I recently had a chilling…er, Frozen…glimpse of my potential fatherly future in an email chain with some friends from college. The message recipients consisted of my bachelor brother and three other guys who are all the fathers of daughters. Normally the topics of our email chains tend toward politics, religion, the Chicago Cubs or simply mocking each other.1 But yesterday, one of our email chains went from politics to mocking each other to…dissecting the merits of Frozen vs. Tangled.
Full disclosure: I grew up in a Disney-obsessed household, despite the fact that it was a house with four sons. We went to Disney World more times than I can count, frequently memorized all the words to the soundtrack of the latest Disney animated movie before it even hit theaters2, and had plenty of opinions on which movies were best. But for me, the in-depth knowledge of Disney’s current animated fare came to an end during high school, when their output started to decline in number and quality.
If you had told me when I was in college that two of my closest college friends–both of whom had previously disparaged my brother and me for our knowledge of all things Disney–would one day be debating the best Disney princesses and villains and animated features, I would have laughed in your face.
Apparently, this is what having daughters will do. A few excerpts from the email chain:
“Hey, a great many of us have seen “Tangled” far more times than we care to admit. Perhaps we drive our daughters to it because it’s a much better movie than “Frozen” and much more bearable for the adult crowd. Just saying.”
“The biggest issue with Frozen, is there is no true villain. The weasel-town guy has some comedic value and is bad, but he’s not enough of a villain to drive the movie. He could have been a better villain. I think Hans wasn’t always a villain in the initial process–the clearest demonstration of that is the boat scene, if he was a villain, he would have had some wicked thinking look as Anna walked away, until he had a bemused look on his face, almost a love struck look.”
“It’s entertaining for kids, the tunes are catchy, and I can see why people like watching it, but it doesn’t hold up as movie compared to the older films, and not even compared to the better new ones. But again: girls, so we have to like it.”
Perhaps that will one day be written on my tombstone, shortly after “Let It Go” plays at my funeral: “Girls, so we have to like it.”
Frozen viewings notwithstanding, I’m incredibly excited to have a brand new, deeply caring audience for all of the random Disney movie knowledge and trivia floating around in my brain. My wife just isn’t appreciative enough of my one-man renditions of Gaston.