This winter 2013, Walt Disney Pictures released its 53rd animated feature. It seemed to have all the makings of traditional Disney movie, beautiful princesses, a charming prince and singing all set in a far away fairytale land. But as it was released and my friends around me started watching it, I started hearing that this one had a twist, it was different. I was intrigued, being one of the many who grew up with Disney and its idea of true love. After seeing it, I want to tell you why I think Frozen is reshaping the dream of true love. Attention, if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want spoilers, don’t read this.
Of course, Disney has not moved away from many traditions such as having beautiful, skinny princesses and good looking princes. Here’s how the story goes. The king and queen live in a kingdom and have two daughters, Anna and Elsa. But one of their daughters, Elsa, has the ability to freeze things with her hands. The princesses are as close as sisters can be, and Elsa uses her magical abilities to play with her little sister. One night, things go wrong and Elsa accidentally strikes Anna with her power. Thanks to the help of trolls, the king and queen are able to save her, but at the cost of Anna having to forget about her older sister’s magical powers. Elsa, out of despair and fear of herself, locks herself up in her room and attempts to control her power. The King and Queen close the gates of the castle and limit their amount of employees. The plot thickens when the parents drown at sea while they are on a trip. Elsa and Anna only have each other, and when the day comes for Elsa to be coronated, things escalate.
Anna meets prince Hans of the Southern Isles, and as in all Disneys, they fall in love immediately. But as they go to ask for Elsa’s blessing, here’s when the first scene that makes this movie so unsual occurs. She does not give her blessing and pronounces a sentence that could make all other Disney princesses shiver: “You can’t marry someone you just met” This angers Anna and she upsets her sister to the point of her showing her powers to the rest of the castle and running away to the mountains. Everyone is afraid, but Anna insists that her sister would never hurt anyone and goes to find her, leaving the prince she just met in charge of her entire heritage (she obviously had no trust issues).
On her way to the mountains she meets Kristoff and his deer, Sven. After being forced, he decides to help her and during a conversation where she tells him she is going to marry someone she just met, he goes into complete shock. He quizzes her on how much she even knows the prince, which results in her not being able to answer. His shock continues even though they are attacked by wolfs, during which he doubts her judgment since she is willing to marry someone she just met. Disney clearly wanted to emphasize on how absurd it is to commit so fast, in fact going against nearly all of the old characters that only knew love at first sight before living happily ever after.
The confrotation with Elsa does not go well, and this time she accidentally strikes her little sister in the heart, a place the trolls can no longer fix, but only true love’s kiss can help. Here we are again with tradition, true love’s kiss will fix all. Anna is rushed back to the castle to kiss her prince, otherwise running the risk of becoming completely frozen. She is brought back, she sees her prince she explains the situation and as they are about to kiss and live happily ever after, the biggest twist appears. The prince stops midway and says an iconic sentence: “Oh Anna! If only there was someone who loved you” The evil disguise of the prince is revealed, being the youngest of many brothers, he could never hope to become king of his castle, so he had come in hopes of getting one of the princesses to marry him. Lesson for all to be learned out there, when you are naive, you pay the price.
Thankfully and with the help of one of the most amazing comical characters, the snow man Olaf brought to life by Elsa, she realises that Kristoff does love her. During this entire debacle, Elsa has been taken prisoner and her powers go through the roof. Kristoff having noticed through the weather how bad things are getting rushes back to the castle. Elsa escapes from her cell and is walking away from the castle on ice. Anna is walking on the same ice trying to get to Kristoff, who is himself also trying to get to her, but with the snow storm, they all cannot see each other. Prince Hans, prepared to kill Elsa, makes her think that Anna is dead. This moment of despair makes the snowstorm settle and Anna and Kristoff see each other. As he is running towards her, Anna notices Hans ready to kill Elsa, at the last moment she turns away from Kristoff and sacrifices herself for Elsa. This act, is an act of true love and saves Anna from staying frozen forever, thus true love redefined. The love between a man and woman is not the only love to be found in the world and you can find just equally as important love with family, and this is a very important message to give to children.
Of course all is well that ends well, Anna and Kristoff end up together, Elsa realises she can control her power through love and they all live happily ever after. It is a Disney after all.
Before finishing up, meet Olaf if you haven’t already: