The Washington Post:
When the animated film “Frozen” was released last year, no one expected it to become a worldwide juggernaut. “Frozen,” which earned more than $1.2 billion at the box office, is not only the first “princess” movie to make the list of top 10 grossing animated films. Even more astonishingly, it is also the No. 1 animated film of all time. Talk about shattering the glass ceiling, or in this case, the glass slipper.
Little girls have long been drawn to princesses, a trend documented by Peggy Orenstein in 2011’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. In the past few decades, animated heroines have become increasingly diverse and self-reliant, which has broadened their appeal. In the 1990s, Disney introduced Jasmine and Mulan, offering new cultural backgrounds and brown eyes. And in 2009, with the “Princess and the Frog,” Disney finally created an American princess who just happened to be black. In all of these stories, the prince is still present, but the princess is often just as tough.
Nevertheless, some aspects of the princess franchises never seem to change: Children remain enraptured not just by the movies but by the costumes and the toys, too. But what is it that makes “Frozen” so much more appealing than its forebears — and why does it enrapture young children in particular?
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