TIME TIME 100 Gala

How Twitter Brought the Frozen Songwriters and John Green Together

The three met up at the annual TIME 100 gala

Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the husband-and-wife songwriting team behind Frozen, attended the TIME 100 Gala last year as honorees, but they still felt a little out of place this year’s event.

“If you are at the Time 100 event and don’t know anyone, come find us in the corner and we will sing showtunes,” Anderson-Lopez tweeted early in the evening. “We are at the #time100 party awkwardly taking selfies in the corner,” her husband posted a few minutes later.

But after the two told TIME that a Twitter follower suggested they seek out The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, an introduction was quickly made—though it turned out this wasn’t the first time the three had met.

“I know what you guys did!” Green laughed after the couple told him who they were. “I talked to you last year but you don’t remember!” Green then introduced the pair to his wife, who, as the mother of small children, is extremely familiar with “Let It Go” and other songs from the movie. “You guys have changed her life, maybe not for the better,” Green said.

Lopez and Anderson-Lopez are still deep in the Frozen universe, writing additional songs for the Broadway musical adaptation of the Disney animated hit, but with last month’s news that a sequel was officially on its way, the two say they haven’t yet come up with a “Let It Go” follow-up—not that they’re sweating it.

“Definitely not!” Anderson-Lopez said. “We’re waiting till it comes [to us],” Lopez added.

TIME movies

Frozen Story Was Stolen, Author Claims

Frozen
Walt Disney Pictures

An author says the story was taken from her book

A Kuwaiti author has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Frozen took parts of its narrative and characters from a story in her book.

Muneefa Abdullah says the popular Disney movie took plot points from her story “The Snow Princess,” which appeared in her book New Fairy Tales in 2007, according to the Detroit News. The suit names Disney as well as the screenwriter and co-director, Jennifer Lee.

Disney has previously promoted the film as being based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Snow Queen,” originally published in the mid-19th century. All three stories feature ice, snow and a princess or queen with frosty powers. Disney has reportedly not yet commented.

[Detroit News]

TIME movies

This Is When You’ll Be Able to Watch Frozen on TV

Frozen Disney
Disney Elsa in Frozen, 2013.

It's coming to ABC, Disney Channel and more

For the first time in forever, Frozen fans will be able to watch their favorite animated film on television. Disney announced the movie would get distribution on many of its networks, including Disney Channel, Disney Junior, ABC and ABC Family, beginning in February 2016.

The move marks a continued push to keep the franchise popular—a short film, Frozen Fever, ran before Cinderella in theaters, and a sequel and Broadway version are both in the works. Disney also has a sizable set of Frozen merchandise, so you’ll be able to snuggle up in an Anna and Elsa comforter and sip cocoa from an Olaf mug while you watch on ABC. Only 10 months to go.

TIME India

Greenpeace Has Had Several of Its Indian Bank Accounts Frozen

INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-GREENPEACE-PROTEST
Punit Paranjpe—AFP/Getty Images Activists from the environmental group Greenpeace and local farmers from Madhya Pradesh state sit outside the headquarters of India's Essar Group during a protest in Mumbai on Jan. 22, 2014

It's accusing Delhi of trying to silence its opposition to the government's industrial projects

India froze seven bank accounts belonging to Greenpeace’s operations in the country on Thursday, escalating an ongoing conflict between Delhi and the environmental organization.

A government statement asserted that Greenpeace India was misusing funds and violating the country’s financial regulations, Reuters reported.

“We have evidence to prove that Greenpeace has been misreporting their funds and using their unaccounted foreign aid to stall crucial development projects,” an unnamed senior government official told Reuters.

The nongovernmental organization, which has accused the Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of relaxing environmental rules to allow large industrial projects to move forward smoothly, dismissed the six-month suspension of its accounts as an attempt to silence dissent.

“We are being repeatedly targeted because we are protesting against government’s unlawful policies,” said Divya Raghunandan, Greenpeace India’s program director.

An earlier attempt by the Indian government to block the inflow of foreign funds to Greenpeace India was denied by a court order in January, soon after activist Priya Pillai was offloaded from a flight to the U.K., where he was to testify against India in front of the British Parliament.

TIME movies

These Are the 10 Best Easter Eggs in Movie History

How many have you seen before?

  • Scar in Hercules

    Disney

    Scar, the villainous uncle from The Lion King, can be seen briefly in his new role as a cape/towel in Hercules.

  • R2-D2 and C-3P0 in Raiders of the Lost Ark

    The droids that everyone’s seeking make a brief appearance as hieroglyphics in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

  • Rapunzel and Flynn Rider in Frozen

    Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled can be seen amongst the guests visiting Arendelle for Elsa’s coronation in Frozen.

  • Starbucks in Fight Club

    According to David Fincher, there’s a Starbucks cup in every scene of Fight Club.

  • Pizza Planet Truck in (almost) every Pixar movie

    The Pizza Planet truck first made its debut in the original Toy Story movie in 1995 and has been featured somewhere in every Pixar film besides The Incredibles.

TIME

Why Disney’s New Cinderella Is the Anti-Frozen

CINDERELLA
Disney Lily James as Cinderella in Disney's 2015 live-action feature inspired by the classic fairy tale, Cinderella

Don't be fooled by Ella's new look, this fairy tale is full of disappointing stereotypes

Ever since the cast was announced, I’ve been wishing hard on Disney’s new live-action adaptation of Cinderella. This was, after all, a product of the new Disney, whose last princess-based effort resulted in the girl-power juggernaut we know and love as Frozen. And now Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and even Agent Carter’sbutt-kicking bombshell” Hayley Atwell were on board. Surely this band of power women would have signed on only to a more modern Cinderella, one that finds a way to luxuriate in the lush beauty of the tale while also giving it a much-needed jolt of female agency.

How I wish I didn’t have to deliver bad news. I was a bullied girl who grew up on Disney’s classic animated version, dreaming that a fairy godmother might also reveal me as the radiant woman I knew I could be. I fervently wanted this reboot to be big enough to marry my childhood dreams with my adult belief that women aren’t ennobled by suffering or diminished by ambition. But I guess I forgot to wish upon a star. The new Cinderella is as retro as they come.

The film certainly is lavish. Everything is more beautiful than you thought it could be, from the hyper-real fairy-tale farmhouse to the ornately gilded pumpkin coach to the massive ball scenes at the palace to (of course!) the dresses. Oh, the dresses! Every frame is lovingly, sumptuously composed, and the performances live up to their setting. Aesthetically, Cinderella is an unqualified triumph.

If only the film’s heart were as good as its heroine’s. This Cinderella shares less DNA with Frozen and more with Snow White’s Evil Queen. On the surface it’s the fairest of the fair. But underneath it’s rotten.

You can tell that someone, somewhere had good intentions. There are multiple people of color in this film, and they’re not just playing servants. Lady Tremaine, Cinderella’s stepmother, is given a backstory clearly meant to humanize her — a beloved dead husband and a real fear that she and her girls will be left to starve without a man to provide for them. But what the film suffers from is a profound failure of nerve. Sure, the people of color are there, but the only two who speak at all are tertiary characters at best. It’s 2015. Does the Prince really have to be white for the story to work? Does Cinderella?

As for Tremaine’s motivations, for a moment they gave me hope that the story would go in a Jane Austen direction, exploring the limited and sometimes desperate life choices facing women who are forced to depend on marriage for income and class status. Instead it’s just a way to demonstrate how ambitious Tremaine has become, and how that unseemly ambition is the driver of her evil treatment of our heroine, who in contrast has no ambitions and is therefore purely good. More submissive than Anastasia Steele, Cinderella responds to every insult and oppression forced on her by suffering it prettily and with a song in her heart. That’s no exaggeration: even when locked in the attic by her stepmother, literally held prisoner in her own home, she doesn’t try to escape or even yell to the king’s men just below her in the yard. Instead she just floats about dreamily and sings. If it weren’t for some preternaturally clever mice, she’d still probably still be up there.

What’s truly galling is that we know Disney can do better. In recent years it’s reimagined classic fairy tales in groundbreaking (and lucrative) outings like Brave, Maleficent and, of course, Frozen. And it’s not like it didn’t intend to update the story. Kenneth Branagh, who directed this mess, is featured in a video on Disney’s site bragging, “There’s no damsels in distress here. Cinderella’s not a pushover. She sticks up for herself.” I couldn’t possibly say what he means by that, because all the viewer sees is her parroting her mother’s dying words — “have courage and be kind” — while accepting without protest every abuse Tremaine and her daughters conceive of. Agent Carter would be very disappointed.

And Agent Carter is part of the point. Atwell’s other recent project is but one of a whole constellation of television series currently featuring complex, fully formed female leads, including Orange Is the New Black, Jane the Virgin, Empire, The Good Wife, The Mindy Project, everything Shonda Rhimes touches, and the just-released Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, to name just a few. One glance at a TV (or streaming) schedule is all it takes to see how infinite the possibilities can be when it comes to women onscreen.

But somehow the film-studio bosses keep losing the memo. In 2014, only 12% of top-grossing films featured women in lead roles. Only slightly more than half of all films released since 2010 have even passed the Bechdel test, a pathetically low bar requiring only that a film feature two women who talk with each other at some point about something other than a man. This erasure of women isn’t even mercenary: films that do pass the Bechdel test are repeatedly shown to produce more profit for studios than films that don’t.

And many of the films that do manage to feature a woman suffer from a profound lack of imagination about who women can be. If I wanted to go see a film from last weekend’s top 10 earners with anything resembling a female lead, I would be choosing between watching a dim-witted blond protégé, a retired British lady on an adventure, a naive virgin seduced by an abusive billionaire, a literal monster or an “ugly fat friend.” Meanwhile the male leads in those 10 films are a soldier, a scientist, a con man, a middle-aged superspy, an abusive billionaire, a sports coach, a businessman and a sentient sea sponge.

The theater in which I saw Cinderella was filled with dreamers much younger than I am. No doubt some of them, as I did when I was their age, identified powerfully with that abused young woman, just waiting for someone to see that she could be so much more than her circumstances. Too bad they’ve been let down yet again by movie execs who can’t seem to see past the end of their wands.

TIME movies

Watch the Frozen Gang Return in Trailer for Frozen Fever

The seven-minute short will play in theaters before Cinderella

Just before spring arrives, the Frozen gang is sneaking back into theaters.

Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) will return to the big screen in Frozen Fever, a seven-minute short whose trailer just premiered on Good Morning America on Wednesday.

The short takes place after the events of Disney’s billion-dollar movie and will focus on a birthday party for Anna that doesn’t go smoothly after the princess falls ill. Catch it in theaters March 13, when Frozen Fever will screen before Disney’s live-action Cinderella movie, starring Cate Blanchett and Lily James.

TIME Bizarre

Kentucky Police Blame Cold Weather On … Elsa From Frozen

Frozen
Disney

"Suspect is a blonde female last seen wearing a long blue dress and is known to burst into song 'Let it Go!'"

Cold weather hasn’t stopped a Kentucky police department from showing its sense of humor.

The Harlan City Police Department posted on its Facebook page Wednesday that it blamed poor weather on Elsa from Frozen, and that it had taken out a warrant for the snow princess’ arrest.

For the uninitiated, Elsa possesses the magical power to create snow and ice.

Shortly after, the Harlan police posted another message warning residents that, joking aside, the weather was still serious business.

While we might not be able to blame Elsa for the weather, how about issuing an arrest warrant for getting “Let It Go” stuck in our heads for the past year and a half?

TIME weather

Here’s What Niagara Falls Looks Like Frozen

A winter wonderland on the border

Frigid temperatures by the Great Lakes are giving tourists a whole new reason to visit Niagara Falls.

The famous waterfalls by the Canada-U.S. border were partially frozen this week as temperatures in the area hit 13 degrees below zero on Monday. Though the falls were hardly frozen solid—water continued to flow—layers of ice built up, giving the impression of a winter wonderland amid its icy mist and surrounding snow.

Temperatures aside, the cold weather doesn’t deter necessarily tourists. Last year, the site received more visitors during a week in early March than the average winter week as word (and photos) of the falls’ frozen appearance spread, USA Today reported.

Read next: Ithaca, New York’s Tourism Board Gives Up, Invites Visitors to Head to Florida Instead

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Travel

4 Ways to Take a Frozen-Inspired Vacation This Winter

It's time to channel your inner Elsa

We already know the science of why you can’t resist Frozen. So if you’re looking for another reason to revisit the magical kingdom of Arendelle, there’s no need to let go of that fairy tale idea just yet. Here are four snowy European getaways that will help you channel your inner Elsa.

1. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta, Norway. Every year, this frosty palace is remade entirely from snow, complete with an ice chapel for memorable wedding receptions. Visitors can warm up in the outdoor hot tubs (although the cold never bothered you anyway, right?).

2. Igloo Village Kakslauttanen in Saariselka, Finland. Spend a night in Kakslauttanen’s glass igloo pods and view the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed. Guests brave enough to venture into the elements may try ice swimming, ice fishing or a reindeer safari fit for Kristoff and Sven.

3. Balea Ice Hotel in Cîrţişoara, Romania. A visit to southeastern Europe’s first ice hotel will have you dining on ice plates at ice tables while sitting on ice chairs. Pass the time with traditional winter activities like sledding, ice skating and a snowman-building contest where you can attempt to recreate Olaf.

4. Det Hanseatiske Hotel in Bergen, Norway. This real-life city inspired Arendelle, the movie’s fictional setting. The hotel is situated a short distance from old-world attractions like a fish market, museum and a cable car that takes tourists up Bergen’s highest mountain.

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