Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Disney's Frozen

Frozen. It seems to be the movie of the year, at least in every child's mind, which means it infiltrates the lives of all the adults of the world as well. I was so excited when I realized this movie was about the ice queen, which was basically when I was seated in the movie theater watching it for the first time. I am a lover of fairy tales, and the ice queen fascinates me. I absolutely love that this movie's theme that tops all others (for me at least) is sisterly love and loyalty. What a great value to instill within families! Anna stood by her sister no matter what, stuck up for her no matter who was against her (was there anyone that wasn't against her?), and tried her very hardest to help her sister as best she could. That is 100% what family is about. That kind of love trumps all others and never seems to fade, even when Elsa refuses Anna's help, Anna is still there to save Elsa's life, without hesitation. Olaf was cute and funny, comic relief amidst the serious undertones of the film. Kristoff was my favorite character in the film. Lonely, sarcastic, quirky. I mean, he talks for his reindeer, how do you not love that? He did not, however, beat my love for Flynn Rider, my all time favorite male Disney character from their animated films.  Kristoff did come in very close though! All of these things, along with the fun songs (that I have heard on repeat in my house for the past several weeks) is what makes this movie great for me. Now, even though I have all of these wonderful things to say about the film, there is a lot about this movie that bothers me. First off, I just cannot wrap my head around how this movie has taken off to such heights as it has, when compared to Disney's other animated movies released in the past several years. How is this movie better than Tangled? For me, there is a lot wrong with this movie that bothers me that seems to be overlooked by so many. Here it goes:

How in the world does Anna and Elsa's parents handle Elsa's situation so terribly? I utterly despise books and movies specifically for young ones that display poor parenting, but the poor parenting is never truly addressed and labeled as poor parenting. For me, this gives a terrible message to children that are living in real situations that are similar. Elsa was told to conceal herself and not to feel? She was isolated from the world as a solution? How is this very very wrong message to young ones not more bluntly stated to be wrong, at some point in the movie? I know, I get one of the overall themes is that Elsa learns to be herself, but the opposite message in the beginning was from her parents. That is hard to internalize and take in as a young child, and the theme to be yourself mixed with the conflict of the lessons from her parents is very tough for me to accept. I think they could have worked that out a little better. Now onto Anna. What?! I get they isolated Elsa because they simply didn't know what else to do for her, but Anna? Everyone in the castle left little Anna singing at Elsa's door, begging for her sister's company, all without a word of explanation or comfort? She grew up singing to paintings and forgetting that the castle doors even opened. How does this happen in a home with two parents that are loving? That is my problem. Disney displays their parents as being loving parents, nothing to the contrary, but they handle this situation so terribly, it is really sad how deeply it messes up Elsa, Anna, and even their relationship to each other and the world. I know you may be thinking, but it is an animated movie that isn't suppose to be so seriously taken. I get that, and often times I am saying that same response to others. However, for me this film is a bit different. For example, if you look at Tangled. Her parents are loving, missing her and never stopping their search. She is kidnapped (wow, heavy topic for kids) by Mother Gothel, who treats her even more terrible than anything I've mentioned. BUT, we know. The message is clear. She is evil. She stole Rapunzel from her nice warm bed. She keeps her locked in a tower. She isolates Rapunzel from the world and uses her magic for her own selfish purposes. To me, her role as an adult is clear, and we as the viewer know this. There is no qualms about it. But when we look at Frozen, Anna and Elsa's parents love them, and what they do for them is out of love, clearly, but sometimes what people do out of love is not right, and for me, that needs to be distinguished for young ones. Not all the little boys and girls watching this film have loving parents, and not all of them that have loving parents do what is right. I think the clarity of this message is vital for children to understand what is right and wrong when it comes to treatment by an adult, and once it is internalized and understood, can sometimes help those children in need to seek out help from another adult. Deep for a Disney movie, I know, but things like this mean something in the world of children, and can be pretty important sometimes. Parents, please make sure you express to your children how and why the parents in Frozen did not handle the situation correctly, especially the very young ones.
Aside from that main issue that I dislike (a lot) about Frozen, the only other major thing that doesn't settle with me is Hans. Even watching the movie again and again, knowing he is not nice from the start, I just don't find him a believable character. His niceness looks genuine, until all of a sudden, he is not. I just don't buy it. I have a problem with this, because I love the light hearted let's get married part in fairy tales, and I loved him and Anna for that. He sings with her, and they mesh so well together. The idea of him manipulating Anna so well, is kind of alarming for me, especially in a kids film. It is so creepy for me, I just can't take it in. Every time I watch this movie, I just don't get why they wrote Hans the way they did. Now that I have extensively detailed what bothers me about Frozen, all I have left to do is Let It Go!

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