Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Some People are Worth Melting For

Frozen (Children's | Fantasy) (2013)

"Some People are Worth Melting For"




     Disney has done something very special here. It created a movie as pure and true as snow. Under all of the scrutiny Disney has received for it's rather sexist and oppressive subliminal messages in it's original "Disney Princess" series of movies, Disney has really proven that they have caught on to what people are saying. Frozen is a wonderful start to a new series of Disney films that fill their audience with love and truly important messages for the youth, and even adults, of today. Frozen follows the story of two sisters discovering the importance of allowing others, and each other, into their lives. While the movie is covered in the fluffy powder of good messages and intentions, Frozen covers some serious issues that could chill you to the bone. It tackles, most importantly, the fear and hurt caused by isolation. It explores the importance of not just love, but acceptance of one another, something that is very much needed to be taught today.
     Each of the main characters in Frozen are born out of isolation. The main characters and sisters, Anna and Elsa, lose their parents as young teenagers. Before their death, however, her parents discover that Elsa has magical powers that allow her to freeze anything she wants, but she cannot control it. After Elsa accidentally hurts Anna, her parents keep Elsa in isolation so she can hopefully learn to control her powers. This, in turn, keeps Anna in isolation as well. Three years after their parents pass away, Elsa is to become the Queen of their town. After Elsa's powers of revealed the people of her town scrutinize her. The Duke of Weizleton calls her a monster and people run in fear of her. Elsa runs away from this hate and fear to once again live alone. Anna, who is seeing everyone in her kingdom for the first time ever, must also cope with meeting new people. She thinks she falls in love with one of the first men she meets, Prince Hans. Multiple times throughout the movie she is told, "You can't marry a man you just met!" (This in itself is another theme of the movie: You should always get to know someone before you fall in love with that person, kids!). We find out later that Hans betrays Anna and is, indeed, the "bad guy" of this film. What is interesting, though, is that Prince Hans is also born out of isolationism. He says that he has twelve older brothers and three of them actually pretended he was invisible for two years! The reason he leaves his home is because he wants to show his brothers that he does exist and is somebody by taking over another kingdom on his own, which is honestly a heartbreaking story in it's own. As Anna searches for Elsa, she comes across an ice picker, Kristoff, and his reindeer, Sven. Kristoff is a very interesting character developed by Disney. He is, I believe, the first ever romantic interest in a Disney movie that is not a prince, but an "average joe". Actually, if anything, he is somewhat crazy. He was an orphan raised by trolls who's only real friend is his reindeer. His life was even so isolated, that he actually talks for his reindeer and responds to himself. This is a strange move on Disney that could show their willingness to go a different direction. For one thing, this man is, by no means, a prince. For another, Disney movies typically feature animals that can talk, but no animal actually talks in Frozen. This just further shows the effects isolationism can have on somebody.
     Now, all of this does, indeed come together. Disney sets up all it's main characters in Frozen as lonely people, but they all come together, and when they do, it is truly magical. When these characters finally open themselves up and cross paths, they ultimately become happier than they have ever been. Elsa, most importantly, learns to accept herself and accept the fact that she is different, Anna learns the value of getting to know people for who they really are, and Kristoff learns to take charge of his life and do what his heart tells him. When these figures come together, the entire town they live in even becomes happier and better off. Disney is trying to argue the importance of letting people into your life and not shutting others out, which I believe they argue fully and strongly.
     Not only, though, do they explore the importance of opening your heart and self to others, but they show the importance of accepting each other, especially those who are different. Elsa, after her powers are revealed, is abandoned and disregard by the people she rules over. Only her sister tries to save her. Once she accepts herself, though, Elsa is able to proudly show her people who she is, and they instantly fall in love with her. Another interesting scene put in by Disney is specifically the acceptance of homosexuals, a huge topic today. In the scene where Anna enters the shop to get winter gear, the shop owner refers to his family in the sauna. There is a short shot of his kids, and possibly his husband, in the sauna. It is typically assumed and accepted by everyone that this man is, in fact, the shop owner's, husband. This could be Disney trying to make a more hidden point straight to the adults of today. They really want to show a real-world example of acceptance.
     Frozen absolutely deserves three director's cuts. For children, they tell a tale of opening yourself up, being yourself, and surrounding yourself with the love of friends and family rather than shutting yourself out and being alone. For adults, Disney makes a statement on the importance of accepting one another, even with those who's opinions and views we don't agree with. Frozen is a story for all audiences because it teaches highly important values of love and acceptance to everyone, and even to Disney itself.

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