Cross Posted from my Blog http://clockworkfeathers.blogspot.com
First of all, SPOILER ALERT! I’m going to talk about major plot points in the new Disney animated movie. If you don’t want to know, STOP READING NOW!
I went to go see the new Disney movie “Frozen” the weekend after Thanksgiving with a dear friend. I was expecting an “okay” movie, but I was surprised at how much I ended up liking it even though there were so many things about the movie that should have annoyed the heck out of me, like the obvious piece of merchandising genius of having two princesses in one movie instead of just one, the ewok like trolls, the butchering of a classic folk tale, and Olaf the fraking talking snowman with all the cliches that came with it!
And then it struck me. “Frozen” was, at its core, a story about coming out of the closet and being accepted, which is something that probably all of us can relate to. If you don’t understand where I’m coming from go watch Ash Beckham’s TED talk at http://youtu.be/kSR4xuU07sc where she talks about there being many different closets. Elsa’s ordeal in dealing with something that is an integral part of her being fits into the description of a closet to a T.
In the beginning, when Elsa’s parents take her to see the trolls after she accidentally injured her sister Anna with her “powers,” the Troll elder asks her parents if she was “cursed or born with” it, to which her father replies that she was born with it. After this point, Elsa is given the advice “don’t let them in, don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.”
Then, there is my absolute favorite sequence in the film. After an accidental outburst at her coronation, the now Queen Elsa flees her kingdom in a self imposed exile. When she reaches the top of a remote mountain, she sings the song “Let it Go.” It starts out as a bit of self-pitying reflection, but then changes into a joyous chorus of relief where she is free to be her true self. “It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small, and the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all. It’s time to see what I can do; To test the limits and break through. No right, no wrong, no rules for me; I’m free.” As she’s singing, she’s reveling in her freedom at being able to freely express what she’s been suppressing for years, and we in the audience see that it’s a beautiful thing. I loved how she seemed to be truly happy again in that sequence even after everything that had just happened.
Finally, in the end, when the “act of true love” turns out to be Anna sacrificing herself to save Elsa as she’s being scorned and hunted by everyone in the kingdom, I’m an emotional wreck! Because that act is essentially an act of acceptance, which is what anyone who has ever had to have a “coming out” moment wishes for, but doesn’t dare expect.
So, mad props to Disney for writing a story about a really tough theme that is so relevant in our time and that so many people can relate to. As Ash Beckham says, “hard is not relative, hard is hard… There is no harder, there is just hard… no matter what your walls are made of, closets are no place to live.”
That feeling when shopping dread is interrupted by the realization you’re making gifts and don’t need to shop.