With Disney announcing the new addition of “Frozen” in their Norway Pavilion at Epcot, news editor Rachel K. writes about why the movie is really just over-hyped.
Every time someone hails “Frozen” as the best Disney movie ever made, I am tempted to ask, ‘On what bases?’
Part of the reason why “Frozen” has garnered so much media attention is that it supposedly teaches young girls that marrying men they have just met can be potentially dangerous. Frozen fans support this idea by pointing out the scene where Elsa opposes Anna’s decision to marry Hans, whom Anna met for a day.
The audience, however, is just falsely led to believe that Anna has learnt this lesson. In reality, after Anna finds out that Hans is actually an ambitious power-obsessed freak, she again falls in love with someone else she barely meets for a day. Except this time, she claims her true love to be a mountain man who sells ice as a living. Nice try, Disney. You almost tried to convince me that Kristoff is more reliable just because he talks to his moose and was raised by trolls.
I also got confused with people’s claims that Frozen somehow advocated feminism. Yes, it was a story of two sisters. But all throughout the movie, I found myself asking: where is the female autonomy? Where is the sense of empowerment and liberation from the typical disney representation of women?
Anna’s primary life goal, besides reuniting with Elsa, is to find romantic love. She explicitly and repeatedly states this in her songs, “For the First Time in Forever” and “Love is an Open Door”. What is she going to do after the movie, when she achieves these two goals? She also shows her severe lack of forethought and dependence on Kristoff when she decides to wander into the ice-covered mountains without any preparation.
Elsa wasn’t any better. Instead of being portrayed as a competent ruler able of implementing her power in a constructive way, she is represented as an emotionally unstable protagonist unable to control her own overwhelming powers. That does not sound like a charismatic female monarch.
And of course, I can’t write about Frozen without some mention of, “Let it go”. It apparently tells kids to love themselves for who they are, instead of being told what they should be. I unfortunately didn’t catch that message, but instead heard Elsa encouraging young girls to run away from reality and isolate themselves in places far away from home. Let it go! Who cares about responsibilities? Be yourself! Freeze the whole town over with your superpowers and let a giant marshmallow get rid of everyone who approaches your ice castle!
Frozen was a decent children’s movie. But was it worth a box office of 1.2 billion US dollars and the title of the best Disney movie ever? I don’t think so. It was at best a good Disney princess movie with pretty graphics, but not the most compelling movie that is to be remembered for decades to come.