I mean it. If you haven’t seen Disney’s Frozen yet (shame on you), then stop reading this post and go watch it. Or at least go listen to the soundtrack. By the way, please excuse my extreme fan-girling over the music…I am the musician half of this writer team, after all.
Frozen is loosely based upon Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale entitled “The Snow Queen.” The movie begins with a truly haunting song (“Frozen Heart“) that acts as a premonition of sorts, referring to Elsa’s cryokinetic powers that occur later. The four main characters and the songwriters are all Broadway veterans (including Idina Menzel from Wicked), which guarantees at least a powerhouse soundtrack, if nothing else. However, Frozen captured Marie’s and my attention for a number of other reasons:
1. Character names
The genius writer team recreated Hans Christian Anderson’s name in three of the characters’ names: Hans, Kristoff, and Anna. How cool is that? What a neat way to pay homage to the original author of the story! Plus, out of curiosity, I looked up the name of the other main character, Queen Elsa. One of the meanings of her name is “noble”, which fits her perfectly.
Speaking of the newly crowned queen of sass, can we just take a moment and appreciate how amazing Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) is? As if her solo song “Let it Go” isn’t enough to make you absolutely fall in love with her, her complicated character angst should do the trick. She reminded Marie and I a lot of the character we’re currently developing, so of course she struck a chord (literally) with us.
3. Prince Hans
Can anybody say “best Disney villain ever”? Ok, maybe not…it’s hard to beat Scar or Frollo or Gaston. But he’s definitely up there with the best. From playing with the heart of Princess Anna to taking over the kingdom of Arendelle, Hans has got some serious villain flair going on. But more on him and his deviousness later.
4. Sister love!
Disney finally got around to having some princesses who are not only children. And it’s about time. The broken relationship between Anna and Elsa is the driving force of the story. (“Do You Want to Build a Snowman“…need I go any further?) When they reconciled at the end, it almost brought tears to my eyes (which, considering that I laugh at most tear-jerking scenes in movies, is saying something).
5. True love
Okay, so I’m not a fan of “true love” as it’s portrayed in movies. I totally concur with Elsa’s opinion of the matter: “You can’t marry a man you just met.” *looking at you, Snow White, Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella* While “Love Is an Open Door” is a simply ADORABLE song, it’s not representative of real life.
However, for the first time in forever (sorry, couldn’t resist), Disney has shown the true meaning of love in one of its movies. True love isn’t about romantic feelings–though they often accompany it–as Anna found out the hard way when she learned of Hans’ deception. True love is shown when you but someone else’s needs before your own, like Olaf the snowman did when he risked melting in starting the fire for Anna, or when Kristoff disregarded his own safety to try and save Anna from freezing to death, or when Anna gave up the chance to be healed of her curse and threw herself in front of Hans’ sword to save Elsa from being killed. For once, true love has been portrayed correctly, and it’s about time.
Anyway, this is why Frozen became an instant favorite with Marie and me. What did you think of it?