How 'Frozen' Inspired a "Go, Girls" Attitude For Strong Female Animated Characters

There may be plenty of Disney princesses in the world, but up until Frozen came along, there wasn't a worldwide phenomenon about strong female characters in animated movies. However, now that Elsa and Anna are taking over the world, studios are following their lead and trying to make movies with wider appeal. When The Hollywood Reporter brought together seven top animated filmmakers for their annual roundtable chats, one thing was clear: the princess genre is changing, and women of all ages are only going to see more Frozen-like films now.

"I've got my buzzword: That one was, 'Go, girls,' said Bonnie Arnold, who produced How to Train Your Dragon 2. "I was excited to see female heroines and not just boy movies or new movies that appeal to boys. Because I do think there's this crossover. And it makes you think more as a producer or director, or creator or filmmaker, of how to incorporate things that are going to appeal to both boys and girls."

What Don Hall, director of Big Hero 6, appreciated about Frozen was that it "wasn't just a girl movie, either" — its success was about appealing to a "large swath of people." Dan Lin, producer of The Lego Movie, pointed out that it's a "fresh spin on a familiar genre, the princess genre," and having an equally strong song at the center of the film like "Let It Go" helped, too.

But how long will this female-empowered trend last? Hopefully a long time, but Arnold notes that it's cyclical — her now-20-year-old daughter "grew up in in that whole age of Beauty and the Beast and Little Mermaid, and then that seemed to fall out of favor a bit, but it comes back." So will we be seeing more characters like book-loving, not shallow Belle and independent, feisty Anna for years to come? For the sake of the children of the future, I sure hope so.

Image: Disney