after the finale of Frozen and centres around Anna’s birthday. But there is a catch, Elsa has a cold and how might that work alongside her icy powers?

The short sequel will feature a new song by the Oscar-winning writers of ‘Let it Go’, Robert Lopez and Kristen-Andersen Lopez. It will also see the return of Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad), who will no doubt be up to his usual antics and Sven, Kristoff’s loveable reindeer.

So, anyone up for seeing Cinderella this March?

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