So in the past 3 years of Tangled, Wreck-It-Ralph, and now Frozen, it seems Disney Animation has hit a high-mark in terms of creating psychologically complex characters and for the first time I found myself loving a Disney princess/queen character not for her positive traits, but for her negative traits. I immediately identified with Elsa’s self doubt, anxiety, desire for solitude partly out of wanting to avoid the stress of people and partly just for the sake of spending time with oneself. I love how both sisters in this movie are selfish, but in entirely different ways, one extroverted and one introverted and it’s explained in a very justified way why they’re like that.
Anna yearns for love, someone to talk to, someone to pay attention to her, but it’s understandable because for most of her life she’s had extremely limited contact outside her kingdom, the one person who she feels like is supposed to be her friend for life refuses to interact with her, and her parents’ death means she has no one left to confide in. So of course when a handsome stranger comes along and actively takes interest in her, how could she say no to him?
Elsa, on the other hand, teaches herself early on that she can’t afford to freely express herself and so has to cover herself, physically and emotionally. Of course it’s exhausting and she doesn’t want to come off as cold as she does, but she truly thinks this is the only way, because Anna is now the only one she has left and if she were to get carried away and her powers she’s still trying to understand got the best of her, she’d have no one.
Which leads back to how the sisters have two opposing views on love. In the beginning Anna has had no experience with romantic relationships and thinks love is all about obvious expressions, while Elsa through her own experiences believes love is protecting those you care for at the expense of your own happiness. By the end, they’ve reached a happy medium.
And now for my take on Prince Hans. Even if he isn’t one of the best Disney villains, he is by far one of the most realistic. With Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, he went through a degeneration from harmless narcissist to someone actively trying to destroy lives, yet from the start the audience knows they’re not supposed to like him. With Hans, they’re thrown everything to indicate they should. He’s charming! Kind to Anna! So concerned with the citizens! Sure he was hasty to propose to Anna, but maybe he was just as innocent as she was! How many stories have there been of the upstanding football player or credit to his fraternity with nothing but a bright future ahead of him who were later discovered doing horrible things? I’m actually quite glad Disney made Hans the villain he was so children can talk to their parents and understand at an early age some boys will be very annoying to girls, and some boys will know how to say kind words to girls and mean none of them.
In short, Frozen is a good movie, and if it only had prominent PoC characters, had Elsa be bi or lesbian, (or non-nuerotypical just to cement the fact that even without the ice powers she’s still different from the norm and that’s totally ok) and better songs toward the second half it would of been a damn near masterpiece.