June 07, 2014

"Let It Go" in Frozen

Beyond the whitewashing in Frozen, I'm a bit confused about the movie's theme. I discussed it with a few Facebook friends:

So Elsa's big moment in Frozen is singing Let It Go. She's no longer afraid of anyone or anything. To prove it, she'll continue to hide away from everyone, alone in her ice palace, like Beast in Beauty and the Beast.

Great messaging, Disney! Let go of the past, and continue to hide like the monster you are, exactly as you did in the past.

Good thing she's no longer afraid of people. Because I'd hate to see what she'd do if she were afraid.

I'd say the plot was a hot mess, but it's more like a cold mess. For instance, Elsa has plunged the kingdom into winter. People are trying to save her or kill her...but no one has a clue how to undo the deep freeze.

Maybe killing her is the solution. Maybe not. The point is that no one knows, but they're acting as if they do.

But the humor is a lot of fun, and the rock version of Let It Go is nice. I give Frozen a weak 8.0 for the usual animation magic.I interpreted that moment very differently. Her parents had told her not to feel. She had tried to suppress her emotion. But that was impossible. Once she expressed herself, she felt free. She was glad to be able to let her emotions go and be herself.She let her emotions go for the duration of the song, yes. Then it was back to "conceal, don't feel."

What is Elsa's plan?

One Frozen article said the screenwriters came up with the idea of making Elsa and Anna sisters after years of development. I can believe that. It seems like an artificial and ill-considered choice, not something integral to the story.

Frozen: Two princesses, a wonderfully daft snowman, a loyal and adventurous reindeer—and yet, something’s missing …

Reasons Why I’m Not Supporting Disney’s Frozen

My advice: Go back to your earlier ideas. Even an evil snow queen might've worked better.

I read a few reviews in search of a good analysis. I didn't find one.

Most of them glided over the plot without discussing the psycho-social dynamics. Not to mention comparing these dynamics with those in the original story.

A psychologist with feminist leanings could have a field day taking this movie apart. It merits a college paper at least, if not a dissertation.

I think the same article said the screenwriters came up with Let It Go after coming up with the sister idea. Which figures, since the song doesn't fit. Its message:

"I've run away and hid myself because I'm a monster. I'm going to 'let it go' and finally become my true self. Then I'll continue to hide myself because I'm a monster."

After reading about 10,000 comic books, I think I know what happens when you "let it go" and embrace your powers. You return to society to confront those who doubted you. You become a hero to prove them wrong, or a villain to get revenge on them.

What you don't do is continue to hide because you're afraid, exactly as before. What is Elsa's plan after building herself a gorgeous ice palace? Is she gonna twiddle her thumbs and watch the ice melt for the next 50-60 years? Ridiculous.Don't forget the fact that she ran away and hid in a newly created hairstyle, dress, and high heels which are spectacularly unsuited for walking through her ice castle. Let It Go=I'm hiding and sulking, but Nyah Nyah, I look fabulous, so there.Right. We could go into several levels of analysis on just the "let it go" moment. Like what's the point of the palace, dress, hair, etc. when she's alone?

Is staring at herself in the mirror for 50-60 years enough to satisfy her? Then she's incredibly vain. Does it prove she's not a monster after all? Then she's incredibly deluded because no one can see her transformation.

She's built a palace to show off but refuses visitors, including her beloved sister. How is this different from a crazy person who finger-paints fictional worlds on the wall that no one else can comprehend? "I'm happy in my magic castle that no one else can see"...does that sound healthy?

What's next, since she's obviously still afraid of herself? Does she cut off her "offending" hands so she can't shoot ice rays anymore? Or does she just throw herself off a cliff?

I'd call mental services...stat. Her delusions of grandeur could quickly turn to manic depression and rage. Like, "If they think I'm a monster, I'll show them what a monster does!"Thank you. Yes. Write a piece on it. Feminist psychologist or not.This is it!

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

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