So, I decided for my month of Christmas movie blogging that I would finally submit myself to the magic and glory of Disney and sit through Frozen, 2013. That really was how I approached it. It was going to be an endurance test, to see if I can make it all the way through. You’ll know if you’ve read my post The Grinch – my spirit animal, that I was not not a Disney kid, nor adult, with a love/hate relationships with musicals.
So I didn’t have the highest hopes for the film and was prepared to annihilate the characters. It turns out, I only needed one break, (nothing a long tea break couldn’t sort out) and I found it mildly tolerable.
Anna defies some of the traditional character traits of a Disney princess, (from what I’ve heard anyway). Although she’s desperate to find love, this stems from the trauma of having a distant sibling , the absence of her parents (I’m unsure about were they went, but I might have zoned out during a song) whilst also not having contact with the community in which she lives. When she meets Prince Hans at the coronation, she blindly agrees to his hand in marriage that same night, because she doesn’t know the evils of the outside world. However the character arch is one so unique that it completely shifts. From becoming engaged after knowing the person a few hours, to showing immense bravery and courage as well as rationale and independence.
Some of my favourite Anna moments
1) She gives me strong Princess Margaret vibes. A rebel in an institution that functions with elements of isolation and refraining from revealing truth. The scene where Anna asks Elsa for her blessing of her marriage to Prince Hans really reminds me of Queen Elizabeth’s disapproval of Prince Margaret and Peter Townsend’s relationship and potential marriage, as portrayed in Netflix’s, The Crown.
2) When Elsa has her meltdown (haha, get it? Ice…melt…anyway), Anna insists on travelling up the mountain to make things right with Elsa, alone, even though Hans offered to go with her, she fearlessness sets off on her solo mission.
3) When Anna meets Kristoff, she musters up the courage to put her foot down, telling him ‘we’re leaving now’, (not at dawn as he had suggested).
4) When Hans joins in the conversation at the end when the group unites, Kristoff goes to sort him out, when Anna stops him so she can do the honours and proceeds to punch Hans in the face.
On that note, the plot twist of Hans being a douche bag is refreshing. The Prince Charming trope gets ripped apart with this reveal, making little kids everywhere cry.
I haven’t yet watched Frozen II, the 2019 sequel that came six years after the first, so I would be interested to see how Elsa’s character progresses as I felt a bit cheated of the depths of how her early story affected her.
It’s funny how the experience you have as a bystander, unsuccessfully avoiding the hyper- marketisation around this film, somehow knowing that Olaf is the snowman who talks and a girl called Elsa tells you to ‘leti it go’ over and over again – you still presume Elsa is the main character. When truly, it is Anna who steals the show.
The show-stopping theme song ‘Let it Go’ sung exquisitely by the powerhouse that is Edina Menzel, masquerades itself as having an empowering message when in reality it is the show tune to conflict avoidance methods, running away from all the worries and responsibilities in life.
Having said this, I’ll keep my cynicism to a minimum, in light of attempted festive cheer, I think there is more to Elsa and from snippets I’ve seen through research, there are many possibilities for this character that lie in gender identity, sexual orientation and mental health. For, the ice-d out rampage could be interpreted as symbolic of a deterioration of the mind. The isolation could represent depression and the refusal to dance or interact with eligible suiters could indicate asexuality.
This is my kind of Disney film, rich with symbolism and metaphor’s that kids won’t necessarily get upon first watch, but as they grow with the characters through the endless money- hungry sequels, they’ll develop their knowledge on wider aspects of society and shift their perspectives on ethical aspects of said characters.
I hate to say it, but I may find myself delving deeper into the ‘magical’ world of Disney, watch this space for more Eyelyd revelations that most people have before age 10.