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Confident and sexy Disney princess attracts adult viewership
FEBRUARY 04, 2014 07:22  
Disney뭩 밊rozen has attracted six million Korean viewers in 18 days since its release on January 16. According to the Korean Film Council, it has set a new record of 6,004,181 viewers in Korea in animations as of Sunday, beating the record of 밙ung Fu Panda 2 (5.06 million in 2011). In addition, it ranked ninth in the non-Korean films, trumping 밚es Miserables (5.91 million in 2012) and 밫he Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (5.96 million in 2003). If the trend continues, it could be in top five on the non-Korean film list.

The movie뭩 soundtracks rank top in Korean music streaming websites, and the book is among bestsellers.

Adult audiences brought the success of the film, breaking the prejudice that animation films are for children. Many adults write postings praising the movie on Internet bulletin boards or social networking sites. The ratio of screens with dubbing and subtitles is often used to estimate the ratio of child viewership and young adult or older viewers, and subtitles (56 percent) surpassed dubbing (44 percent) this time as of Sunday.

Other Disney뭩 뱎rincess movies such as Frozen include 밠erida and the Magic of the Woods (2012) and 밨apunzel (2011), which accounted for 9 and 38 percent of the screens, respectively. Jeong Go-eun, a marketing associate at Disney Korea, said, 밎enerally, animations that target children and family have more dubbings. But movie theaters including Frozen are increasing the percentage of subtitles as adults.

Experts say that Frozen뭩 popularity among adults is based on 뱊ot-so-childish characters and its strong storyline. The movie is a makeover of Andersen뭩 fairy tale 밫he Snow Queen and can be interpreted in various ways for both children and adults. Kang Yoo-jeong, a movie critic, said, 밯hile recent animations only made a parody of classics, Frozen created a 몁ew classic reflecting the changes of the time, based on the power of the fairy tale.

Disney, which was criticized for being U.S.-centric and patriarchal, has continued to transform itself. Anna and Elsa, the protagonists of the animation movie, tide over difficulties on their own unlike other Disney princesses who relied on princes.

The characters faces and low noses seem to have factored in non-western markets. Han Chang-wan, an animation professor at Sejong University, said, 밆isney뭩 animations used to be centered on the U.S. Increasingly, but now Disney seems to consider other cultural backgrounds. Frozen뭩 characters are also multicultural and neutral.

Some say that Disney`s merger with Pixar in 2006 generated the success. John Lasseter, the co-producer of Frozen, is from Pixar and produced 밫oy Story. He leads the animation creative team of Disney and Pixar. Professor Han said, 밊rozen maintained Disney뭩 traditions and added Pixar뭩 unique storytelling and speed.

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