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Friday 6 December 2019

James Moore: Why we need more movies like Frozen 2

Opinion

Anna and Olaf
Anna and Olaf

After I came out as a #FrozenDad to a former fellow scribe, he told me: "I'm treating it like the dawn of a new apocalypse."

Those similarly chilled by this hottest of Disney properties might be best advised to find a rock to hide under for the next couple of months. Frozen 2 is here. Tough break for those who'd just like to Let It Go (sorry, sorry, sorry).

I'm at risk of getting the same treatment as one of the antagonists from Zombieland: Double Tap for what I'm going to say now.

Those who listen to the same noisy music, consume the same dark pop culture, the cyberpunk stuff, manga and grisly Scandi noirs that I favour, will probably be screaming, "Get thee gone satan!"

But we need more like it.

The film has been like an early Christmas present for my daughter, with a similarly exciting build-up. As a parent, you can't help but be swept away by your child's joy.

That means making your peace with what's delivering it. It's what's made a Frozen Dad of me.

However, as the TV trailer popped up for the umpteenth time and we were treated to another outburst of "Frozen! Frozen! Frozen!" I was struck by how rare that excitement is.

My son and other kids like him, male or female, who are more inclined towards Marvel, Star Wars, or DC, have a film to get excited about every few months.

He started off with Cars, Monsters University, Big Hero 6 and soon made the transition. There was so much out there for him that he's got quite blase.

Buddy

Oh what, The Rise Of Skywalker is out tonight? Erm, can we go tomorrow? My friends and I want to finish our Fortnite challenges.

That isn't the case for the Frozen audience.

Oh sure, Disney has put out other films in the interim. Some of them have been sort of female-focused.

There was Moana, although that was a bit of a boy-girl buddy movie and, oh, right, was it really released back in 2016?

There are others who've had kind words for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, even though the critics didn't think much of it. There's Beauty & The Beast and Cinderella, I suppose. But they're live-action remakes rather than new stories. Give me Frozen over them any day.

Other studios have had a go every now and then. I'm struggling to come up with a real knock-it-out-of-the-park winner from one of them, at least with our daughter.

Captain Marvel - the 21st Marvel Cinematic Universe film but the first with a female lead - was, it should be said, a genuine hit with her, although she didn't get quite as involved in the build-up as she has with Frozen 2.

Perhaps it's because she sees the latter as hers, whereas the Captain's outing grabbed the whole family (including her brother).

There really hasn't been all that much you can say that of, and it's a shame. It's also curious from a commercial standpoint.

There's clearly a market for more of this sort of thing, but studios seem to struggle with tapping into it. Perhaps it's because they so rarely make a serious effort.

TV? Full of it. Positively overflowing. You know what would be the real dawn of a new apocalypse? Another season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

I'll happily sit through Frozen 2, but I draw the line at any more multi-coloured ponies.

Television is, of course, lower budget, less risky. If a show doesn't find an audience, it's no biggie. By contrast, a film requires a much higher upfront investment. A failure hurts. But the sort of films my son favours fail all the time.

Perhaps they'd be more willing to do that for my daughter with a few more female executives?

The results could ultimately prove quite positive for shareholders.

Neither my wife nor I can quite understand how we've ended up with a child who'd like nothing better than to cover the world in pastel colours.

But Hollywood could surely stand to open the doors of its dream factory to kids, both girls and boys, like her a little more often than it does.

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