Monday, October 27, 2014

Disney on Ice: Frozen - So that's what the fuss is all about

This past weekend we took our friend's 3 year old to Disney on Ice: Frozen. Before I talk about the show, let's talk about Frozen itself. Shira wisely suggested we watch the movie before the show, so that's what we did on Friday night (the show being on Sunday). I'm fairly comfortable with sharing spoilers below because we have to be the last people on the planet to have watched the movie.

My first thought, upon finishing the movie, was nu? this is what's taking our culture by storm? But, after thinking about it a bit more, I did appreciate that it was a story of family love and dedication, and not just the usual prince/princess theme. To that end, I was totally fooled by Prince Hans and assumed that Disney was going to give us a happily ever after there. I was less than impressed with story resolution.I appreciate the whole Wizard of Oz you've got the magic within you already. But really, she just realizes "Oh Love?!" and then all her problems are solved? And don't even get me started on the parent's behavior or the troll's bad advice. OK, I suppose I'm being a little too hard on a kid's movie. But still.

After watching the ice version of the story (which more or less follows the movie) I was struck by another important twist: Princess Anna is a self rescuing princess. Well played Disney, well played.

Shira pointed out that it's ridiculous that both princess characters in the movie are beyond-waif thin. If you're going to make characters you're counting on little girls to emulate, it's practically criminal to have this extreme of a body image. Surely some of the billion plus dollars made on the film could have been used to figure out a way to make both attractive and more realistic looking characters.

I suppose it all comes down to the power of music. The story is good enough, the characters lovable (oh Olaf, you're my favorite!) and sure there's some positive lessons in there. But add in catchy songs, and people can't help but love the movie.

If we had daughters in our home, would I want them dressing up like Anna and Elsa? Well, I'd prefer they dress up like, say, Jane Goodall, you could do far worse then a set of sister's who love and support each like the movie suggests.

As for the ice show, it was solid. The costuming, choreography and ice dance were good enough to keep an adult (mostly) entertained. But it was the kid's reactions that made it all worth it. Every child I saw seemed to be loving the experience. From the older ones who were pointing out plot mismatches with the movie and questioning how'd they do that? to the little ones who just loved singing along; everyone was happy. The three year old we brought to the show, watched it with rapt attention. When appropriate, she delicately clapped for the performers. But most of the show was spent spellbound. It was so precious to see.

Sure, the souvenirs and food were overpriced, but there was magic in the air, and for a couple of hours there were many, many happy kids and parents. Who could ask for more?

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