Social Issues

Disney’s “Frozen”

Disney-Frozen

I walked into the Disney store a month ago because the kids wanted to look at “Frozen” merchandise: Elsa and Anna dolls, a singing Olaf, dresses, wigs, and many more. I caught a glimpse of a sign that read, “Froze: Coming to DVD March 18.” Little Mermaid saw the sign as well. She turned to me and asked if we could buy the “DVuhD” as how she calls them.

“We’ll come back when it’s out,” I replied to her.

The store associate nearby heard me and said, “You can preorder the movie. If you preorder it, you’ll get lithograhs from the animation, while supplies last.”

Why not? I am planning on buying the DVuhD anyway. The movie stills will be a bonus.

“Frozen” has been on repeat since I picked it up from the mall Wednesday.

Let it Go

elsa-magic

Disney is doing a better job at redefining the role of a princess. It has been some process, but it is slowly changing. “Tangled,” “Brave,” and now “Frozen.” Merida (Brave) and Queen Elsa (Frozen) have to be my favorite Disney princess/queen by far.

“Frozen” is about two princesses, Elsa and Anna, who live in Arandelle. Elsa, is born with a power to turn things into ice and snow. One day Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her magic. From then on, Elsa isolates herself in fear of harming the ones she love. On the day of her coronation as Queen of Arandelle, Elsa inadvertently freezes her kingdom and vanishes into the mountains. Anna follows her to find a way to stop the eternal freeze. This is a story about finding oneself and the meaning of “true love.”

The film’s soundtrack is lovely. Our favorites are “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” “Let It Go,” and “In Summer.”

Queen Elsa sings “Let It Go” after she disappears into the mountains. This is when she embraces herself and her powers.

“Let It Go” is such an amazing song. There are two (US) versions: the pop version sung by Demi Lovato and the original ballad in the movie, sung by Idina Menzel. I do prefer the movie version over the pop version. And it seems many do as well, since it’s being played on the radio and it also won Best Original Song at the 86th Academy Awards.

Elsa and Miley Cyrus?

I stumbled onto an article on NPR a while ago about “Let It Go.”

Anne Powers, NPR Pop music critic, talks about Elsa and the song’s meaning. Powers stated that during the performance of “Let It Go,” Elsa “claims talent and decides that she’s going to be herself.” This song is about self-empowerment, said Powers. And I do agree. “Let It Go” is loved by many because of its theme of self-empowerment, self-love and acceptance. Elsa has been told to “conceal, don’t feel” for so long that when she freezes Arandelle and runs away, she embraces her talent and just let. it. go.

Powers continued on to say, “Every 10-year-old girl is coming out of her shell and coming into her own and she needs this kind of song to grab onto. And it’s really important that it not be overly sexual or sexy. These are girls who have been heartbroken by Miley Cyrus and her transformation. They need these kind of pure emotional songs.”

What?! How did Miley get dragged into this?

Yes, Miley is no longer Hannah Montana. The little Disney princess is gone. Miley has completely transformed herself into… well, you can guess… herself! Just like Elsa. Miley is embracing herself for who she is at the moment. How she changes in the future is completely up to her. If we are to compare Elsa and Miley, then they are very much alike. Elsa decides to let whatever it was holding her back go and be her true self. Miley did the same. She shed the Hannah Montana look and decides that she was going to be who she wants to be. Elsa transforms into a much sexier self—makeup, poofy hair, glittery blue dress with slit, and heels. Miley took off her clothes and swung on a wrecking ball.

But Elsa didn’t take off her clothes, twerk, or lick a hammer!

This is about the idea of change, self-empowerment, and self-acceptance, not about who is sexier or over-sexualized, or slut-shaming. That is another topic altogether.

My point is, when Powers mentioned Cyrus, all I could think about was, “But Miley is just being herself as is Elsa. What is wrong with that?” We cannot shame one who is on a journey to claim her identity and praise another for doing the same thing, even if the former is different from what we deem as “acceptable.”

“You can’t marry a man you just met.”

One of my favorite lines in the movie has to be when Elsa tells Anna that she can’t marry someone she just met. Anna responds with, “You can, if it’s true love.” And Anna fights for her true love, only to be betrayed and only to find out in the end that true love comes in many forms—in her case, true sisterly love. I like to believe that Disney is poking fun at themselves with Anna’s line because previous Disney princesses have found “true love” in someone they’ve just met—which we all know, doesn’t work in real life.

My second favorite line is when Kristoff exclaims to Anna, “You want to marry a man you just met?!” Even Kristoff knows it’s impossible to fall in love and marry someone you don’t know. Their funny conversation goes on with Kristoff questioning Anna to see how well she knows her “true love.”

I really didn’t expect much from “Frozen” because it is a Disney animation film. I didn’t want to be disappointed with the fantasy of true love, evil villains, or happily ever after. It just happened that one day in late November, early December (I forget), Mermaid just said we (kids included) were going to the movies and watching whatever’s playing that was suitable for children. And it turned out to be “Frozen.

“Frozen” is different from previous Disney princess movies. I have to give Disney some credit for making progress. Should I look forward to upcoming Disney princess movies? We shall see….

olaf-flower

My favorite “Let It Go” cover:

Best parody (I dedicate this to all the people who have to endure my children singing “Let It Go” nonstop: