Disney’s Frozen and Hyper-Sensitivity
If, for some ridiculous you haven’t gone and seen “Frozen” yet, leave the website and go see the movie! …Then come back.
About a week ago, fellow Fangirl Kizer (kizerezik) and I went to go see “Frozen.” We both enjoyed it quite a bit, Kizer even commenting on getting chills during the song “Let it Go.” (Yeah, it was that good.) Then, almost two weeks later, we done seen it again, this time watching for technical details and listening more closely to the vocals, to see if Idina Menzel’s singing was as top-notch as I remember. It was… Almost. But the song and the performance were still moving and this isn’t a music blog.
SO! If I’m satisfied with the film, with the songs, with the characterization and the impressive resolution to the main conflict of the story, why am I writing a post about a movie which has been in theaters for over a month?
Well, this is why:
…Really? We’re gonna obsess over eyes and wrists, now? I mean, complain about her waist being unrealistically tiny, or the size of her head proportionate to her shoulders, something that better portrays the actual problem of too-thin depictions of women in the media, especially when geared towards younger and more impressionable girls, but… Wrists and eyes?
I mean, okay, there are some girls out there who really want scary big eyes, there are some girls in Japan and S. Korea (and, I’m sure, other places) who undergo surgeries to widen their eyes, that’s all very sad, yes, but is it really so pervasive a problem that we need to nitpick the matter with respect to a movie which has so much more gong for it when it comes to lessons learned and positive examples?
And, yeah, it’s true that the animators and designers work to exaggerate the differences between the sexes… But everything is exaggerated in cartoons. Exaggeration, squash and stretch, reactions, character design, all of this is kind of the foundation of the medium. Plus, do we not realise that not only do children see things more simply, but that they actually need things to be simplified much of the time? And, also… I mean, it is ultimately a movie made for children.
Instead, why don’t we ever focus on the positive?
In “Frozen,” completely contradictory to the classic Disney style, tertiary characters sing a song referring to the budding love interest and their characters as “fixer-uppers,” saying that everyone has their flaws, but those flaws are endearing, make us special, we shouldn’t let them blind us to what makes a person special, and that love is the most important thing in a relationship… And all of this after an initial musical number which is still entertaining and which pokes fun at the notion of love at first sight and instantaneous wedding proposals.
Before this, Elsa, the older of the two sisters, sings a song about how she’s much happier being herself, not limiting herself, and no longer letting fear of self-expression hinder her…
And she still ends up single at the end of the movie! Gasp! A strong female role model who, yes, has her issues, but strives to overcome them and returns to rule her kingdom, sans a bro at her side. And she’s a bad bitch when she’s got to defend herself!
Also, Holy Architecture, Batman! That castle?
And the end of the movie? Don’t even get me started! Long story short, some bad shit goes down and Anna is going to freeze solid (and, y’kmow, die) unless an act of true love saves her… And despite the presence of TWO love interests for her, she saves HERSELF!
And her sister! The love that saves the day isn’t the love at first sight she has with Hans or the budding love of Kristoff, not physical love, not even heterosexual love (so fuck taking animators exaggerating the differences between the senses personally)… None of those, but the love of her family, her love for her sister, and that is someone which we very rarely see in movies made for girls, especially Disney princess films.
Or how about the fact that the main villain is handsome? That we learn that not all villains are ugly and not all good looking people are nice. That sometimes relationships fall apart and that things aren’t always as they appear to be.
Oh, but the body issues! Let’s fixate on them! I mean, everybody in this movie is a model! Except for… Oh, well, these guys.
And this dude.
And, oh, look! Despite the fact that African noblewoman would be totally anachronistic, there are a handful of black guests at the coronation ball!
But damn, those wrists…
And not to sound like I’m defending a movie that’s flawless. There are things that one could legitimately complain about, like the fact that Anna and Elsa’s parents royally (pun not intended, but totally intended once I realised it was done) fucked up with separating the girls as children and isolating Elsa and scaring the absolute shit out oh her, even knowing that “Fear only makes it worse” and “Fear will be your enemy.” Or how about how Anna never gets those memories back?! That bothered the shit out of me! But people make mistakes! So, it’s totally believable that parents wouldn’t know what to do with one daughter who is freakishly powerful and has already proven herself a danger to the other daughter. And sometimes shit doesn’t get resolved, so Anna not getting those memories back? I guess it adds a little realism to a movie where big eyes and tiny wrists are apparently a big fucking deal.
So, yeah, bummer that the girls are super slender with big eyes and tiny wrists. Fine. But to slander (libel?) a film which has so much more going on that’s actually tremendously good for girls and women (and dudes, too) everywhere…
Well, I guess you just can’t please everyone.
Just most people without sticks up their respective asses.
Until next time, whether you enjoyed the movie or not, or even if you’re too caught up on the aesthetics to give the story a chance, I’m leaving you with the words of one of the wisest thinkers of any generation:
Until next time, nerds.
Posted on December 26, 2013, in Disney Movies, Opinion and tagged anna, body image, disney, disney princess, elsa, frozen, hans, idina menzel, kristen bell, kristoff, self rescuing princess, slate.com. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.