Princesses Elsa and Anna are sisters, but Elsa possesses a power which her younger sibling doesn’t; she can magically create ice and snow. When Elsa accidentally strikes Anna in the head with an ice-bolt, benevolent trolls are able to undo the damage. But their cure comes with a warning that a strike to the heart would have been more difficult to rectify. The princesses’ parents are not prepared to take that risk and so they shut Elsa away until she can learn to contain her destructive impulses. Years later, when Anna incurs her sister’s wrath, Queen Elsa unleashes a perpetual winter and flees from her palace. Setting off on the quest to find Elsa, Anna is joined by Olaf the snowman and Kristoff the ice-cutter, with his reindeer side-kick, Sven. When they finally encounter Elsa in her frozen palace, the ensuing confrontation leaves Anna with an icy wound in the heart; only an act of true love can save her from a glacial demise.
‘Frozen’ is captivating to watch; the special effects as snowflakes materialise, icicles appear and crackling ice sheets form are all beautiful, the screen glitters with silver, blue and turquoise. The soundtrack is uplifting, in particular the ‘air-grabbing’ opportunities offered by Idina Menzel’s powerful ballad ‘Let it Go‘. The characters are all beautiful, there is action and humour. ‘Frozen’ champions the concepts of family bonds and sisterly love. As the eldest of two girls, I know that I would certainly go to any lengths to protect my younger sister, and although we both have romantic love in our lives, our sibling relationship is a constant on which we both rely.
But…but, something niggled about me whilst I was watching ‘Frozen’ and it took me overnight to crystallize my concern. It was this; I was uncomfortable with the notion that Elsa, a beautiful woman, has some power inside her that can harm other people, and the only antidote to this is for her to build an emotional barricade to keep others out, lest she cause irreversible damage. What this power might be is unclear to me; sexuality, beauty, deception? My family has reminded me that ‘it’s only a film’ but these productions, with their associated marketing and merchandise, have a huge influence. The subliminal messages are just that, they are insidious, creeping under the radar. Films such as ‘Frozen’ have enormous power and with that comes responsibility; little girls all over the world will be aspiring to be Elsa and Anna; they may not need a man to save them, but they have been introduced to the concept of keeping people out in order to protect them from danger.
Frozen ranks as the highest-grossing animated film of all time, which is a liberating situation for an amateur blogger, because no-one is actually going to give a brass monkeys what I think, as the film’s success has already spoken for itself. To my mind though, emotional isolation is just not cool.