Frozen

It’s been years, or so it seems, since I last watched a Disney cartoon. It’s still weird to see the 3D models and connect the computer-generated imagery and modern-like impressions to what I remember adoring as a kid. The last one I really got into was The Lion King, I believe, and that was back in the 90s. Things have changed, and I don’t mean only the visuals. The themes, the references to Real Life, the humor – it’s all new, and, to borrow my own words from Fruit from Palaven, it makes me feel old.

Frozen is, strangely enough, not about melting the heart of the ice queen, Elsa. I had a firm expectation since the very beginning that it could go no other way – but I was wrong. And not just about that. Obviously, love plays an eminent role; but while I expected it to be romantic, it turned out quite differently. And the main villain, who only emerged near the end, was a complete surprise. Perhaps I’m just that naïve, I don’t know. I thought the point of that particular subplot would be ‘it’s ok to trust your heart even when your older sister (or whoever’s in charge) doesn’t approve of it’, which I’m pretty sure summarizes at least half a dozen old-school Disney cartoons. But not this one.

Mind you, I’m not complaining. Surprise is good. Unorthodox is good. I actually liked Frozen a lot. Mostly for Elsa. She’s so deeply fucked up, it’s difficult to believe someone put her in a movie that’s ultimately targeted at kids. Elsa is a maladjusted, isolated introvert with volatile emotions and serious self-control issues. Her discipline and sense of duty break down in the first encounter with social and emotional burdens normal people deal with on a daily basis. On top of it all, she’s just plain dangerous. She keeps hurting people she cares for, and nothing she does seems to set things right. Perhaps it’s no wonder I found her impossible to resist. I wholeheartedly approved of her retirement in the ice fortress. “I’m alone, but I’m free!”  But then there was Anna’s retort: “No one wants to be alone.” And that, I suppose, is the main point of the story.

Two subtle moral issues nag at me from a distance. For one, I’d have preferred it if Anna’s love at first sight did turn out to be true. Why the hell not? Aren’t fairytales supposed to keep our faith in such things instead of stomping on it? The other is more serious. Elsa is an extreme and dangerous character, and I’m not 100% ok with her getting away with it just like that. What does that tell the viewer? If you’re special, you can do whatever you want, be it inflicting physical and emotional pain to people around you or outright jeopardizing an entire town, with nothing to fear in the way of consequences? Sure, anyone can see that she regrets her actions, that her intention was not to harm. But while I wouldn’t substitute the happy ending for a tragic one, some indication of a lesson learned and a few scars earned would have gone a long way to set this right.

But these are nitpicks. I liked it so much I’m tempted to see it again. It made me wonder and ponder ice fortresses of my own. Oh, and that song is contagious. Can’t get it out of my head!

Let it go, let it go – can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go – turn away and slam the door
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on –

The cold never bothered me anyway.

4 thoughts on “Frozen”

  1. What movie did you see? Seriously? Elsa is deeply fucked up? She’s a normal character that had parents that failed at parenting. She has magical powers she can’t control, and the POWERS hurt the people around her. Not her. She ran away so her POWERS doesn’t hurt anyone anymore.

    What I pick up here, is that you found a character you sympathize with becuase you’ve hurt someone yourself. And then you fill your own expectations of yourself on this poor unsuspecting character. A character that is kind and loving, and cracks under the burden of her powers. Seriously, don’t do that. Especially not in a review. She isn’t fucked up, she isn’t someoe who should be punished with “lasting scars.” Ffs, what is wrong with you? She has to live with the fact that she basically killed her sister. Isn’t that enough?

    1. Saying that it’s not her but her powers that hurt people is like saying that it’s not the murderer who killed his victim: it’s his ANGER, and his parents are to blame. I don’t buy it. Anyway, there’s no reason to be offended by my claim that she’s fucked up; it’s actually a compliment. It’s what makes her a great character: real, tangible, human. We’re all somewhat fucked up, right?

      PS
      If you want to keep posting on my site, please do it more politely in the future.

    2. And that’s where you’re mistaken. Though I do understand how you can think that. But her powers are more like a weapon that is strapped to her, that fires without her will at random interwalls. But anger, anger is a part of your personality. Anger is something everyone has. And either way, if you mean pathological anger, where the person is viewed as sick, then again your argument falls flat, becuase people who are sick and plead insanity, get psycological treatment and medicine. This becuase its a disease superimposed on them, something that no other humans are expected to deal with either.

      But this is interesting, really. So you view emotions as something of such a power that it’s relatable to Elsa’s power, that emotions can be weapons… I see how you hurt those people, and why you feel such a connectino to this poor, unsuspecting character then. But really, her POWERS hurt them. And it is in no way a compliment to be called “fucked up”. If i said someone was fucked up, people would think things like “dropped out of school”, “started taking drugs”, “has a mental disease.” So it it by no means a normal, human standard.

      And really, I am deeply sorry I was impolite. I am not sure what came over me… Except the opinionated tone, and the fact that you said on your ffnet account that you like both compliments and critique. I’ll be sure to put my silk gloves on next time.

    3. Ok, I admit that my comparison with a murderer doesn’t hold water: a murderer is someone who intends to harm by definition, and Elsa doesn’t harm on purpose. But we’ll have to agree to disagree about whether being fucked up is a compliment or not; a matter of taste, I guess.

      You don’t have to wear silk gloves. I don’t mind critique. What I mind is being told there’s something wrong with me because my opinions differ from yours.

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