Thawing the Frozen

Disclaimer: Don’t read this review if you haven’t seen the film and don’t want someone to describe it and ‘spoil it for you’

Olaf, featured snowman

Olaf, featured snowman

Okay. So it’s Olaf, Olaf, Olaf all the way. What a concept! A snowman who loves the summer. He’s charming, he’s funny, and deliciously oblivious to what happens to snow (and snowmen) when it gets warm. The moment was tuned with the finest comedy when Olaf is singing about summer, and comes to the line ‘In winter you cuddle, and summer I’d be [standing right in front of a puddle, making the audience say it in their minds]… a happy snowman! He can sing, he’s brave, he adores his carrot nose, is behind Anna all the way; everything you’d hope from a snowman.

I love Kristoff’s character, the man who knows his boundaries, who knows respect and honor. He knows when to let go, when to rush back, and when to stand at a distance watchfully. I love that his family are rocks (okay, rocky trolls). Since I ADORE rocks, being a rock climber, I take that very seriously, and agree wholeheartedly.

Queen Elsa's Ice Palace

Queen Elsa’s Ice Palace

Disney took Hans Christian Anderson’s the Snow Queen, and did what only animation can do: bring the glory of ice to life. They employed a snowflake program to develop 2,000 snowflakes used variously in the movie, including Queen Elsa’s palace stunningly constructed out of ice. Speaking of, did you know, each snowflake in nature is unique? All the billions of trillions of snowflakes – in an irrefutable testament to plenitude and creativity of the earth – are all hexagonally unique. The landscapes master animation Michael Giaimo constructed, were derived mostly from Norway, and soared the imagination to such an extent that audiences worldwide dared to see this movie in the winter without freezing from the viewing alone.

Breathtaking Norwegian landscape

Breathtaking Norwegian landscape

I appreciated the aberration from the assumption that true love has to be romantic, and it has to be between a man and a woman. Princess Anna’s gesture of true love in protecting her sister’s life by giving her own, drove several points home through Queen Anna’s heart. She had believed she was cursed (indeed, she could hurt, it came easily to her), and she also believed that that was the only thing she knew how to do. Being aware that she could hurt, she did her best to shut herself off from others, warn them to stay away from her (or they’d get hurt, it was for their own good). Given that knowledge about herself, she was right in wanting to protect others from herself.

I have seen this before; I have personally been there before. When people warn you to stay away from them, they do mean well, and you’d do well to listen (or you get wounded in the heart, like Princess Anna was). In staying away, they try and contain the damage to others.

Queen Elsa and Princess Anna

Queen Elsa and Princess Anna

But there is a way. Which is why the film is called ‘Frozen’ and not the ‘Snow Queen’. Its about the freezing of the being/ soul, and the thawing, breathing, being that can be achieved, although I don’t think it can be conquered with love alone. You need specific skills to allow the person to behave differently.

A lot of people amongst us, know that curse within us. We believe that’s the only way we can act, and we believe we are not lovable consequently. There are ways to get beyond that, and find yourself. You really aren’t awful. You really aren’t as bad as you thought you were. For Queen Anna, it was love. For me, its been somatic therapy. For you, it may be something else. But there is always a way.

Disney’s had a somewhat chequered past. Having been known as the company that ruined stories – having changed the storyline of Aladdin and Pocahontas to the consternation of purists and historians. Its latest Big Hero 6 was cute. With Frozen, ethically, in imagery and animation, it has surpassed itself. I wasn’t able to find anything wrong about this film. But everything was right. Just right. Incredibly, magically right.

Disney, thank you. You did Walt Disney proud.

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