The Unexpected Effects of Frozen


FrozenEven if you’re not a parent, you probably know a fair amount about the movie Frozen.  You can probably even sing a few of the songs.

That’s because Frozen was evvvvvvverywhere last winter, thanks in part to the fact that its anthem became the unofficial theme song of the Polar Vortex (“Let it go, let it go. . . the cold never bothered me anyway”) and because it’s the top grossing animated movie of all time (not to mention one of the top five grossing movies of any genre of all time).

Beyond that, though, it is just a great story.  It’s a new kind of princess tale that involves zero marriages to princes (in fact, the prince who seemed to be charming, turned out not to be at all).  And the strong female lead is all sorts of rad: quirky, thoughtful, and tough when she needs to be.  It’s exactly what so many princess movies of yore were not.

In fact, the main two characters are women; sisters, no less, who, though they have a complicated relationship, look out for each other (and one of whom saves the other in the end).  There are two pivotal men in the movie (one the prince who turns out to be a jerk mentioned above) and a rugged iceman, who turns out to be just as quirky and cool as our heroine.  There’s also a hilarious snowman sidekick, to round out the main characters.

So, anyway, the movie took the world by storm with its unorthodox (but highly lovable) tale and it’s fabulous music.  And that could have been the end of the story.

But it’s not.  Nine months later, I’ve noticed an awesome phenomenon: boys love the story and the characters (mostly the princesses) just as much as girls do.  In fact, my son recently went to a Frozen birthday party, thrown by a boy.  And my daughter has two male classmates who are over the moon for the movie.

Yes, I live in San Francisco, which is known for being on the progressive side of any cultural divide, but the ticket sales alone speak to the popularity of the movie and the fact that it resonates with people of all sorts.

I love that a movie with strong female characters that could easily have been just another princess movie full of outdated advice to little girls instead inspires girls to be who they are and to be strong and look out for their sisters.  But also speaks to boys who want to be like them.

This is what I’ve been waiting for forever (rather than kids having to be inspired by male characters who seem to have all the fun, all the adventures, and all the chutzpah).  Chutzpah isn’t a gender-specific trait.  And I love that kids now have heroines to look up to who are full of it.


  • I’ve noticed this phenomenon as well re boys embracing the movie and its theme with gusto. Lets hope this portends fabulous possibilities for our children and the world they will inhabit!

    • I agree, Doniece! Let’s hope it’s just the beginning!