Last week, my family hosted a few good friends for dinner. At some point during the banter between pizza and brownies, one of our guests abruptly changed topics. “So, I’ve been meaning to ask, what’s all this fuss about 'Frozen'?”
These friends don’t have yet have children and, believe it or not, hadn’t heard much besides hype about Disney’s megahit movie.
I smiled at my kids across the table and had them confess how many times they’d each seen it. By the time we got to my 15-year-old daughter, it began to feel like a support group.
"Hi, my name is Jadi, and I've seen Disney’s ‘Frozen’ seven times."
"Hi, Jadi," we answered in unison.
Her mother and I admitted it’s not just the kids with a hankering for the film. I’ve seen it four times and my wife has seen it three.
Even my mother has seen it, and the last movie she saw starred Charlie Chaplin.
Then it happened — our guests made a mistake that might haunt them forever.
They asked for a quick recap.
Taking turns and marching one major scene at a time, we offered a rundown of the story that would have made Walt himself proud. We even sang each song when we hit its respective spot in the plot.
I can’t be sure, but I think my gang was much more entertained than our pizza pals.
An hour later, we said our goodbyes and promised to do it again sometime soon, though after our little show it’s debatable whether they will accept another invitation.
Since that night, my wife and I have speculated on why we’ve made the film a family favorite.
And, clearly, why we’re not the only ones.
You probably know that "Frozen" has been a massive global hit, hauling in nearly $400 million domesticly and more than $1 billion worldwide, according to boxofficemojo.com. It's won two Academy Awards and spawned thousands of covers of its Oscar-winning lead track "Let It Go."
The production and its messages have also been sliced, diced and analyzed more than any movie since the Zapruder film.
Why do so many seem stuck on "Frozen"? Why after 16 weeks is the movie running in the top 10 and dominating so many playground and conference room conversations?
Could it be because it's clean, entertaining and inspirational?
In an industry that generates so much product not suitable for younger eyes, and many would argue for any audiences with eyeballs period, "Frozen" stands out for its purity.
While Disney has been making hefty deposits each Monday morning with this family-friendly film, the rest of Hollywood has been releasing a flood of R-rated films for adults. Perhaps the most ballyhooed is "The Wolf of Wall Street," with its graphic sex and 506 creative uses of the f-word.
The film was one of the most critically acclaimed of 2013 and has earned less than a third as much as "Frozen."
Sadly, even many children's movies these days are filled to the rim with potty jokes and, in some cases, even sexual innuendo. According to Screenit.com, a popular website offering movie reviews for parents, "Frozen" scores better in the categories of sex/nudity and profanity than any animated movie in more than two years.
Even if money trumps content, Hollywood might want to pay more attention.
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