SPECIAL REPORT: Closer look at Frozen phenomenon - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Closer look at Frozen phenomenon

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(WAOW) - The Frozen phenomena doesn't seem to be fading. Disney's 2013 animated film is still causing a stir, to the delight of millions of young Frozen fans. But the movie is more than a box office success story. It has become the theme for an entire generation.

Just ask 6 year-old Amara. She can sing the movie's theme song on cue.

"Let it go, let it go, let it go," she confidently sings along with her younger brother.

Regardless of the tune's message, it doesn't look like the hit movie Frozen is going anywhere.

"Easily I've seen it well over 100 times. Not kidding," says Tricia Lazare of Merrill, Amara's mother.

That's 100 times watching Elsa discover her freezing superpowers, 100 times reliving Anna's desperate search for her self-exiled sister, and 100 times times rejoicing when the two girls are reunited.

Reminders of that plot are around every turn, from dresses, to dolls, to decor.

"There is still a demand for Frozen.Yes, kids love it," says Ron Herges, store manager at Younkers in Wausau.

Elsa and Anna might be the stars of the movie, but store leaders say it's Olaf that's really flying off the shelves.

"There was a stuffed Olaf, Olaf with a blanket, anything with Olaf on it was a hit, definitely," says Herges.

But what is it about this bunch that made them an animated anomaly? Newsline 9 sat down with psychologist Shannon Schaefer to understand the Frozen phenomenon.

"My gut reaction is that it's a movie that's themes are things we can all relate to," says Schaefer.

That movie comes with a theme song that's been looping through every parent's head for more than a year.

"'Let it go' is like a theme song for psychologist but also for many people to let go of something that you're afraid of and in that process, the things you feared so much are actually things other people can enjoy," says Schaefer.

Schaefer says children relate to Elsa, whether they realize it or not.

"Kids are always making mistakes and I think for kids that watch it, they can get this message that I can make a mistake and still be lovable," says Schaefer.

When it comes to unconditional love, there is no better example than Elsa's sister, Anna.

"They didn't have to look outside of themselves or their relationship to solve a problem," says Schaefer.

Beloved Olaf reinforces the value of friendships.

"Olaf also demonstrated this unconditional love that was relatable to all ages so even the younger kids were able to identify how wonderful it feels to have friends who cares about you and would melt for you," says Schaefer.

But when Frozen is found near and far, can there be such a thing as too much Elsa? Schaefer says everything in moderation.

"I think there are probably a lot more good things that are coming out of this movie emotionally than negative things," said Shaefer.

From emotional to educational growth, parents and teachers alike are using the movie to reach children.

"Today we are working on the concept of what happens to water when it freezes, as well as when it melts," says Renee Heinrich, a K-5 science teacher at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Wausau.

 Heinrich is building off the magic in the movie to inspire curiosity in the classroom.

"As teachers, we know how important it is to bring the outside world into our classroom because of our students not having a ton of life experiences. So we draw upon movies like Frozen that can allow students to make connections between what they know from movies or games that they play or things that they see on TV to what we are learning in the classroom," says Heinrich.

From fact back to fiction, a Marathon County grandfather ditched a traditional Frosty to build an Olaf.

"Well I just thought Olaf was the coolest of all the snowmen I have seen with his character and his silliness," says Ralph Dixon.

For Dixon, it's a way to connect with his grandson.

"Oh he'll be surprised when he sees it," says Dixon.

This snowman is a reminder that the movie is one for generations to enjoy.

"I just really feel as though these themes are quite universal and I feel as if we talked to our grandparents about how they dealt with fears and insecurities in love, I think we would find some of these same themes have been experiences across generations," says Schaefer.

The timeless pphenomenonis now frozen in our hearts and minds.

The numbers are there to back-up the popularity. Frozen is the highest-grossing animated film of all time, raking in more than $1.2 billion.

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