This past weekend I went to see Frozen, and I figure the best time to write about it is during a snowstorm, right? I kept on hearing about Frozen for a while before it came out, but it was never in too much detail so I didn’t really know what the movie was about for a long time. All I knew about it was it was about sisters and the snowman was the comic relief character. But as I heard more and more about it after it came out I decided that it was something I wanted to see.
So on Friday I went to see it. I have gone to see a lot of movies recently which is kind of nice because for a while over the summer and fall there wasn’t a whole lot I was interested in seeing. But Frozen was so good! I really enjoyed it. It kind of reminded me of Brave in that it reimagined the traditional Disney princes
Frozen, which is based on Hans Christen Anderson’s The Snow Queen, focuses on the relationship between two sisters rather than one princess finding true love. Elsa even says to Anna that “You can’t marry someone you just met” as a kind of nod to Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid etc.
Also I found the emotion behind Anna and Elsa’s relationship very real and pretty complex which was nice to see in a Disney movie. Elsa has the power to create snow and ice but her parents hide her away from Anna and the rest of the world for her own protection. It’s not in a Rapunzel way where Mother Gothel hid Rapunzel and her hair away for her own gain. It is clear from the movie that Elsa’s parents love her and care about her, but it is also clear that their actions and decisions did leave serious consequences both for Anna and Elsa.
All Anna wants is to play with her sister when she is younger and Elsa wants that too but as she gets older and her coronation day draws nearer, she sees that she really doesn’t know how to control her powers and ends up freezing the town and sending the whole area into an eternal winter in the middle of summer. She ends up fleeing and Anna runs after her to convince her to come back and not hide away anymore.
So that’s a bit of a recap, but I found the characters to be more complex that that, especially when it came to Anna and Elsa. Anna has spent her whole life in an empty castle but always manages to see the good in things. She is very chipper but she is also hugely naive as is seen throughout the movie. But it is after all a coming of age story, and a bit of naiveté is to be expected. She had flaws and weaknesses but is still portrayed as a strong character, which is pretty realistic and nice to see in movies.
Elsa is also going through a lot of her own issues – many of which have to do with essentially being shut out from the world and hiding this huge part of herself from everyone she knew including her sister. Her mantra growing up was “Conceal it. Don’t feel it. Don’t let it show.” There is a lot of anxiety and loneliness in her character and it would have been easy for Disney to make her the villain of the story but they don’t which I really liked. Instead they went into more of Elsa’s character rather than making her a stereotype as she grew up and accepted herself (Let It Go) and then was faced with new challenges like returning to her old home. And she also deals with issues a lot of people deal with all the time which made the movie all the more real.
Frozen doesn’t really have a central villain the way that Aladdin, or The Little Mermaid does throughout the majority of the movie. Yes there are bad people, especially towards the end, but the focus is mostly on Elsa and Anna and their relationship. Also I have been pretty obsessed with Idina Menzel ever since I saw Wicked when I was 16 (I didn’t see it with the original cast but I bought the cd immediately after the performance and have loved it ever since) so this has just reaffirmed my obsession with her and her voice. I had Let It Go running through my head all weekend.
Also there is talk of bringing Frozen to Broadway, which I am super excited about. I read in a comment section of a different article that based on other Disney movie musicals and their timelines of getting shows on Broadway that it could take up to four years but I will definitely go see it whenever it comes out. And I really hope Idina Menzel comes back for Elsa because that would be amazing. I’m also curious to see how they do the magic/snow sequences on stage as well. But it is definitely something to look forward to.