Frozen: A Review
2013-12-04, 4:09 p.m.
Can't really talk about today much since everything I'd say would be work related (for the record: not a bad day, took a class on dealing with difficult people, it was amusing), so instead I will get around to reviewing Frozen. Much to my disappointment, I'll restrain myself from severe spoileration of it and stop at around the halfway mark of giving details about the plot.
Frozen is an incredibly cool movie for several reasons: (a) it features two women in a Bechdel Test-passing movie. (b) there are love interests in the movie, but they are not necessarily handled in the way you think they are going to be. It's really sweet.
The plot: Princess Elsa of Arundelle was born with the power to manufacture/control snow and ice. It doesn't seem to run in the family and seems to be more of a "curse" than anything else. One morning, her little sister Anna wakes her up to go play with the snow, and the kids go into an empty ballroom* and Elsa makes a snowman and snow drifts and flurries for Anna to play slip-n-slide on, and it's all good fun until Elsa misaims a little and whacks her little sister n the head with her powers. Her parents run in and grab Anna and take her off to the local troll community, where the head troll says it's easier to fix a frozen head rather than a heart, and decides that the way to fix Anna is to wipe her memories of Elsa's powers. From that moment on, the parents lock up the castle (which has practically no furniture in it for some reason--they can animate knitted garments but no furniture?), and Elsa locks herself up in her room and wears gloves all the time and avoids her sister. Anna has a very sad upbringing hanging around in a castle she can't leave, presumably with hardly anyone to talk to...and Elsa stays locked in her very frozen room, feeling like shit. Unfortunately, they have nobody around to train Elsa on how to handle her powers, so all her parents know to do is to keep her locked up, give her gloves, and instruct her to keep herself apart and not feel anything so she won't go kablooey.
Poor girl. Even worse, the parents eventually die and leave Elsa as the heir. And once she turns 21, she officially becomes queen....and has to pick up the ball and scepter during the ceremony bare-handed. Which she's not quite able to do without publicly freezing them...plus now she has to open up the castle and deal with people. Eeek. Meanwhile, Anna is chomping at the bit to get to go outside and find true love...which she does pretty much immediately with Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. It seems like a match--they're both goofily adorable, redheads, youngest children, etc. and when Hans proposes on the spot, Anna accepts and then runs in to tell Elsa. Elsa, no dumb bunny, is all, "Um, you just met him, no, I'm not giving my blessing to this," which leads to a fight, and Anna pulling off a glove, and Elsa....well, losing it, icing up the joint enough to bring on eternal winter, and then running away to the North Mountain. Upon arriving there, she builds herself a giant ice castle, chucks her cape and crown--"The cold never bothered me anyway--" and decides that here she can live as she is without worrying about hurting other people.
Anna, realizing it's all her fault (and see, the trolls were totally wrong, she could handle the revelation JUST FINE, THANKS), insists on running after her sister, leaving Prince Hans in charge of Arundelle in the meantime. She eventually meets an ice seller named Kristoff that she talks into hauling her up the mountain. Kristoff is a dude who isn't too much of a fan of other humans and mostly just likes hanging with trolls and reindeer, but okay.... They make it to Elsa's castle and Anna does her best, but it doesn't go well. Elsa ends up zapping Anna accidentally again.... but this time in the heart. And as the trolls point out again, that's harder to fix...only an act of true love can fix that. Kristoff hauls Anna back to the castle to get a kiss from Hans.... and that's where I have to draw the line or else start spoiling. Darn it.
I will say beyond this that there are two major twists that definitely take this out of the realm of the usual Disney fare. I will just say that this movie is in favor of well, more sensible relationships, and accepting that true love isn't just the usual cliche. And I thought this movie did very well at focusing on the sisters, despite having hot boys around. While I do wonder about certain logistics of how well Elsa's going to rule after this incident--just think of the crazy townspeople she'll have to deal with!-- and kinda think the trolls could have been used a little better, overall I enjoyed it. I think it's doing something we don't see much, especially in Disney animated canon. And good on them for that!
Oh, and for the record, there is a cartoon airing before it called "Get A Horse." It is AMAZING TO WATCH. The special effects are kickass. If you start watching it and think "wtf?," keep going, I swear you'll enjoy it.