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Peter T Chattaway

Frozen

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FWIW, Frozen has now passed Despicable Me 2 to become the top-grossing animated film of 2013 (domestically), the 5th-highest-grossing animated film of all time (domestically), the 3rd-highest-grossing film of any sort of 2013 (domestically), and the 25th-highest-grossing film of all time (domestically). It is still behind Despicable Me 2 overseas and worldwide. It has also just become the 28th film to gross $900 million worldwide.

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I'ma bet that The Lego Movie will beat it out, and quickly.

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CrimsonLine wrote:
: I'ma bet that The Lego Movie will beat it out, and quickly.

 

I dunno. The Simpsons Movie had a bigger opening than The Lego Movie but ended up with only $183 million, i.e. less than half the money that Frozen got. Monsters University had an even bigger opening and ended up with $268 million, which is still a solid $100 million behind what Frozen has earned *so far* (and Frozen is still in theatres).

 

Frozen benefitted from a virtual absence of competition over the typically lucrative Christmas season. The only other family film in theatres these last few months was Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, a dud. (Okay, the last few weeks there has also been The Nut Job, but that film didn't come with the marketing muscle or brand-recognition factor that Disney and Lego have.) The Lego Movie, on the other hand, will have competition in a few weeks from the DreamWorks adaptation of Mr Peabody & Sherman, and then a couple weeks later from Disney's Muppets Most Wanted (not animation, but definitely brand-recognized family fare), and then, a couple weeks after *that*, from Rio 2.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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It's sort of an unwritten rule here at A&F, but whenever a film has been discussed heavily for months after it has been released, spoiler tags and spoiler warnings become unnecessary.  This is because any reasonable person expects that a film cannot be heavily discussed fully without discussing plot endings and conclusions, and that if you intentionally click on to a link to that discussion, then you can expect to see plot endings and conclusions.  I haven't seen Frozen yet, but if I cared about spoilers for a film that was released almost three months ago, then I wouldn't even click on this thread.

 

Besides, as someone who hasn't seen the film, that picture tells me nothing unless I wildly speculate about it.  It appears as if a character (a Disney Princess character?) were frozen.  Given that the title of the film seems to imply that that sort of thing might happen and given that Disney princesses don't get killed, the picture tells me nothing other than what the title of SDG's essay does, that some might try to interpret Christological allegories into the film based on a character having been either turned blue or frozen.

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Great piece, Stephen. While I do appreciate the expression of true love as an act of sibling love instead of romantic love, I agree that some Christians are reading far too much into that theme. It's interesting to hear how the original story is a much better allegory than Disney's adaptation. I don't think I've ever read the original fairy tale. Looking forward to part 2.

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Thanks, James. Unfortunately, "Disney's smash hit Frozen is actually secretly super Christian!" is a sexier message -- for both believers and skeptics -- then "Um, no. No it isn't." So I'm not likely to get nearly as much traction (reads, comments, shares) as the pieces I'm rebutting.

Of course, "Disney's smash hit Frozen is actually secretly gay" is in a way even sexier -- again, both for believers and skeptics -- and I got tons of reads and comments on that one, so I guess I can't complain.

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Call me, SDG, when you get your 150th comment that just says "Let it go."

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Unless you can actually get one of the filmmakers to comment on this, ie, "Yes, this is a sneaky Christian allegory," or "Yes, this is a gay parable," aren't people just going to see what they want to see? That doesn't say anything about the filmmakers' intent.

 

I've been skeptical about subtexts ever since college, when my English literature professor informed me that Beowulf is really about the author's desire to re-enter his mother's womb.

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Unless you can actually get one of the filmmakers to comment on this, ie, "Yes, this is a sneaky Christian allegory," or "Yes, this is a gay parable," aren't people just going to see what they want to see? That doesn't say anything about the filmmakers' intent.

A subtext that needs the filmmakers' confirmation to show that it's really there is an unsuccessful subtext.

Authorial intent is important, but not determinative. The symbolic structures and patterns of language and culture have potential ranges of denotation and connotation that are intersubjective in nature. An author who unreasonably hopes to communicate something to an implied audience that can't possibly get that message, and doesn't, has failed; the text does not mean what he intended it to mean. Equally, an author who adopts existing symbolic structures and patterns may create a text that can be said to mean something not explicitly intended by the author.

 

I've been skeptical about subtexts ever since college, when my English literature professor informed me that Beowulf is really about the author's desire to re-enter his mother's womb.

Abusus non tollit usam. Don't throw out the baby with the, uh, amniotic fluid. Or whatever.

To pick a slightly clearer example: In DreamWorks' Happy Feet, young Mumbles' virile father is mortified by his son’s embarrassing, unpenguinly moves, which he fears the authoritarian community leaders will condemn as "sin." “I wouldn’t do that around folks, son,” he cautions, later telling others, “He’s not different! He’s a regular little penguin!” Mumbles, though, says, “Don’t ask me to change, Pa...I can’t.” Later we learn that Memphis blames himself for an early parenting mistake that he considers the cause of his “messed-up” son’s problems. Then there's a bit of subterfuge where Mumbles pretends not to be interested in Gloria: “I’m a particular kind of guy…It’s not you, it’s me. I’m not up for a serious relationship”).

None of this is about homosexuality (Mumbles is actually crazy about Gloria, and winds up mated with her). But someone who doesn't recognize the subtext, and doesn't find it very likely that all or most of this was deliberately intended by the filmmakers to be understood thus for those with ears to hear...well, I think that person is insufficiently in tune with the world of meaning in question.

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Holy smokes.

 

My 10yo daughter just pointed out something about Frozen I can't believe I hadn't noticed. (Surely other people have? This is not the sort of thing one can easily Google.)

 

The secret villain's name. Where have I heard that name before, in connection with Frozen's source material? Um. 

Edited by SDG

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Holy smokes.

 

My 10yo daughter just pointed out something about Frozen I can't believe I hadn't noticed. (Surely other people have? This is not the sort of thing one can easily Google.)

 

The secret villain's name. Where have I heard that name before, in connection with Frozen's source material? Um. 

 

Okay, checking Disney Wikia (following up on a Facebook comment from Ryan), I see in the "Trivia" section that the names of the two male love interests, Hans and Kristoff, together suggest Hans Christian, as in Andersen. Like Wikipedia, Disney Wikia is crowd-sourced, so that's not an official statement from Disney. 

 

Well, I guess if you're going to have two major male characters, and you're departing so far from source that you're reduced to homages like naming a pair of minor characters after the original protagonists of Andersen's story, it makes sense to call your two leading men Hans and Christian/Kristoff. And if one of them is going to be the secret villain, Hans is a better pick for that than Christian/Kristoff! 

 

Still, it winds up looking like a subversive slap at the author, particularly when it's his first name, and his exact name, not a variant like Kristoff. 

Edited by SDG

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From imdb trivia section, the four characters looking for Elsa are:

 

Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven.

 

Say that ten times fast.

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From imdb trivia section, the four characters looking for Elsa are:

 

Hans, Kristoff, Anna and Sven.

 

Say that ten times fast.

 

Wait, really? I—I dunno. That almost seems a bridge too far. Unless Hans Christian Andersen's wife's same was Elsa, then I totally buy it. (Nope, he wasn't married. There is no Elsa in his Wikipedia page.)

 

Where did Elsa's name come from?

Edited by SDG

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Two of Quasimodo's gargoyle sidekicks in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame are named Victor and Hugo.

 

However, I don't see any obvious reason to connect Christian and Kristoff. They're clearly different names, despite the etymological connection.

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I don't keep an eye on the Billboard charts the way I once did, so this came as news to me:

 

Since its release, the Frozen soundtrack has been steadily demolishing both sales records—it’s spent longer at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts than any film soundtrack since 2003—and parents’ eardrums.

 

Hitting #1 on Billboard isn't what it once was, but it's still impressive (you can't get any higher than that, after all). I have no idea how many units the Frozen soundtrack has moved, however.

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