MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you are a parent of a child under the age of 10, there’s a very good chance you know the words to “Let it Go.”
“It’s an obsession for this age group, for sure,” said Minneapolis parent Angie Guimaraes. “We’ve seen some in the kindergarten class that can quote the whole movie.”
On Tuesday, Disney announced it would take its highest-grossing animated film of all time to the ice. “Frozen” will be introduced as a Disney on Ice show this fall.
Some kids (and parents!) will admit to seeing the movie three times. Others say they’ll watch it as many three times in a weekend. So, why are kids obsessed with this movie?
“The message that ‘Frozen’ sends about love, and love being such a strong kind of conquering all message resonates with all ages,” said Amy Susman-Stillman, a mother of three and co-director of the Center for Early Education and Development at the University of Minnesota.
She says the sisterly bond in this movie is different from the kind of love we normally see in animated films.
“I think it feels great to feel your family is such a strong family, no matter what your family configuration is,” she said.
Then, throw in a catchy song that encourages kids to belt it out and you have a winner. Of the half-dozen children asked to recite the lyrics at a Minneapolis park Tuesday afternoon, every single one could do it, right from the top of their little heads.
“I think the music is huge,” said Susman-Stillman. “That whole notion of ‘Be free,’ ‘Let it go’ is one that people really like and you feel like it’s cleansing and powerful.”
Many parents appreciated the girl empowerment theme, while others remarked their sons liked the story as well. Susman-Stillman credits that to strong and humorous male characters.
Guimaraes says her son liked the movie just as much as his sisters.
“He sees his sisters loving it and his friends love it, and everyone loving it and it just built on itself,” she said.
Hamline School of Business Marketing Professor Jim Hagen also doesn’t discount the power of Disney’s marketing and cross-promotion. He also points to the strong story line as well as the force of social media – a force that wasn’t around during the reign of “The Lion King” in 1994.
“It really can create a firestorm for the support of a product,” he said. “It engages the audience and gets them to do something and feel like they’re part of the action.”