As the second-highest-grossing animated movie of all time (only recently overtaken by the Lion King reboot), there's no doubt that Frozen has made a lasting impression with kids, teens and adults all over the world.
In case you've somehow missed it (where have you been?) Frozen is inspired by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen. Possessing the power to turn anything to ice or snow, Princess Elsa flees to the North Mountain, where she inadvertently engulfs her own kingdom in a frosty eternal winter. This prompts her sister Anna to set out to find her, with the help of an ice harvester (Kristoff), his reindeer (Sven) and a friendly snowman (Olaf).
It's easy to see why the film has proven so popular – aside from being pretty to watch, it's funny, well scripted, and has a banging soundtrack. Like so many great Disney movies before it, Frozen tugs at the heartstrings while delivering a series of timeless moral messages. Here are 10 lessons we've learnt from Frozen…
1. Sibling love trumps all
While Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, The Swan Princess and countless others rely on a handsome prince to break the spell they're bound by, Frozen goes a different way. Anna's love interest, Hans, turns out to be an evil, conniving villain, and it's down to good old sisterly love to thaw Anna's frozen heart. For little girls counting on romantic love to get their happy ever after, this is an all-important message. Amen!
2. Don't judge a book by its cover
As we've just pointed out, handsome Prince Hans reveals himself to be one nasty fella. Princess Elsa is unfairly branded a monster by the Duke of Weselton, and rugged, kind Kristoff is found to have been raised by (albeit loving) trolls. A recurring theme in Disney films (think Beauty and the Beast) the message is not to judge a book by its cover.
3. Let it go
Even if you haven't seen Frozen (again, where have you been?), you must've heard this belter of a song. When Elsa flees to the mountains she can finally realise the full extent and control of her powers, creating an ice palace for herself. Disregarding the gloves that her parents made her wear, she's able to express herself for the first time. We're not sure exactly how this plays into real life, but we're fully behind the idea that life is to be lived with gusto – and if you don't like something, change it.
4. Get behind strong women
With two female protagonists and a kingdom ruled by women, Frozen is a feminist tale if ever there was one. Interestingly, how each male character reacts to the sisters seems to reveal their own flaws or strengths. Hans wants to murder Elsa and leave Anna to die in order to claim the throne; the Duke is afraid of Elsa, and it's only Kristoff who seeks to support and help the two women. The message? Female empowerment is definitely on the rise!
5. Feel, don't conceal
If anyone understands the negative repercussions of bottling your feelings up, it's our Elsa. Doing nothing but inadvertent damage, it's not until she breaks away and ulimately reunites with her sister that things start to improve for the pair. Offloading pent-up feelings is always a healthy idea.
6. Dream big… Like Olaf
Goofy-but-loveable Olaf the snowman harboured fantasies of experiencing spring, never quite grasping what would happen to him when faced with a balmy day. In the end, his dream came true – granted his very own snowflake flurry by Elsa, he could finally soak up some rays – no damage done. Follow Olaf's lead and dream big.
7. Learn to be selfless
Anna prioritised her sister's life over her own, and while this is an extreme, Disney-fied example, there is a valuable lesson in there for both kids and us adults. Whether it be giving up your seat for an elderly person, helping someone with a heavy bag or donating barely-worn clothing, it's always good to give back.
8. Nobody's perfect
Hey, if a Disney Princess isn't perfect than who the heck is? With Elsa's not inconsiderable flaws (she accidentally turns things to ice, for goodness sake) and Anna's clumsiness and quirkiness (talking to paintings…), it's reassuring that these girls are just like us. Sort of. Anna even wakes up with messy hair and drool on her face – now that we can relate to.
9. Be Bold
Perhaps the most obvious message in Frozen is that it's good to be courageous. Elsa fleeing her home to live on her own was bold; Anna following her was even more so. Having a feisty streak can be a very good thing!
10. True Love takes time
In a departure from countless other Disney movies, Frozen portrays romantic relationships in a (slightly) more realistic way. Anna's hasty engagement to Hans at the beginning of the movie isn't well receieved by many; when she falls head over heels for Kristoff it is only after getting to know him properly, warts and all. Refreshingly, the film doesn't end with a glitzy wedding (maybe they decided to move in together first…). We'll wait for the sequel to see if this power couple is still going strong!
In the mood to catch up with Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff? Frozen 2 is in cinemas across the country, from 22 November. In the meantime, shop George's fab range of Frozen clothes, toys and homewares online, or pop into your local store.