Best Animated Feature (and Best Song)
Today marks the US theatrical release of The Wind Rises, the (supposedly, and self-proclaimed) final feature from Best Animator In The Known Universe Hayao Miyazaki. And extremely good it is meant to be, to, with a truly intriguing subject matter: a biography (of sorts) of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japan’s World War II fighter planes. Expect great beauty and a depth of storytelling unseen anywhere else in this category.
This high-minded use of the medium contrasts pretty obviously with the delights of Despicable Me 2: the Minions. Indeed, the lil’ farty folks so obviously steal this movie (and so obviously contributed to its astonishing nine hundred and fifty or so million dollars. Yep, nearly a billion dollars. And its’ run in China is still going. This makes it the third highest grossing animated film of all time. And it’s French.) that the next instalment is called The Minions. This movie was funny funny funny for kids and Big Kids alike. And it will have made, by Oscar Day, a billion freaking dollars.
But Frozen is a true cultural phenomenon. It has captured hearts and minds in a way that an art-house treasure and a French laugh-fest billionaire can not. But why take my word for it? Let’s hear from a representative of the film’s demographic – my first cousin once removed, Olivia. She writes, in an exclusive for Film Mafia:
“Initially I did not have any interest in seeing Frozen because of a remark made by one of the animators about how difficult it was to make animated women look different, but shortly after Frozen came out seeing it was almost unavoidable. Despite the fact that Frozen was probably geared toward to an audience of young children, young adults have been flocking to theatres and plastering social media with covers of Idina Menzel’s Let it Go, psychoanalyses of the different characters, and frighteningly accurate drawings. What is it that has hoards of teenagers singing Frozen tunes in the hallways? Obviously the catchy tunes and subtle adult humour, but I think the premise of true love being a bond between sisters. Teenagers are pressured by society into feeling like they have to find comfort in a romantic relationship, but the refreshingly powerful relationship between sister Anna (18) and Elsa (21), has provided the idea that soulmate could be a friend or a sister or anyone who would be willing to put their own happiness at risk to protect you. Frozen also has strong themes of accepting your own self. Elsa had to hide her powers and who she was from a young age to protect Anna and the kingdom of Arendelle, but as she sings Let It Go she finally embraces herself and what she is capable of. Frozen is definitely worth watching and worth embarrassing yourself over while singing at the top of your lungs.”
Olivia Hanna is a 17 year old who spends too much time with Netflix, her dog, and her guitar.
Who can argue with that? Miyazaki may have the cred, and Despicable Me 2 may have the minions, but Frozen has the hearts and minds of a generation in its steely grasp, which will also soon contain an Oscar. Two, actually – count Let It Go as a lock for Best Song, as well.