absent parent syndrome, aps, c.s. lewis, characters, controversy, courageous, creativity, disney, frozen, morality, oocs, out of character syndrome, spontaneous expedient character defamation syndrome, star wars, story dynamics, veggietales, writing
In which Erin delivers her totally-not-offensive run-down of the hit movie…
Okay, I fibbed. This will probably be offensive, though it’s not intended to be. It just depends on how the readers take it. (Please don’t be offended, readers mine. I’m just trying to be totally honest with you.)
A couple of weeks ago, I saw Disney’s hit movie Frozen. Those of you who are fairly conversant with me will remember how I said that I was very upset because I missed out on the “experience” of Frozen, per se; I had received so many spoilers (from generally well-meaning quarters, but also from trolls [not the small round rolling love experts, but the mean Internet entities,]) that by the time I saw the movie, there was nothing left to spoil. Sure, the movie was a good movie, but I would have enjoyed it a whole chunk more if I hadn’t had it spoiled for me.
That much said, even though I love a few things about the movie, there were a few things that bother me. But just to be polite, I’ll mention the things I loved about Frozen first.
- It’s about two sisters, their relationship, and family.
- It involves the sisters becoming closer and their familial bonds becoming tighter (though not quite a la Courageous, which by the way is a fantastic movie and you should REALLY SEE IT if you get the chance!)
- It’s the first Disney movie to be honest about early mornings. (Check out Anna’s bed-head!)
- It’s the first Disney movie to give young women the message that the first guy to catch their eye may not always be Mr. Right.
- Eight words: “You can’t just marry someone you just met!”
“Wait, what?!” Disney’s actually telling someone to wait for the banns?! *LE GASP!*
- Anna actually believes in true love. (You’d be surprised how many Disney “heroines” say they do, but their actions say otherwise…) And FYI, true love is not love at first sight. It’s the kind of love that grows on you, that steps forward and says “I love this person even though they are horrible and egotistic and snappy in the mornings” and sends you swooning to the floor and sweeps you off your feet. It’s the sort of love that is a decision that becomes a miracle. It doesn’t have to be between spouses or lovers. Siblings can find it too. To quote the Veggietales (which is TOTALLY more quotable than Disney!) movie Duke and the Great Pie War, “True love’s the kind of love that puts others first.” (I love Duke and the Great Pie War too–not only was it the story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz with the spotlight on Boaz, which we don’t really see that much, but it had a story featuring baby Moses and ten-year-old Miriam back to back with it. Pure gold.)
- Though Anna and Elsa have their falling-outs, they still make up in the end. (It was fear, not anger, that drove Elsa away.)
- Anna is the true hero of Frozen. Let me say that again: Anna is the true hero of Frozen.
When I heard the songs from the movie (completely out of context), Elsa sounded like a selfish, pettish little pest, while Anna sounded like the naive, sweet person (the classic Disney princess stereotype.) And when I saw the movie, I could identify with Elsa’s angst, but I completely fell in love with Anna. Though it was hard to respect her when she fell in love with Hans, her off-balance moments and spunky, eager, cheerful demeanor more than made up for that. (Get the idea I love Anna much?) Also, Anna is a Christ figure. Like Christ, she has to suffer for her sister’s sins even though she is entirely innocent (except if you want to blame her for being deceived by Hans, who is a much better actor than even Palpatine, really, so you people who love Anakin Skywalker and want to make excuses for him… YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE if you hate Anna over her naivety.) Also like Christ, she ends up saving her sister’s life, upon which Elsa, like Peter, begins to sob… over her “denial” of Anna and their wasted time. Sorry, Elsa. Your ice powers may be visually stunning, but your kid sister TOTALLY has you beat on this count.
Now for the things I didn’t like.
- Absent parents/parents with bad philosophy. Why does Disney (all of popular culture, in fact) have this vicious tendency to pick on parents?! GAH. They deserve our respect for what they do for us! This is just so annoying.
- Teenaged rebel princesses. BOTH of them. (Not only historically inaccurate, but
- Also, there is the fact that there may be a more insidious message to the absent/bad parenthood dynamic. “Conceal, don’t feel”? This sounds eerily similar to the statements anti-Christian propaganda attributes (often falsely) to Christianity. (Yes, I called it propaganda. Live with it.) People think that Christians want to tie people down, to force down their “natural impulses” and live a perverted, repressed life. No. That is not what Christianity is at all. Read C.S. Lewis, for heaven’s sake! He argues it totally better than I ever could. Moving on…
- Song lyrics.
GAH. This is the number one thing that disturbs me about this movie.While I loved “Frozen Heart” (OHMYGOODNESS IT JUST FORESHADOWED THE WHOLE MOVIE IN ONE SONG I LOVE YOU BRILLIANT WRITERS!!!), and the sweetness of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and the adorable “In Summer” (and Olaf was a marvelous foil without being ridiculous, by the way! Also, he was more than just a plot device! He made a place for himself, and he is the sweetest thing!), “Let it Go”, which is probably the one most popular song from the film, had a part that had me torn between being disturbed and feeling sick. Here it is:
that perfect girl is gone
No right, no wrong, no rules for me; I’m free!
- SINCE WHEN DOES DISNEY CHANNEL JOHN LENNON?! (yes, I am aware of the pun. *pokes Disney Channel with a stick* die, you…)
- Does anyone else see the problem with this? Apparently, it’s a bad thing to try to be perfect (though having a “perfect image” is, actually, a problem, in my opinion), rules are also bad, and the second line just reeks of moral relativism. (Yes, I do have a problem with that! There is absolute right and wrong!)
Poor Disney. They have the same problem with lyrics and/or lines that Revenge of the Sith did: “Only a Sith deals in absolutes”? There’s a cringe-worthy rhetorical trap right there, and it totally ripped-off Obi-Wan, whose tenure as a Jedi and a character was otherwise absolutely shining. Of course Obi-Wan Kenobi believes in absolute right and wrong! Look at his actions, for the love of the Force!!! He has been wronged too many times in his life to believe that there is no such thing as moral absolutes (since he doesn’t have the throw-up-your-hands victim mentality that would be the only other option in this, I believe that this is safe to assume.) Seriously, Star Wars would be better served if we clipped this line entirely and put subtitles on it instead, claimed the audio was broken, and attributed that what Obi-Wan really said was “I am not your enemy, Anakin.” That speaks better to both the audience and the character. (In fact, when I eventually do see the movie, I will be mentally substituting that for the sickening rhetorical and out-of-character trap that we see above.) The line that was used can’t help but jar, and it ruins the pacing of the scene, making Obi-Wan seem to preach when it seems more in line for him to say something personal which brings a moral conclusion (leading by example, anyone?) to the character as well.
(Most fans agree–sometimes Lucas doesn’t really know what’s best for the franchise.)
Okay, there’s my rants on why Frozen (and Star Wars too) is flawed. Please don’t send me hate mail for ruining your childhood fantasy/favorite movie for you. (MWAHAHAHA–ahem. 😛 )
Thanks for reading, have a great day, and may God bless you! 🙂