The Frozen soundtrack is currently running on an infinitely repeating loop at my house. And also in my car. And in those rare moments when, for some reason or another, we cannot hear the soundtrack (such as travelling between the house and the car), my daughter can be heard singing it boisterously at the top of her lungs. She has memorized all of the words (or her best guess as to what the words are…) and she cannot and will not stop singing. From the opening sounds of ice being chopped to the ethereal sounds of Cantus, she knows it all. It must be genetic.
Though this is not a story I generally tell at parties, I can vividly remember the beginnings of the last Disney animated renaissance. And don’t tell me we’re not in another one. After Tangled made a promise that was made good on by Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen has solidified this as a new and exciting era for Disney storytelling. But the movie I am remembering is, of course, The Little Mermaid. I mean, come on! What eleven-year-old boy wasn’t smitten by the tale of a young mermaid searching for love and defying her overprotective father? To say I danced my way out of the theater as the strains of “Under the Sea” played over the closing credits is completely false. I’m pretty sure I flew.
After a slew of disappointing films (with terrible or non-existent music), Disney had finally struck gold. My mother’s boyfriend at the time bought the soundtrack, and I spent many happy hours listening to the songs over and over and over again, until I had memorized them all. I wanted to be part of someone’s world too! And when Beauty and the Beast came along and only improved upon its predecessor, it was only because I was already in a relationship with Ariel that I didn’t immediately marry Belle. Is Beauty and the Beast objectively a better movie? Perhaps. But The Little Mermaid will always have my heart.
Of course, like the current trajectory of films, it was the third one that caused me to drive everyone crazy. This was mostly because I had received my first CD player for Christmas. I can still feel the cold winter wind whipping against my face as I trudged through the snow on December 26th, heading to the music store to purchase my very first compact disc. The Aladdin soundtrack. And for a while, it was the only CD I owned. How many times did I listen to it? I don’t think even I have enough hyperbole to tell you. And how many times did I sing the songs? Exaggeration doesn’t even cut it here. If Ruby thinks she is singing the Frozen songs a lot, I’m sorry to have to tell her that *scoff* “Amateur.”
I think at one point my sister and I had every line of Aladdin memorized. No, not the soundtrack. The movie. We got the VHS and watched it infinity plus one times. It seems that this, too, will soon be repeated by the future generations. Ruby has informed us that her number one birthday request this year is the Frozen DVD, and if it doesn’t come out in time for her birthday, (it comes out three days after her birthday) Bear will have to get it for her. If you read in the papers about a break-in at an entertainment warehouse sometime in mid-March, it was my daughter’s magical teddy bear. And he is in hiding.
So this is all just to say that, even though I sometimes would rather drive a railroad spike through my brain than listen to “Reindeers Are Better Than People” one more time, and I often catch myself singing “Let it Go” at the top of my lungs in the supermarket while whipping my hair back and forth before catching some weird stares from other customers and then slinking around the rest of the store in shame, I mostly think it’s awesome. I love that my daughter has an intense love for this movie, the same way I had an unhealthy relationship with an aquatic myth. I love that she knows all of the approximate words to all of the songs, and I love that she plays Frozen with her younger brother, even though he insists on playing the part of Lightning McQueen. I hope she can see that, even though Anna and Elsa fight sometimes, they still love each other, so therefore stop hitting your brother. I’m so glad that, of all the movies she could have fallen for, she picked this one. Being a fan is not something one should take lightly. As a huge geeknerd I can assure you that it takes a lifetime of dedication to really love something, and I hope Ruby continues to be passionate about all sorts of things in life. Just not Ariel. She’s mine.