Contrast and Comparison Between Classic and Modern Disney Film  

Categories: Film Analysis

Sleeping Beauty and Frozen are two animated feature films that both depict similar themes with different artistic styles. Sleeping Beauty, an old classic film that came out in 1959, portrays the theme of true love and it was made with 2D traditional animation. Where as the movie Frozen, released in the year 2013, posses a similar theme but was made with more modern 3D animation. Both animated films are Disney classics that represent the common theme of their versions of true love and both individually carry out this theme in their own unique artistic animation style.

In the first film, Sleeping Beauty, it features a young princess who is awakened by true love’s kiss This true love kiss is delivered by the prince, who upon seeing her is infatuated by her beauty. This theme of true love is a common theme among Disney classics, but since the characters of this particular film lived in the fourteenth century, the concept of true love was portrayed according to that particular era- where unadulterated innocuous love has the power to overcome and defeat anything, such as slaying a dragon or reversing a spell bound curse.

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Unlike the pragmatic concept of true love in the movie Frozen, true love within the Sleeping Beauty story line seems to portray true love as something immediate and permanent. As soon as Aurora and her prince lock eyes, they fall in love with each other completely. Of course, this type of love is merely infatuation, but for the sake of the films fairy tale storyline, true love is the theme they want to get across to their audience.

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Sleeping Beauty, a traditional 2D film, involved tedious work because it consisted of hand sketch drawings that had to be made for every frame in the film. This consisted of various animators drawing frame by frame sketches for every scene for the film. Traditional animation was very unique because these drawings had to be blended together in order for the series of drawings to come to life. This type of animation involved putting these drawings into plastic cells, which is how movement was created in these films. However, this type of movement was restricted. None of these 2D drawings appeared to move in the direction toward or away from the viewer, as it would appear to be in more modern 3D films such as Frozen.

In the second film, Frozen, the theme of true love is displayed as the younger princess, Anna, sacrifices herself to save her older sister, Elsa, the queen. As Anna stays frozen, she is later restored to her normal condition because Elsa reciprocates the same act of true love towards her sister as she clings and cry’s over her frozen statue-like body. In the film, it is said that an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart, and that’s how Anna was restored. This film, unlike Sleeping Beauty, depicts a realistic form of true love- familial love. Familial love is the act of true love that helped reverse the curse that was bestowed on Anna and ultimately helped restore the fictitious kingdom of Arendelle. Unlike Sleeping Beauty, in Frozen this form of true love requires time and sacrifice. In fact, the writing staff of Frozen play homage to previous Disney films and their representation of true love- the immediate and permanent kind. In the beginning of the film, Anna falls in deep love with Hans and wishes to marry him despite only knowing him for an hour. This naive concept of love is built around infatuation and fairy tale like romance.

Although the themes in both films were similar, there artistic styles were not. Frozen involved 3D animation which requires the use of computers. This kind of computer animation generates images and these images are used to make the frame by frame animation on a film. 3D animation can be digitally drawn and then propped with a ‘skeleton’ that allows the animator to manipulate and control the figure’s movement. This movement flows seamlessly due to the faster frame rate that 3D animation uses, which makes the characters move more realistically unlike 2D characters. 3D animators also have to be mindful about the character’s body. Throughout the Frozen film, regardless of what position the characters were in, the whole body was displayed in a realistic view. Where as in 2D, sometimes the character’s body seemed skewed because their position was turned to the side, making their body look flat- which is understandable because that type of animation is done on a flat page.

All in all, both animated films touched base on the concept of their version of true love. The theme was delivered in the artistic style that was prevalent during that time period. Older traditional films used 2D animation where as more modern films used 3D animation- largely due to the introduction of the modern computer. As we venture deeper into the digital age, innovative animation will arise and continue to make these animated characters look more and more real.

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Contrast and Comparison Between Classic and Modern Disney Film  . (2021, Oct 12). Retrieved from

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