A couple of weeks ago, the Horowicz household was buzzing with excitement over the newly released teaser trailer for “Frozen 2.” Admittedly, it might have just been my nine-year-old sister and me squealing over the two-minute clip while my parents braced themselves for another year of listening to “Frozen” songs in the car. However, I was genuinely excited to watch the trailer. It was only when I arrived at school the next day that I realized I might be in the minority of my age group. So, is it okay to be excited for “Frozen 2?”
As a fifteen-year-old girl, I thought I didn’t exactly fall into the target demographic for this particular film. That said, I have received several ads on Instagram for the movie since the release of the trailer. Whether the reason for that is because I follow a couple notable Marvel-related pages (Disney owns the Marvel Cinematic Universe) or that Disney chose to advertise to teenagers in order to grab the sweet, sweet nostalgia money is up for debate, but it made me curious about what the actual demographic of Disney movie viewers is.
When I drove through this particular rabbit hole of research, I noticed a few interesting search results. The first was an accumulation of recommended tweets from grown adults who were openly hyped for the sequel. There were theories, fan-arts and plain-old excitements shared across the platform, all tagged #frozen2. The second was an array of articles all directing similar questions at a group of people like me. Isn’t this a kids’ movie?
Yes and no. Disney obviously makes these movies mostly for kids. There are plot lines, funny animal sidekicks, happily-ever-afters, and of course catchy songs that quickly convey the character’s goals without diving into too much emotional depth. All of those factors make it the perfect movie for parents to stick on an iPad and leave their kids entertained for two hours. That being said, it doesn’t mean adults (or high school freshmen) can’t enjoy Disney movies as well.
When my extended family was in town, I put on “Moana” to keep my younger cousins entertained. To my surprise, the couch was soon filled with both older cousins and parents who were genuinely enjoying the movie. It seemed the same recipe of catchy songs and simple plot is appealing to all ages, not just third graders. In fact, it turns out Disney doesn’t just make these movies with kids in mind. Sure, children are their main consumers, but parents are the ones paying for the movie tickets. If the film is even mildly entertaining to them, it’s all the more likely that they’ll bring their child to see the next princess movie and the one after that and the one after that.
Wait... What about all of the young adults tweeting out their #frozenfantheories? Well, the same mix of simple plot and catchy song is a strong millennial lure. Add in nostalgia for movies watched in elementary school and you have a dedicated fanbase. The audience for the theatre re-release of “The Lion King” was made up of 26% non-families, proving the power of nostalgia and the ageless lure of Disney (apparently 18% were couples on dates, which I find mildly disturbing for some reason and feel the need to inform the masses about this. Which part of “The Lion King” says ‘date night’? The death of Mufasa? The one song about love? Teenage Simba?). Similarly, the audience for Frozen was 20% young adults. That’s over eighteen million dollars in ticket sales.
So are you allowed to be excited for “Frozen 2?” Yes. Yes, you are. Not only it is okay to be because you have free will but also because Disney wants you to be excited for their movie. The studio is well aware of its audience and works to appeal to every part of it.
Instagram has access to my age and gender, meaning the ads I got for “Frozen 2” were targeted to my demographic. Walt Disney himself said, “Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world… You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” The power of animation transcends age, and Disney is paying a lot of money in marketing to get teenagers and young adults into those theater seats. So in summary, yes you are allowed to be excited for “Frozen 2.” See you in the nearest theater on November 22.
While you are impatiently waiting for my next blog on “Captain Marvel” and the importance of female superheroes, you should enjoy: “BlacKKKlansman,” “Eighth Grade,” and “the Death of Stalin.”