Friday, March 14, 2014

Frozen: another Disney classic

I recently saw the movie “Frozen” for the first time and I loved it. I don’t know why I waited so long to see it. The film stars Kristen Bell as Anna, Indina Menzel as Elsa, Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, Josh Gad as Olaf and Santino Fontana as Hans. The movie is inspired by “The Snow Queen” by beloved Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875). The songs were written by husband and wife team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The song “Let it go” won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Since the movie came out, I’ve read two article which heavily criticized the movie. One for the overly sexual nature of the Snow Queen and the apparently homosexual propaganda of the relationships in the movie. I will address each criticism later. But first a short recap.
                The story opens with village men cutting the frozen river to make ice blocks, singing a work song which sets up the story: “Beware the frozen heart” and “Ice has a magic that can’t be controlled.” Inside the castle, younger sister, Anna, is wide awake and wakes up her older sister, Elsa. Elsa have magic powers to create ice and snow. Anna is able to get Elsa up and they play in a great hall, where Elsa makes a frozen wonderland. During their play, Elsa accidently hits Anna and their parents afraid of her growing powers, forcing Elsa to live isolated from everyone. “Do you want to build a snowman?” is a song which shows the continuing isolation of the Elsa and the loneliness of Anna as they grow up.
Elsa is now of age, which I assume is 18 years old but the film gives no indication of her age, and it’s her coronation day. With the excitement of the coronation and the open castle gates, Anna meets Hans, prince of the Southern Isles and they have a seemingly magical evening together. The song “Love is an open door” is sung as they fall in love. Hans proposes, Anna accepts and Anna presents their engagement to Elsa who become angry at the prospect of more people in the castle. The sisters have an argument and Elsa can’t control her powers as it seems they grow with fear and anger. She runs away as they are revealed and imparts fear into the people.
                Elsa runs high into the mountains while singing “Let it go” as she creates her ice castle and becomes the Snow Queen. Elsa’s power has grown so great the she has created an eternal winter. Anna, feeling guilty, decides to go after her and leaves Hans in charge. Anna employs the help of Kristoff and his pet reindeer, Sven, to go to the North Mountain where Elsa has set up her castle. Along the way, they met Olaf, a magic snowman who Elsa created with Anna as children and recreated when return the land to summer. Elsa hits Anna in the heart with ice magic and creates an ice monster to chase them off the mountain. Kristoff takes Anna to the magical trolls to heal from the magic hit and the troll tells them that only true love can undo the magic. They assumed that Hans is Anna’s true love and they rush to get there soon. When Anna arrives back at the castle, Hans shows his true colors and leaves Anna to die and goes after Elsa. Hans attacks Elsa just as Anna steps between them, turning into ice and breaking the sword. Elsa falls to the ground in grief. Anna begins to thaw and the sisters embrace and that’s when Elsa realizes how she can control her powers with love.

                The first criticism of “Frozen” was Elsa’s transformation into the Snow Queen. As the Snow Queen, Elsa is sexier and more womanly

My response is every little girl becomes a woman. Ignoring that fact does not change it. Little girls need to stay little girls for as long as possible; however, eventually they will grow up and if I assumed Elsa’s age correctly, she’s 18. She’s no longer a child. She’s a woman and deserves to look like a woman.
                The second criticism of “Frozen” was famously posted in the blog “A Well Behaved Mormon Woman” by Kathryn Skaggs. Her claim is that “Frozen” is filled with pro-gay propaganda and that even Elsa is a lesbian. There were NO homosexual themes in this movie. Anna’s curse broke because of true love. The head troll, Pappie, said, “Only true love can thaw a frozen heart.” Not true love’s kiss, but true love. Why not the true love of sisters? John 15:13 says “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” And that’s what Anna does when she steps between the sword and Elsa, she laid down her life for her sister. Mrs. Skaggs’ other criticism was that since Elsa was not “boy crazy” like her sister, she must be a lesbian. Not being “boy crazy” doesn’t mean that Elsa’s automatically a lesbian. Her parents instilled in her fear of her powers, fear of hurting others. So Elsa closes herself off from others. She couldn’t allow herself to get close to anyone.
                “Frozen” is going to be counted among the beloved Disney movies. I enjoyed this movie very much and look forward to seeing for years to come with my children. I love the song “Let it go.” It’s a great about being freed from whatever may have been holding you in prison. It’s being free from stress and fear. I particularly like the line “It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small.” I don’t see any basis for any of the criticisms of this movie. My only suggestion to those critics is: if you think Disney is corrupting the youth, don’t let your children see it. Don’t buy movie tickets, don’t buy the merchandise.