Finally, a progressive princess movie that has caught up with the times.
I grew up watching Disney cartoons and while I love my 90s princesses, I have never thought about emulating them (except Belle, I mean who wouldn't want to be her after Beast gave her that library??? *chills*). My point is, even as a kid I already knew how lame these girls were. Weak damsels-in-distress, submissive little fools who only sang about finding their Prince Charming (Mulan's reflection might scowl in disapproval.. Pocahontas somberly nodding her head while painting with all the colors of the wind). Times have changed. Disney really needed a revamp. And with the increased rate in divorce, teenage elopement, and unplanned pregnancies, don't you think it's about time this generation sees a 21st-century princess? Seriously.
And that's why I love Frozen. (Sorry, I haven't watched Brave yet. *EDIT: I've watched Brave, and yes, it's also something about an independent female who refuses to bow down to society's expectations. And I love it. But it focuses more on the mother-daughter angle, while Frozen also has its own storyline.)
*review contains possible spoilers. Scroll way way down for a spoiler-free commentary.*
ANALYZING THE PRINCESSES.
First of all, can I say something crazy? Initially, I thought Elsa was gay. The movie is basically about her afraid to "come out" (either out of her room, or out for all of the people to see). Her parents (abusive in their own ways) practically locking her in her room to keep her away from her sister (that age-old concept that homosexuality is contagious. LOL), reminding her to "Be the good girl you always have to be" and that "The heart is not so easily changed, but the head can be persuaded" reeked of society's belief that if you scold/lecture/remind your kid to act "properly" as how a "normal" person has to act, then soon enough that person will be "cured" of whatever "disease" she has. She has been living in denial and fear, shamed all her life that what she possesses is something unnatural and unacceptable. She was shunned when her 'powers' were found out, been called a monster, etc. etc. She has lived in a world full of insecurities and self-doubt (instilled by her parents) and that's what she's trying to escape from. Oh and please don't get me started with the Let It Go song! LOL.
But then again I realize that Elsa symbolizes anyone who has ever felt a great sense of isolation. It could be introversion, inferiority, homosexuality, a mental disorder, a sickness, anything. Those who have ever been hidden by their own family, or forced to hide inside a closet of shame or a cloak of pretensions. That's why Elsa, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting Disney characters I've seen - also, one of the most under-utilized. A huge chunk of the movie was spent on her younger sister, Anna, and while I absolutely adored Kristen Bell's character, surely they could have balanced the plot & screen time between the two siblings?
The two girls are like a playful jab at everything Disney represented before. Anna was very outspoken, mischievous, forward (making the first move to a guy she likes), and she showed us how a "morning bed hair/face" really should be. =D
Elsa, on the other hand, represents an increasing number of females who think that finding their prince charming isn't the number one goal in their lives.. among other stuff. Oh how I laughed with glee when I saw this scene!
In short, Anna & Elsa are both representations of the modern-day woman. Oh and Disney doesn't stop there! Haha how very amusing. It turns out that Prince Hans, Anna's "prince charming" whom she got engaged to the very same day they met, isn't the guy she thought him to be. While others think that this twist is unnecessary, it emphasizes the sad reality that girls meet guys who aren't sugar, spice, & everything nice. Just because he seems perfect outside and you initially hit it off, it doesn't mean he's the love of your life and that you'll live happily ever after.
Lastly, and back to Elsa - again like a breath of fresh air, I'm so glad that they didn't decide to pair her off with a Prince Charming. I've read in some boards that one of the flaws of this movie is that they didn't give Elsa a man - a happily ever after. I was like, uhmm, did you even watch the entire film? The movie is about Elsa trying to escape a lifetime of self-doubt instilled by her parents and by society. It's her journey to self-acceptance. It's not about loving someone that will set you free, it's loving yourself first. Just because you don't get married to a man doesn't mean you're incomplete. Just because someone doesn't follow the same path you so routinely walk, it doesn't mean she's abnormal. We all have different paths to take. We're free to choose whatever road that sets us free. Elsa chose to love herself first. After spending her whole life loathing herself, I think she deserves that, my gosh. Can't you see how happy she was at the end of the film?
True love thaws the ice. True love, in every sense of the word, will save us from all our self-imposed "eternal ice" or demons. Loving ourselves, loving others, learning how to accept each other's nature is the key to a happily ever after. It's not about waiting for that day when your prince will come, it's about waiting for that moment you finally accept and love yourself completely. Then that's the time you can go look for someone to share your happiness with (and not look for happiness from someone). It's funny how shots of Elsa's hands are comparable to Ryan Gosling's hands in Only God Forgives - the way the shots give emphasis to them. While baby goose's hands symbolize his guilt or sins, Elsa's symbolizes her isolation - her disconnection to other people. At the end of the film, her hands weren't giving her any problem anymore, because she's free. And with her promising to never shut the castle gates again, it means her heart is now open & filled with love. And from there on, things will only blossom.
ENOUGH ANALYZING. LET'S FINALLY TALK ABOUT THE MOVIE.
(SPOILER-FREE MODE STARTS HERE)
I'm not saying this is the best Disney movie out there, it's not. Beauty and the Beast (and The Lion King O_O) still remains my all-time favorite, the greatest among the bunch, but Frozen is a classic in its own rights. Sure, Olaf (the snowman) looks weird, but also absolutely adorable!
The music is a mix of Broadway & mainstream pop - meant to be enjoyed and sing along with, but in my opinion, not that great as compared to the 90s films (but hey, maybe I'm just stuck in the past. lol.) Still, I enjoyed them, and maybe I just need to rewatch the movie to fully appreciate its OST.
It's also nice to see more interesting male characters. Love that guy in the store (whether he is gay or not is irrelevant - believe whatever you want to believe -, he's adorable. Though with that sweater, one is bound to be suspicious. haha.) And Kristoff (Not Christopher! LOL. Might have been named after Christophe Beck, the music guy.) is amusing. Manly, rough, and not afraid of empowered girls around him. That's my boy!
Sven, the reindeer is so huggable. I love him.
My Rating: 4/5 - It's safe to say that despite its flaws, Frozen still is a great Disney movie because not only it has two kick-ass female princesses and an amazing graphics, but it also teaches kids (and adults) that women don't generally need a man to survive (or be saved) - among other important moral lessons.
Disney is back with an icy bang. And on that note, let me get back to my fortress so I can build a snowman.
YOUR POINT OF VIEW: Your thoughts on this one?
check out HISHE'S Frozen parody HOW IT SHOULD HAVE ENDED (Frozen)!
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