This post has been two months in consideration. And it comes on the heels of one of those times that I'm grateful to be the only gal in the house. The buzz about Frozen has reached such epic proportions that the girls in all grades throughout my sons' elementary school have been asked, repeatedly, to not sing "Let It Go" quite so frequently. The boys counter as often as they can with "Everything is Awesome" (equally irritating in my opinion), but it's not taken (strangle)hold like Elsa's crooning ode on self-liberation. And really, Frozen?? A not-so-subtle allusion to historically blaming shit on women's frigidty?? Can.we.get.over.this?! I took the boys to see the flick on President's Day, a school holiday. We spent the morning at a local shelter packing up meals that would be delivered throughout city parks that night; after our own lunch, I thought a movie would be fun, and Frozen was the film du jour to be sure. At the time, my most recently seen Disney-does-heroine film was Brave which I thought was absolutely terrific. In that movie, the forge-her-own-path princess was Merida, a headstrong, red-maned Scottish lass with serious talents for archery and horseback riding.
I found Merida infinitely more relatable, likeable and appealing than both Elsa and Anna of Frozen. Both snub-nosed, Anna was overly perky while Elsa was overly distraught. They constituted the black and white of any argument, and no one fell into the gray in-between which is where the truth almost always resides. Olaf was a kick in the pants (thank you Josh Gad of Book of Mormon, you are brilliant), but really, he was the only touch of originality and freshness in the otherwise cold tundra of a film, and I hardly find a song that starts, "Do you want to build a snowman?" overly moving. It's not like it was the Forrest Gump soundtrack, people. Good lord.
Stereotypically, Anna, the total ingenue, is swept off her feet by the superficial salesman, and then must/does sacrifice herself selflessly and fearlessly for her sister, the freeze-vexed princess Elsa. Everyone turns out fine in the end, even Olaf the snowman who gets to live safely despite the sun, and we are made to feel better about the onward march of feminism because it's not clear, only intimated, that Anna and Kristoff end up together.
Of course they do people. They have come to respect one another despite EVERYTHING to the contrary initially. Which is all fine and good, but...
Merida?? She does her own damn thing for the entirety of Brave. She is a tomboy from the get-go, strongly suggests that she does not want to simply be betrothed to anybody just for traditions' sake, can bow-and-arrow her way out of anything, hides that skein of hair masterfully AND even does something stupid in support of what she believes. Yes, yes, yes, she feeds the damn cake to her mother who proceeds to turn into a bear. A bear that strongly resembles Mor'du, a very scary bear who ate the leg of Merida's father but who, as she comes to realize by her own bad self, represents the ages-old clan splitting which actually needs to be repaired.
So, she and BearMom figure things out and all is well albeit after some seriously nervy moments. I truly thought Elinor was going to remain a salmon-eating black bear. The only bit of Frozen that put me on the edge of my seat like that was the 3D snowflakes that Oliver kept grabbing for during the flick. Cool but hardly the same.
So, on this full-on Friday, I'm just saying, I am comfortable being in the "No, I Didn't Love Frozen" minority. I'm standing strong and proud for Merida, super girl of the Scots. We are Brave!