"Frozen" comes out on DVD this week, and we can't think of a better month for the film to be released. Not only did the $1-billion-grossing phenomenon just win two memorable Academy Awards on March 2nd, but let's face it, for a bulk of the country, it's been a frozen state of mind this winter -- even as we supposedly approach Spring on the calendar. March is also Women's History Month, and "Frozen" is one of Disney's most girl-empowering Princess films. But of course, the movie's inspiring messages about conquering your fears and letting love guide you are universal, so we're celebrating "Frozen's" DVD release with a tribute to it and five other Disney films with exemplary messages for viewers of all ages.
Since "Frozen" was loosely inspired by "The Snow Queen" (by Hans Christian Andersen), Elsa was originally going to be a villain. But the filmmakers believed that keeping Elsa as the typical "Snow Queen" antagonist would shift the story's focus away from what they believed was it's most important message.
"We loved the powerful idea of love versus fear, but the minute Elsa became evil, the good versus evil theme took over, and it was really frustrating for us" director Jennifer Lee told Moviefone. "I think 'Let It Go' allowed us to show ourselves and the other story artists and filmmakers that there was more to do with Elsa, that it was more exciting when we made her complex and conflicted and not a villain."
So the filmmakers went back to the drawing board (literally), and rewrote the story with Elsa as the character who has to "let go" of her fears and embrace her sister Anna's love. And for the directors, each of the main characters represents a different form of love, from Olaf's childlike innocence and Anna's eternal optimism to Kristoff opening himself to Anna, and of course the over-arching bond between the two sisters.
"I believe that the story comes down to: don't be afraid of who you are. Embrace what makes you you, because standing out can be a powerful tool for your voice to be heard," director Christopher Buck told Moviefone.
Did You Know? The filmmakers, including executive producer John Lasseter, director Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho, and art director Michael Giaimo took research trips to Canada's famous Hotel du Glace in Quebec City for inspiration. The visits helped the Disney animation team accurately depict ice structures.
"There's so much of this place in Elsa's palace. You can really see the inspiration and how it helped us," Buck said of the Hotel du Glace.
More Positive Messages: Each movie has several messages and themes, but we've chosen to highlight one from the following five Disney films from the last 10 years.