Saturday, November 30, 2013

'Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' Kick Box Office Ass + Thoughts on 'Frozen'

'Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and Disney's new 'Frozen' have proven (for the billionth time) that having well-rounded female protagonists in big studio movies pays off. Both are on track to break all kinds of records - Catching Fire is the third movie ever to break $250 million on or under eight days (the other two: The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers - so basically, Katniss is equal to the entire Avengers team) and Frozen may pull in $100 million in its first five days, shattering Thanksgiving weekend records.

What makes me even more happy about this is that both films are really good! I've already commented on Catching Fire (though I could go into further detail: I haven't even mentioned Jena Malone's perfect depiction of Johanna!). I just saw Frozen this afternoon, and I really loved the strong story of sisterhood, the delightful takedown of traditional Disney princess romances, and the way the hero, Anna, completely leads the film. She is not a passive protagonist: She constantly makes bold choices and gets herself into and out of trouble. Without spoiling anything, the ending proves this point to the nth degree. An extra perk? The movie passes the Bechdel Test within the first five minutes.

Bonus! Jennifer Lee, the screenwriter/animator behind Wreck-It Ralph wrote and co-directed Frozen. She's the first female director of a Disney animated movie, and I think the influence is both clear and welcome. I say this not to take away from Ms. Lee's individuality as a writer/director (I'm sure Kathryn Bigelow would HATE it if someone said that her directing clearly had a "female influence"), but simply as a woman who has experienced a lot of the same emotions, relationships, and thought-processes that I saw onscreen today that have not been present in any previous Disney features, which makes me think (logically) that Ms. Lee may have had something to do with that.

Sidenote to anyone else who saw Frozen: how much did you love the "You fell in love in one day!?" takedown (yes, I realize Anna and Kristoff kiss at the end of the film, but they have a very different "one day" than Anna and Hans, plus they only kiss and aren't getting married or anything rash like that)? And Anna telling Kristoff, most assuredly, that the way to end the eternal winter was simply to talk to her sister (and work things out like two normal human beings, instead of blowing the whole thing out of proportion like they'd do in another movie)? Loved it.

Oh! And I'm SO HAPPY that Kristen Bell is finally in a good movie. That lady deserves it!! Way to go, Woman Formerly Known as V-Mars!

No comments:

Post a Comment