A word of warning, if you want to see this movie, do not proceed… I am about to open up.
I didn’t have any preconceived notions before seeing Frozen, I didn’t go in there wanting to hate it, I mean, people were raving about it, like… Holy crap, it’s like the Lion King reincarnated as Frozen, it’s Nemo all over again! And if you look at the numbers, it’s easy to believe that, it’s made over 777 million worldwide… But as I kept watching the new Disney movie, a story about two sisters, who are princesses (… so original), and the older one of them has this crazy magical power of shooting ice and snow out of her hands, which gets her in trouble, the cringe on my face got uglier and uglier.
And here’s why.
The movie basically tries to teach that true love conquers all, but somehow manages to make its characters act against its own basic principle pretty much at all times. The underlying moral of the story is of nonacceptance, fearing the unknown, suppressing the bad memories instead of dealing with them, denial and abandonment. Frozen is plagued by these weird morals and also some serious inconsistencies in the logic department.
A bit dramatic? No.
The story starts out with the two princesses, Anna (the younger one) and Elsa (the queen to be) playing in the castle at night, Elsa is making snow come out of her hands (which they never explain btw, why she even has this power, when no one else in her family has it… that we know), and Anna gets all unruly and starts jumping from one tall snow pile to another. Elsa tries to stop her sister before she gets hurt by making more snow piles for her to jump on, because her irresponsible sister is not watching her step… But oh no, Elsa accidentally hits Anna in her head with some weird ice magic and she goes unconscious.
The next thing we know is that their parents take Anna to these trolls (they’re king and queen, and they don’t have like… a doctor or a healer in the castle at hand?) that live in a forest, and the first golden nugget of advice we get is that all of Anna’s memories of magic and her sister’s special power should be suppressed. Now, I’m pretty sure that nowadays it’s advisable to deal with your traumas, talk about your feelings and all that crap, you know, deal with it. Even the trolls say that hey… Elsa’s gonna be fucked from now on btw, she’s gonna be scared shitless of her power, it’s gonna be her enemy.
But hey, let’s go ahead with it anyways, and let’s isolate her as well from other people and society, so Elsa basically grows up all alone, locked up in her little room, where she cries in a corner because her hands shoot ice out of them. I don’t know about you guys, but I think these days that’s called “deprivation of freedom”… And we usually call the cops, when we see that happen.
So yeah, great parenting advice, Frozen.
So years go by, Elsa is trapped in her little room singing “conceal, don’t feel, put on a show, don’t let them know” (completely healthy), Anna gets away without consequences after being the irresponsible one and grows estranged from her sister. Their parents die and are buried in like.. 10 seconds in the movie, so Elsa is bound to be the queen and the story really takes off on her coronation day.
And here’s what I learned from Game of Thrones… You do NOT put a person on the throne to rule a kingdom, who people don’t even know, I mean, Elsa is supposed to be the queen, but her subjects haven’t even seen her? For over a decade? Good luck getting their loyalty. This is a major parenting fail! Her parents should have helped Elsa deal with her magic situation, kept Anna in the loop to help her out, for moral support and slowly introduce her power to the people to avoid a total clausterfuck later on.
So it’s Elsa’s coronation day and Anna has trouble waking up, when it’s the day she gets to see her sister after years and years, a total logic fail, Anna should have been up all night shaking with excitement like a dog with freaking rabies… But no, she’s all about going to the party and hooking up with a good looking guy. Nice priorities.
And Anna does meet a handsome prince at the party after the official coronation, where all went well, Elsa managed to control her power and no one and nothing froze. Elsa and Anna kind of try to talk to each other, but they’re totally estranged and it’s awkward. Later on the not so sensible Anna introduces the handsome prince to Elsa as her fiance, someone she just met like an hour ago, and Elsa is all concerned for her sister, being mature and responsible, she says no way you’re marrying that guy and Anna is like… None of your business, I’m gonna do what I want. So Elsa tells her sister to leave then, which is a complete 180 from what she was trying to accomplish two seconds before, so much caring for your sister and what she does.
So Elsa loses her cool with Anna and all hell breaks loose, a frozen hell, basically the whole kingdom goes into a deep frozen state. The people at the party get scared and accuse Elsa of sorcery, so she runs away into the wild and the kingdom freezes over. The people ask Anna if she is a sorcerer as well and she replies… “I’m completely ordinary”, like don’t associate me with that freaky stuff.
But Anna pulls through and decides to go after her sister leaving the guy she just met an hour and a half ago (at this point) in charge of her kingdom, instead of all the advisers they probably have. What grinds my gears is that she’s been fine with her sister being isolated for a decade, but now she is hell bent on bringing Elsa back and reaching out to her? Right.
In her search she meets Kristoff, the sanest and most level headed person in this movie, who ends up helping Anna out with finding Elsa. He sells ice for a living and has a reindeer and a sled, which gets trashed though after they get chased by a pack of wolves. They end up meeting Olof, a talking snowman, who dreams of summer and sings a whole song about wanting to be warm… Kristoff is like, hey shouldn’t we tell the snowman he’s gonna freaking die, if he goes close to fire or the summer comes… And Anna stays true to her nature yet again by saying “Don’t you dare!”. Don’t you dare what? Possibly saving the snowman’s life?
But that’s not even the most upsetting thing about Anna and Kristoff meeting Olof, the talking snowman, both of them seem completely fine with him, like it’s just another day and there’s nothing strange going on, so… If we follow this logic then it would probably have been totally okay to tell the people about Elsa’s ice and snow making powers instead of hiding her away for years.
So Anna, Kristoff, the reindeer and Olof find Elsa’s awesome ice castle eventually and Anna goes in. She tries to reason with Elsa, who is just way too scared to be around people, because she thinks she’s just gonna end up hurting everybody with her power…
Anna refuses to leave Elsa alone so she makes this huge ice monster throw Anna and her buddies out of the castle like a big ass bouncer, telling them to never come back… Which seems kinda weird, when she was scared of hurting people with her powers just like a minute ago.
Alas, Anna, Kristoff, Olof and reindeer decide to go back, and they realize Anna’s hair is turning white, she got struck by Elsa’s power again back in the castle, but this time it struck her in the heart. Anna gets weaker and Kristoff takes her to the trolls (as a kid he happened to witness the trolls healing Anna, when the king and queen took her to them, what a coincidence, so that’s why he knows exactly where to go).
For some reason the trolls are very keen on having Kristoff marry Anna and try to force it on them, even when they find out that Anna is already engaged, so I guess it’s totally fine to break people up. And also, one of the most upsetting things is that… The trolls keep calling Kristoff a fixer upper, when he is the sanest person with the best advice in the whole movie! Get away from him you trolls, don’t infect him with your craziness that led to Elsa’s super bad trauma and the two sisters’ estrangement from each other.
We find out eventually that only an act of true love will cure Anna from being turned into ice, so Kristoff takes Anna back to town so she can get kissed by the prince. But oh no! Not only is Elsa now imprisoned by the prince, but Anna is locked away as well. It turns out that the prince, Anna’s fiance, has been evil all along, he only wanted to marry Anna so he could have her kingdom! I think I yelled what?! in sync with Anna. There was no pre-warning, or set up for the prince being evil what so ever! You can’t just pull that crap out of nowhere, they had plenty of chances to introduce the chance of him being a baddie in the movie.
The now evil prince tells everybody else that Anna’s dead, but thank god they had the time to get married before she did, and of course nobody witnessed the marriage vows, so their marriage is totally legit and he should be the king.
In the meanwhile Olof helps Anna escape the castle (oh yeah, Elsa broke out of there too), he thinks that if Kristoff kisses Anna, that’s gonna be the true act of love that will save her just in the nick of time. And let me tell you, if that’s how she would have been saved… Then that would have been the final nail in the coffin, because she just freaking met Kristoff that day too!
The movie manages to redeem itself a little bit by having Anna save Elsa from being killed by the prince turned bad with the cost of putting her own life at risk, and so she performs an act of true love by saving her sister’s life, and Anna saves her own butt in the process.
Fast forward to a time, when everybody’s happy, the kingdom has unfrozen and the people love their queen with magic powers despite wanting to lynch her for them just what, like two days ago? And this underlines the fact that… If only her parents had not locked Elsa away from Anna and everybody else, nothing bad would have happened as far as her powers go. And Disney might have had a better story in their hands with less inconsistencies.
Frozen is loosely based on, or inspired by a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, the Snow Queen. Now, I’ve read quite a few of his stories (pretty much every single one attributed to him), the Snow Queen being one of them. Had the makers of Frozen been a little bit more inspired by it, followed the story, it would have been an awesome tale. Alas, they did not.
And that’s not to say I don’t root for original stories as Disney movies, but if you’re gonna credit one of the most famous story tellers as your inspiration to your story, then at least make him proud and do some justice to the original material.