A Case for Frozen
So as I understand it, people have caught the “Frozen is overrated bug” and you know, they are right. This movie has it’s plot holes and bad character development but keep in mind, no movie is without sin, at least that’s how Cinemasins puts it and wow did you see the sins he found. Anyways, if there is anyone to blame, it’s everyone who has taken the movie far too seriously. Me? No! I take the movie over the top too seriously, so that makes my opinions valid… okay maybe not but I tried. I recently came across several videos and blog posts about issues people were having with the movie and frankly, I wanted to start addressing them here in Frozen’s defence, for one because my wife and many of her friends have personal relatable connections with the characters, Elsa in particular. I personally have some connection with Anna’s character in ways that would take too long to get into in this post, specially since I’m a guy so that complicates some things. I will most likely be addressing this more one day soon but for now I wanted to tackle the craziest of these claims and comments today. So, keep in mind that I did pick the wildest of these, ranging from crazy to mad. Let’s get started.
Coming of Age
So this one I found come up a few times during my search, so I thought I would make it my first pick. Made claim by one Britt Hayes of ScreenCrush, writes that Elsa dealing with her powers is like a woman’s coming of age and that it’s a gentler version of Carrie. In Frozen‘s defence, though it might appear as if Elsa is trying to cope with changes and maturity, these changes are not of the Coming of Age genre, they are emotional and are something that many people may see at anytime in their lifetime, regardless that conquinadently Elsa is 21, a common Coming of Age age in many cultures for Women, I just don’t consider someone letting emotions build up and suddenly letting them go all at once a metaphor for Coming of Age. Besides, Elsa’s problem has the potential to affect both Men and Women equally it just makes for a better story coming from a Woman’s point of view. I know my arguments might be weak on this one and I really only bring it up for the sake of this post, so let’s continue on.
Professor Collin Garbarino at Houston Baptist University has claimed that Frozen is an allegory for Christianity. Honestly, I’ve had enough of that church down my road that preaches a sermon on finding Jesus in movies, though I think it’s more a cover up, why not? They treat their own church like a theater every Saturday night, then discuss it the next morning and claim it as religious activity, Tax Free too. It’s the perfect scheme. But to be honest, I’ve seen this claim come up with probably every movie ever made, actually if I’m not mistaking, I’ve even seen some horror movies get picked up by the “Finding Jesus in Movies” crowd. So to further quote Collin, he writes “Elsa has broken relationships, and she has guilt, and she pushes people away — and her sister is sort of like a Christ figure who pursues her. Anna comes and pursues, and when she purses her, she has to die. And then she’s resurrected, which kind of proves the strength of her love, and it brings reconciliation, and Elsa is saved because her sister dies.” One of my favorite people on Earth, Steve Grey, once said that most movies follow a standard formula, the world is somewhat okay (Except for maybe our hero), it might hit a hi point, then it all goes to hell, only to come back to the top in the end. Some movies vary a bit on the lows and highs but it’s all technically the same. I can only remember maybe a few movies that did not follow this formula and from what I can remember they did not do very well in the box offices. The reason we as humans love movies that follow this formula is because it’s the story of God’s creation. Adam and Eve were at mankind’s best, until they allowed sin into the world and now for more than 2,000 years there has been a battle of good versus evil. So is it a stretch to say that almost all cinema is an allegory for Jesus, life, creation, destruction, etc. I remember back when the Matrix came out, I worked as a grocery bagger, when one day this stranger started telling me about how Neo was an allegory for Jesus. He almost was treating the Matrix like it was some sort of second Bible given by God himself. I personally have problems with his decision to use The Matrix in this way when to be honest it has far to many unchristian story elements to even be considered anytype of viable Jesus allegory. Yes, Neo is a Chosen One but chosen by who and that does not make him some sort of God. Besides, how many movies and novels use Chosen One as some Deus Ex Machina plot device. Now Frozen has a much more family friendly story than the Matrix but it’s far from a second Bible. Can we just let this go (lolz) and stop trying to find Jesus in movies, go read your Bible and pray for once. I think it might do you more good.
Next, we have David Faraci of Badass Digest who makes the claim that Elsa’s hit song “Let It Go”, is just her version of coming out as Gay!, no you did not read that incorrectly. From my experiences I know that people can make the bible read however they want, maybe to prove a point or to control others, so why are movies any more sacred. I don’t think a young woman with no love interest, singing a song that is obviously about her emotions and not her gender preferences in any way a song about her coming out of the closet. And do prey tell, who could have been her gay crush all this time, her own sister Anna? Yeah, It’s not like the rule 34 crowd has made enough fanart of that already.
I did take the time to research the original story by Hans Christian Andersen and without surprise, Frozen varies quite a bit from the original story, actually Frozen varies more than you would imagine. One magazine complained that the first major change was from a boy being rescued by his female friend to a story about Anna needing a man’s help. They also quoted the head animator saying it was hard to animate two princesses in the same scene who both needed to look pretty. They claimed this is proof that Disney still has a lack of diversity around race and beauty. Sigh*** First off people, get a life. In my opinion there is a huge difference between making animated princesses look like the perfect supermodel and photoshooting a real life photo to do the same. Second, I understand that they made Anna feel vulnerable and quite frankly she was sort of gullible, which I would agree as one person said it, “Why has their kingdom not been taken over yet?” But I disagree that the movie is not just about that, in the end both Anna and Elsa do it without either Hans or Kristof’s help. In fact, if anyone should be allowed to complain that should be men like myself because our gender was represented as being deceitful and underhanded by characters like Hans. And don’t get me started on the other male lead being a good role model either for boys. Kristoff is basically a man child in more ways than one, maybe not very bad by today’s standards but his attitude would not fly in kingdom from 1820. Yes, I know technically I can’t be hating on Kristoff’s character like this when I’m a man with a 0 point man card myself. Disney has passed their princesses off as being empowered and without boundary, which is all well and good for young girls but I personally dislike to see a guy like Kristoff have no aspirations to do very little in life and no desire to help a beautiful young girl in distress until she practically bribes him into helping her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on Disney either. I’m just saying it’s not very fair to be complaining how a girl appears on screen when the boy is getting an even lesser positive betrayal. So should it be no wonder why some boys want to be princesses?
Ah yes, the old school claim that Disney is a racist company that wants to burn non-white people on crosses in their front yards while wearing white sheets over their heads, I don’t mean any of that in offence but that’s how they are treated. This one is not a new one and it’s not the last we will ever hear of it either. It’s probably not even worth my time but because it’s Frozen and since I will probably never make a single post about it, here we go. Some people over at some tumblr blog made the claim that Scandinavian Sami people are upset that their ethnicity isn’t acknowledged in Frozen. I googled images of Scandinavian Sami people and what did I find, TONS and TONS of people that I would personally consider to be caucasian. In fact, some came up so white in complexion, I wondered how these people could even claim their roots were “People of Color”. Yeah, I hear you shouting at your computer screen, “They just got lighter skin over time!” you say. Really? That’s your argument? If that was true, then that should give their claims of racism even less validity. Strangely, Kristof was one they claimed to be the most disgraceful and were even bugged that he was never even mentioned as being Sami, which I ask why would he have needed to have his race disclosed? Here’s the bottom line people, Disney is an American company, they are foremost marketing to an American audience. The fact they did not go out of their way to represent Sami people the way they wished to have been, does not surprise me. Yeah, Disney might have gotten inspiration for Frozen from countries such as Norway but the movie is never actually said to be set in a “real” location nor that the people are Scandinavian, we’ve only guessed at this and we can probably even speculate that it takes place in some alternate universe in my opinion. It’s fiction people, get over it. As for the white princesses, Disney is only marketing to their largest demographic and to the people they know who will buy their stuff. They tried to make an African-American princess once and it was one of their worst grossing movies. In the case of African-Americans, if they don’t like it why do they go and support white princesses anyways. Go boycott them if you feel that way and stop complaining, it’s not changing anytime soon and that’s not mentioning the fact that most of Disney’s adaptations were originally centered around people of caucasian heritage. Racism is not going away soon and I know I’m probably just preaching to a choir here but it’s my honest opinion. You know, I’ve come to the opinion that usually those who accuse are they themselves guilty of their own accusations.
Now this one really was a kicker, really?, climate change? So we have not gotten enough from the media and Al Gore on this? Okay… Actually this one is so crazy you need to read what Coleman Tharpe wrote at EnergyAtTheMovies.com, “Prince Hans represents small island nations threatened by rising seas struggling for a voice in climate-change debates. The Duke of Weselton symbolizes economically developer nations struggling to retain global leadership in the face of rapidly shifting energy markets. Queen Elsa and her chilling powers personify the worst-case scenarios of severe climate change. And, like the real world the high-stakes negotiations are tinged with some misunderstandings, suspicion, corruption, and the risk of failure.” There was one other post making claim that the movie also stands to prove we need to vote people like Hillary Clinton in office but I’m going to stop there because I need to shout my next line loud and clear, ARE YOUR MIND CONTROL TOP HATS ON TIGHT ENOUGH??? Geewiz, where do you get such mush? No where in the movie did I get the feeling that Frozen was about Greenhouse Gase, Polar Bears, or the Ice Caps melting. Yeah there was Ice and Snow and Olaf, well… point is, the crazy environmentalist just need to find more reasons to deem themselves insane and ready to be institutionalized. *sigh*
In conclusion, I personally love the movie Frozen. It’s new and very much lovable for its animation quality. (My wife does say the same about Tangled, which I agree.) Have people taken the movie too seriously, you bet. Is Disney going to Let It Go?, Nope and Frozen Fever should be proof of that. Is the movie perfect, far from it. Like I said in the opening my Wife can relate with Elsa’s character and I truly can say that I believe she’s even gone thru her own Let It Go. But one thing that bugs me, is how many people feel for Elsa but then fall short by not letting the movie inspire them to have their own less destructive Let It Go. On top of all that those who can’t relate with Elsa’s depression, usually in turn end up hating on Elsa’s character, they judge her without any consideration for what she is going thru. So saying that I plan to post again on Frozen and explain Elsa’s character deeper soon. There is a deeper story to Frozen and I would like to help people find it and no this would not put me in the same boat as those “Finding Jesus in Movies” people, end of line.
~ Joel Greene