Disney’s animated film “Frozen” has taken the world over by storm since its theatrical release in November 2013. From two special DVD/Blu-Ray releases, two theatrical releases, and related merchandise selling out in just minutes, it’s hard to deny that everyone has a difficult time trying to “Let It Go.” It is the story of two young princess’ named Anna and Elsa, both sisters, living in the kingdom of Arendelle. Elsa was gifted with magical ice casting powers that she is told to keep secret and under control by her parents, because as a child she accidentally hurt Anna when they were playing together one night. Unfortunately, as the sisters grow older, Elsa in seclusion from Anna, the parents unexpectedly die in a terrible shipwreck, leaving Elsa next in line to rule the kingdom. At the coronation ceremony, Anna finally sees her sister “for the first time in forever”, and learns of her secret through an argument that triggers her magic, that causes Elsa to flee in fear. During her escape however, the kingdom is frozen over in ice and snow and it’s up to Anna to rescue Elsa and restore the warm weather. Along the way she meets a talking snowman named Olaf, an ice harvester named Kristoff, and his goofy reindeer pal Sven.
So how is “Frozen” pop culture? I feel personally it is VERY closely linked to the success of “Let It Go” and the advertising and promotions that Disney has done in order to create the amount of success that this film has received. In an online article by Jack Lule titled,”Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication, v. 1.0,” he quotes, “Popular culture is the media, products,Tastemakers can help keep culture vital by introducing the public to new ideas, music, programs, or products. But the ability to sway or influence the tastes of consumers can be worth millions of dollars. In the traditional media model, media companies set aside large advertising budgets to promote their most promising projects. Tastemakers are encouraged to buzz about “the next big thing.“”
Disney has used this technique to push “Frozen” into the publics eye on a daily basis using social media websites like Facebook and Twitter by advertising singing competitions of “Let It Go”, chances to win tickets to go see “Frozen on Ice”, merchandise releases, clothing and costume sales, as well as many other things. This promotional and marketing push from the company using social media, and celebrities such as Idina Menzel (Elsa) and Kristen Bell (Anna) to show off the film, has made it a pop culture icon because it is everywhere in the stores and internet, and has an incredibly large fan base among children and adults.
(Proof it’s popular among the big kids as well.)
In an article by the New Yorker from June 25, 2014, written by Maria Konnikova, she had stated that popular baby name web site, “BabyCentre”, released a list of top 100 baby names for 2014. On it’s list, was a very familiar name known to every “Frozen” fan around the world, Elsa. The name had jumped up nearly 243 slots in just a year, a remarkable feat. Baby names aren’t the only thing becoming influenced by the Snowy Ice Queen. Fashion designer Alfred Angelo unveiled this past year a wedding dress designed after Elsa’s own ice dress as mentioned on Inside the Magic’s blog post and Facebook page. And if that wasn’t enough, even the nerd community chimed in with their own creation of an 8 bit video game version of the popular movie as well.
(Elsa inspired wedding dress by Alfred Angelo.)
The film’s most popular song, “Let it Go” is the main fire power behind the marketing and popularity push because of its catchy tune and deep meanings behind the lyrics. The scene is incredibly powerful, depicting Elsa as lost, frightened of herself, and alone in the beginning, but within just the first stanza it climbs to show her gaining more confidence in herself, and showing who she really is and not holding back. In today’s society, everyone falls victim to bullying of one form or another, or is told to be or act, and look a certain way. With lyrics such as, “It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small, and the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.” it’s no wonder everyone gains just a tad bit more of self confidence as they sing a long with it.. In teens and young adults, women especially are under pressure from society and various sources of media that they have to look a certain way, and even act a certain way. Elsa is raised to think like that, to think that her true self is something bad, so she has to “put on a show” or else “make one wrong move and everyone will know” of her terrible secret. However, she later on accepts herself and doesn’t care what else anyone thinks of her. Seeing such a popular and powerful woman embrace herself and express who she really is an inspiration to everyone.
In an article by Ben Raynor for TheStar.com, he goes on to support this theory in this quote, regarding her overcoming her fear and accepting herself:“There are so many reasons that we all have fear and shame, and this particular, complicated Disney heroine has to kind of overcome that. I think people are responding to that, to this feeling of, like, I’m going to let my own unique power out and not live in fear of whatever it is I’m dealing with, whether it’s pressure to be a good girl and be beautiful and perfect and good grades, or if it’s something deeper.”
How long will the popularity of this film go on? Well, with it being nearly a year since its release and the popularity and hype still in full swing, it’s apparent that this “Frozen” wonderland will be around for quite some time yet. It is a pop culture phenomenon that has proven to be not only a marketing success, but also an inspiration and model for everyone facing their every day challenges.