Sunday, March 9, 2014

Frozen: People See What They Want to See

and I see plot holes.

As the title of this website indicates, I will confess my thoughts on Disney's Frozen.

I only saw the movie this weekend, taking my 13 year-old with me. She loves the movie (and we all love the soundtrack--it's on every iPod-like device we own). I suggested a daddy-daughter afternoon and thus found myself at the Megaplex, balancing a steam shovel of popcorn and a "large" sugar-water that would take more than a few big gulps to finish off. 

I mentioned on Facebook that my daughter took offense when I mentioned that there were a few plot points that I did not agree with. As a writer, I tend to view movies through a different lens than most. Several of my writer friends (who suffer from the same affliction) wanted to know my thoughts. I understand that it is quite possible I was last person to see the movie, yet not wanting an unsuspecting movie-goer to stumble upon my examination and cry foul at my disregard for spoilers, I decided to voice them here.

If you are reading this and have not seen the movie, then proceed at your own peril *insert lawyer speak*.

Kristoff returns the near-frozen Anna to the castle. 

This is probably the only true plot hole, IMO. My other points are really more of preferences. Kristoff returns Anna and they are received at the gate. He turns her over to some people? not official guards or court representatives, staff perhaps, and they thank him and slam the door. 

I cannot fathom any actual scenario short of small pox where those receiving the princess would not say, "Kind sir, oh thank the Heavens, you've returned our beloved Anna. Thank you. Please COME IN and warm yourself by the fire. Let me get you something warm to eat and drink." They then cast a blanket over his shoulders and bring him in to rest and recuperate. I know that the gates were alternately open to the public and closed. I don't remember which state they were at this point, although I believe Hans was still playing Prince Charming and letting the towns folk in and caring for them with warm broth and blankets. Regardless, when the beloved princess is returned to you, you don't treat her rescuer like a census taker.

I also understand that they (writers, producers, whomever) needed to get Kristoff away from the castle so he and  Sven could have their I'm-not-the-one discussion (and we could laugh at the clever non-speak animation of Sven, and I did laugh), Kristoff could see the freezing cloud form over the city and have the super-dramatic desperate dash to render what we think will be the act of true love that leads to the you-didn't-see-it-coming actual act of true love. Disney oh so cleverly played on our acceptance of Disney-esque tropes to execute a very satisfying plot twist. 

All of that hinged on Kristoff not being invited in, but it doesn't work for me. You've got to think of a different reason to get him away from the castle. 

Anna and Elsa's upbringing.

After the parents decide to lock Elsa away for her own good (Really? What kind of parenting is that? A whole different blog post, I suppose.) am I really to believe that the sisters had no further contact? That Elsa became a shut in of sorts, never communicating with Anna other than through the keyhole? And limited not-so-sisterly communication at that? This is the bulk of their childhood? If that's the case, then I think they turned out surprisingly well adjusted, all things considered.

I get that they (again they) didn't have time to dwell on the childhood and needed to get to the main story. 

The King and trolls?

So, the king. The guy who rules the kingdom, the most powerful dude in the land, when faced with a crises readily and willing submits himself to a wise old mystical troll? Okay, I guess it's possible. In my experience it's not the sort of thing men of power readily do. If there'd been some sort of effort to previously justify this behavior then maybe . . . perhaps that was what the book written in runes was for. 

Okay, it is a kid's movie with adult appeal, not Game of Thrones. We don't need to spend time dwelling on these minor characters. I'm really just nit-picking now. 

Like I said, Kristoff at the gates is my only real beef. I can let the others slide. In fact, I can let that slide, too. None of these weak points were compelling enough to spoil my overall experience, and hey, ultimately, it's not my story. 

I just have to let it go. Cue Adele Dazeem. 


Josi said...

Interesting thoughts. I agree completely on the shutting Else away--I can't imagine anyone doing that to their children. It would have worked for me if they had shown one little scene after that first troll healing where Else tried to play with her sister, and couldn't control her powers, then SHE insisted that she couldn't be around Anna. For the parents to be the enforcers doesn't sit right--it would be heartbreaking to watch that kind of separation.

I see your point on Kristoff at the gates too--weak, but I figured that because the gates had been closed for so long that they were operating on habit by not letting him.

Here are my beefs--Else walks up to the north mountain in like, half an hour, while it takes Kristoff and Anna quite awhile. I'm still not sure how they knew she was up there and not somewhere else.

At the end, when Anna is walking across the fjord, Kristoff is coming for her, boats are all over the place, there's wind and snow and mahem, but Kristoff, Anna, Else, and Hans all end up in the same 20 foot area. We've already seen that there's no hearing anyone over the weather--so how do they all reach each other at the same moment? Not sure how to fix it short of not so much storm, or maybe Else gives up and the storm calms because she knows she's about to be killed and in a sense welcomes it, and so they can all see clearly.

And I got the second time around that the lady troll says to little Kristoff that he's so cute she's going to keep him--but I missed it entirely the first time. I also wondered why Kristoff didn't remember the trolls healing Anna the first time. could have used a little clarification.

But, like you, I enjoyed the movie and the songs. I loved all the "You got engaged to someone you JUST met" jokes.

Jenny Moore said...

Um, Elsa is a magical snow queen--she can get up the mountain fast.
The shutting out--I think the whole kingdom is running under martial law. Their queen is missing, and the princess, and they have other things to worry about besides the blond dude that talks to his reindeer. And the rest, we attribute to Disney Magic. Sheesh.
The thing that bugged me is that Anna wasn't frostbitten and having fingers and toes cut off once she reached that guy's shop. She's in a ballgown for heck sake.
And I like the bad prince better--he was hot.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

Love the discussion! Interesting plot points, all, and I do agree. And Jen's probably right. Disney Magic makes everything work. :-) I did want Anna to learn the reason Elsa had to be locked away from her for all those years, though. I don't think she ever gets that explanation.

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