Let's Talk About the Ending of Frozen

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Sorry for the offtopic. But Bob, will you be reviewing the oldboy remake? It seems like it sucks, but I'd like to hear your opinion on it with a few comaprisons with the original.

I'm actually going to tackle this one, since I walked away with a different interpretation, so maybe it was just my perspective of things...

The Dubya:

I think I'm gonna have to agree with most of this. Because honestly, the twist DOES seem pretty forced. I mean it makes sense from an isolated motivation standpoint (wanting to marry a princess to gain power for once in his life, seeing as how was pretty much the runt of his 12 brother family), but I dunno. Maybe if they wouldn't have made Hans so gosh darn likable to start off.

Making him so likable is precisely why the twist works. They didn't tip their hat too early, and the fact that he IS so gosh darn likable makes the act of pulling the rug out from underneath you so much more damaging. You don't just see Anna's shock and confusion when he betrays her; we feel it too, because we, just like her, thought he was a handsome, good guy... and like her, we bought his ruse.

Love Is An Open Door was a totally fun duet song he and Anna had. I liked how they vibed so well and had so much fun chemistry together. And they DID talk about stuff together and had things in common and what not. It did feel like they were legitimately getting to know each other through the fun date they had. Sure it was just a first date, but an AWESOME first date that sometimes does happen when the two of you just click. And even throughout the rest of the film he was acting all legit cool and noble and Good Guy Hans. Bob namedrops PUA, but even then you can tell when a guy is being sincere and when a guy is just using canned lines. So when the axe is dropped and he's all "Muhahaha foolish girl! I never loved you!, I just wasn't feeling it. Seriously, all the dude was missing was a mustache to twirl...THAT'S probably why people found it so 'unpredictable'. Gaston's descent into villiany adds up and feels real when you take everything we've seen and known about him into account. Hans's didn't. They avoided one cliche only to run smack into another one.

Gaston started off as a "bad" dude, just not an "evil" one. Hans actually starts off evil from the start (he had plans of murder in mind before he ever showed up). The whole "Love Is An Open Door" song is SO prototypical Disney that it helps sell the twist later on; this is Disney we're talking about. They built an EMPIRE on "True Love" and "Love at first sight", and their duet would fit perfectly fine in almost every other Disney film, from Snow White's duet with her true love at first sight, to Aurora's duet with her true love at first sight, to even Ariel singing her undying love to Eric at first sight, to Pocahontas singing to John Smith with love at first sight, to Cinderella singing about her true love before she even MEETS the guy... so their duet works perfectly. It's so cute, so charming, so perfect... until Disney "drops the axe". Hearing the song on repeat, you pick up the signs that they're NOT compatible... that, like a first date, he's putting on an act. Yes, sometimes you can have a great first date, but this isn't one of those moments. They're sharing, and bonding, but, as is often the case, one of them isn't being fully honest. He's putting on his best behavior, saying what she WANTS to hear rather than the truth. Things like "We finish each others..." "Sandwiches!" "That's what I was gonna say!" is cute when you first hear it, but he's just kissing up to her and lying about it. Even the line, "All my life I've searched for my own place...", talking about a place of his own rather than a PERSON foreshadows that he wants Arendelle for himself.

Almost EVERY song in the movie is unexpected, and this was no exception. "Do You Want To Build a Snowman?" starts off happy and ended with everyone in tears. "First Time in Forever" ends both times with the opposite of what they're saying coming true (something does get in Anna's way, Elsa does lose control, and then later Anna fails to convince Elsa to return and Elsa does hurt Anna, the opposite of their lyrics). "In Summer" is hilarious... and tragic... for a snowman that wants to experience summer but doesn't know it'll kill him. "Let It Go" starts off with self-pity and then ends with triumph... all the songs, including "Love Is An Open Door" have meaning and context beyond their original lyrics and intentions. It's great storytelling via wordplay and music.

This movie already had a strong tragic conflict between the sisters that it didn't NEED a designated antagonist to shoehorn in at the last second. They could have still found a way around that and still kept all the misunderstandings and what not around that lead to the climatic finish. That's basically what this entire movie was indeed all about; all these misunderstandings we all read about each other because of differences tend to cause a lot of problems. Love is understanding. Yada yada yada. Just stay on that path and drop the forced "GOTCHA!" aspect.

The focus was not the "gotcha" (though it was a good twist). Even with Hans as the "antagonist", he's but one of multiple threats. Hans isn't out to kill Anna; Anna's dying already before his betrayal ever happens. Hans didn't freeze the kingdom (and him killing Elsa WOULD end the threat). Elsa's lead foe is her own paralyzing fears and doubts, not Hans. Hans is merely there to work all these problems to his own end, but he's secondary to inner conflicts the two sisters feel... And his presence is merely a story ploy for Anna to truly demonstrate the "act of true love" that saves her sister AND herself. Self-sacrifice. That's love, and she does this by literally throwing herself between the man she once loved, rejecting the salvation of the man she currently loves, and offering her life for the sister she's ALWAYS loved. Hans, like the rest of the movie, was just a tool caught up in the storm.

Like I dunno...have Hans and Anna kiss, but the spell is still there because they really aren't in true love. Anna's like "bwhaaa?", then recollects back to why Hans asked her to marry her so quickly. He sheepishly admits to just wanting her hand for the throne because of his 13th in line insecurities, but quickly redirects the convo with "But that doesn't matter, stay here while I stop your sister for good!" because that's the conclusion he came up with after Elsa told him that she couldn't stop the winter on her own. First Anna freaks out like "DUDE DON'T KILL MY SISTER, but that's also when she pieces together that it's the true love between sisters that's going to thing to break the curse. He later tries to apologize for being kind of a dick (instead of being 100% pure dickbag), but still gets shoo'd off, learning a lesson of his own. Give Kristoff his new sled and you can do whatever you want with him. Me, I don't think this movie needed that romantic pairing either, since the whole message is supposed to subvert the "Love After One Day" trope.

They've actually done that "oh, he's not my REAL true love" thing before ("Enchanted" comes to mind), and everyone in the theater, including me, was thinking "well, Kristoff is her true love. He'll give her the kiss".... but the movie subverts this by having her reject his act of love to instead save her sister. She is not the one that gets saved; she saves HERSELF. All while showing that, you know what, love comes in all shapes and sizes. This isn't Ariel "I'll abandon my life, family, and friends for a guy I don't know"; this is "I will give up my life and happiness for the family I dearly love that needs me". That's a revolutionary message for a Disney film, and it subverted the formula and our expectations... and resulted in a much, much stronger heroine than one that simply gets kissed by Kristoff.

Beyond that, I'm not sure Kristoff and Anna were "true love" at that point anyway, and the film, very wisely, shows the two of them at the end of the movie just STARTING their relationship (not ending it with marriage). In fact, one of the most surprising things is we see Kristoff ASK PERMISSION to kiss her. Asking for consent for love... I think he may be the first Disney hero to actually ask that, if I'm not mistaken. Good on him.

...yet there the trolls were doing just that...

...ya know what, the more I think about it, fuck those trolls. Those little assholes pretty much started all of this AND made things worse, but they're off to the side and don't get any blame because "D'awwww aren't they so fun and adorable?" I mean, how were they any better than Hans? They were ready to immediately wed their Kristoff off to a girl he's just met as well, completely dismissing the fact that she had a fiance they didn't even know. If anything keeps this film from being up there with the Disney Greats, it's those trolls. They're SUPER problematic morally and just script-wise once you really start to break down their role in the story.

To be fair to the trolls, they were 100% correct. They didn't make things "worse"... the parents did that. Rewatching it, the trolls only tell the parents that her daughter has both great potential yet also could pose a threat... and it's the PARENTS that focus on the THREAT part of it, referring to it as a curse instead of a gift, and tell the trolls THEIR solution is to hide it, and her, away. Fear versus love was the theme of the movie, and the parents gave in to their fears for their daughter rather than nurturing the love she dearly needed. The parents were wrong, but the trolls were right. Granted, they didn't necessarily CORRECT them... but I'm not sure even they knew they'd just lock her up and keep her away from all human contact for years on end.

And that song and dance number?... It took it as playful fun rather than something they meant seriously (apart from the lyrics. The lyrics are very awesome). They openly talked about how relationships need work, and that they can see they have affection for each other but "something" is in the way (and then talk about all the flaws each other has)... Song is great, but I'll freely admit its place in the film was kind of random, and the tone was all wrong at that point (especially considering she's supposed to be dying...). It would've worked better earlier in the film.

The Dubya:

Therumancer:
This applies to something like "Frozen" because really I think Disney's work provides a backbone of tradition and optimism that let's people get away from all the crap in real life, and also provides a counterpoint to other, darker, works. Sure "Love At First Sight" doesn't happen very often for example, but it's wonderful when it does, and ultimately presents a sort of optimistic outlook people can enjoy in getting away from reality. While what they did here isn't terrible, I tend to think this messing around with their format is akin to people deciding they want to do things like re-envision Superman as something less than the world saving paragon he's supposed to be, again and again, in doing this kind of thing I think something like "Frozen" ultimately cheapens itself and misses the entire point of the brand it's a part of. What's more, if it's going to play in this league, it shouldn't be given a pass just because it's a Disney movie, in rating it fairly you should start bringing up material that handled the same kind of messages for a young audience, at which point you need to start comparing "Frozen" to the plots and lead ins of various animes, youth oriented novels, movies, and TV shows and the like, at which point it becomes "visually spectacular, but ultimately flat" warranting little more than a "C". The only reason to rate it higher is if your basically projecting some kind of counter-culture victory onto Disney.

I think I'm gonna have to agree with most of this. Because honestly, the twist DOES seem pretty forced. I mean it makes sense from an isolated motivation standpoint (wanting to marry a princess to gain power for once in his life, seeing as how was pretty much the runt of his 12 brother family), but I dunno. Maybe if they wouldn't have made Hans so gosh darn likable to start off.

Love Is An Open Door was a totally fun duet song he and Anna had. I liked how they vibed so well and had so much fun chemistry together. And they DID talk about stuff together and had things in common and what not. It did feel like they were legitimately getting to know each other through the fun date they had. Sure it was just a first date, but an AWESOME first date that sometimes does happen when the two of you just click. And even throughout the rest of the film he was acting all legit cool and noble and Good Guy Hans. Bob namedrops PUA, but even then you can tell when a guy is being sincere and when a guy is just using canned lines. So when the axe is dropped and he's all "Muhahaha foolish girl! I never loved you!, I just wasn't feeling it. Seriously, all the dude was missing was a mustache to twirl...THAT'S probably why people found it so 'unpredictable'. Gaston's descent into villiany adds up and feels real when you take everything we've seen and known about him into account. Hans's didn't. They avoided one cliche only to run smack into another one.

This movie already had a strong tragic conflict between the sisters that it didn't NEED a designated antagonist to shoehorn in at the last second. They could have still found a way around that and still kept all the misunderstandings and what not around that lead to the climatic finish. That's basically what this entire movie was indeed all about; all these misunderstandings we all read about each other because of differences tend to cause a lot of problems. Love is understanding. Yada yada yada. Just stay on that path and drop the forced "GOTCHA!" aspect.

Like I dunno...have Hans and Anna kiss, but the spell is still there because they really aren't in true love. Anna's like "bwhaaa?", then recollects back to why Hans asked her to marry her so quickly. He sheepishly admits to just wanting her hand for the throne because of his 13th in line insecurities, but quickly redirects the convo with "But that doesn't matter, stay here while I stop your sister for good!" because that's the conclusion he came up with after Elsa told him that she couldn't stop the winter on her own. First Anna freaks out like "DUDE DON'T KILL MY SISTER, but that's also when she pieces together that it's the true love between sisters that's going to thing to break the curse. He later tries to apologize for being kind of a dick (instead of being 100% pure dickbag), but still gets shoo'd off, learning a lesson of his own. Give Kristoff his new sled and you can do whatever you want with him. Me, I don't think this movie needed that romantic pairing either, since the whole message is supposed to subvert the "Love After One Day" trope.

...yet there the trolls were doing just that...

...ya know what, the more I think about it, fuck those trolls. Those little assholes pretty much started all of this AND made things worse, but they're off to the side and don't get any blame because "D'awwww aren't they so fun and adorable?" I mean, how were they any better than Hans? They were ready to immediately wed their Kristoff off to a girl he's just met as well, completely dismissing the fact that she had a fiance they didn't even know. If anything keeps this film from being up there with the Disney Greats, it's those trolls. They're SUPER problematic morally and just script-wise once you really start to break down their role in the story.

I would ultimately give it like a B-, 7.5/10. There was a lot I really liked about it, but more cracks start to show when you hold it under scrutiny.

Actually, watching the film again...it's not completely out of the blue. Hans true nature is actually shown throughout the entire film, it's just VERY low key. For instance, if you actually listen to the lyrics of the his duet, "Love is an Open Door," it quickly becomes apparent that he's not talking about Anna at all. "I've been searching my whole life to find my own place, But with you I found my own place and it's nothing like I've ever known before." You just thinking about what he's saying because he isn't giving off any visual cues and is singing a secondary part to Anna's primary. In other instances, there is the Duke's plans causing a bigger show of villainy to throw us off.

The trolls still are a nuisance though...

pretzil:

Smokescreen:
Can we make a deal where you WON'T write spoiler articles until at least TWO WEEKS AFTER a film or TV show's major debut?

Because seriously. This is stupid.

Not really, this is a Disney princess movie on a video gaming website, its a fair assumption that the 'this is actually good' message could take 2 weeks by word of mouth before people would actually go out and see it.

I have no idea what you're on about. I am suggesting that MovieBob-and others-not write spoiler-related/keyed articles until a pleasantly defined length of time so people have an opportunity to experience whatever media they're on about, instead of having them appear the day of the media's debut.

What are you trying to communicate back?

Trishbot:

Making him so likable is precisely why the twist works. They didn't tip their hat too early, and the fact that he IS so gosh darn likable makes the act of pulling the rug out from underneath you so much more damaging. You don't just see Anna's shock and confusion when he betrays her; we feel it too, because we, just like her, thought he was a handsome, good guy... and like her, we bought his ruse.

And my point was his demeanor DIDN'T feel like a ruse. They gave him TOO many genuine positives and made him TOO competent that the ultimate negative just didn't feel like something that character would do even in the back of his mind.

Even the best manipulators inevitably do or say that ONE little thing that makes you go "Hmm..." and tip you off that all is not what it seems. Something you might not think of in the moment, but going back to re-examine his character you'll realize he said this but meant something completely different. And other than the single "I've always wanted a place of my own" line, I just never got that from Hans.

Say he hesitated ever so slightly when they were on their first date. Where it looked like he had to think up a canned line or two to use in response to something Anna said. Throws in a few "umms" or "uhhs" or "yeah sure..." during conversation. Stuff like that we the audience notice but Anna doesn't since she's so head over heels.

I'm not asking for Disney to hang a sign over his head going "THIS WILL BE THE BAD GUY LATER", but the best twists work when the clues given to you are reasonable enough to convince you that there's a slight chance that a twist COULD happen. Everyone was shocked by the Sixth Sense twist, but going back and re-evaluating the movie you could see how all the little clues added up to that conclusion. I knew about the twist here walking in, and I couldn't help thinking "So how are they going to make this twist work?" And to me, what they gave me wasn't sufficient enough to logically justify a reveal like that. I really just think that this was a case of Disney outsmarting themselves just to cram in their Token Antagonist Villain in somewhere.

Trishbot:
Hans actually starts off evil from the start (he had plans of murder in mind before he ever showed up.

Trishbot:
Hans isn't out to kill Anna; Anna's dying already before his betrayal ever happens.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things, doesn't belong...

For him to be the "villain all along", he had to know that A) Elsa even had her ice powers in the first place, B) Elsa would freak out enough to flee, C) Anna would insist she goes alone to find her, and D) Elsa would get talked down enough to bring back to Arendalle.

No.

Again I buy that he wanted to marry Anna just to get the throne, but this overly hammy Evil McBadGuy bait and switch just felt way too phony and it oversimplified the complex tragedy they were building. Yeah yeah, kids movie and all so ya need more black and white morals, but it was doing so well before the 3rd act.

The Duke of Wesealtown (WESLETON!) would have been a better choice for the Token Human Antagonist role. He was the major instigator to freak out at Elsa, and he was wanting her dead from the get go ("If you need to take care of that Ice Queen, boys, TAKE CARE of that Ice Queen...). Sure Hans had his own interests in mind, but he still seemed to care about the people and care about the sisters. The Duke was all "KILL EM KILL EM KILL EM NAOWWWW...oh but you do the dirty work Hans since I'm a wuss and I'm going to use you insecurities to pressure you."

(Oh but that's what they wanted you to think too...ya know what, give me a bit of predictability that makes the most sense than unpredictability for the sake of unpredictability)

See this is what I get for watching too much Game of Thrones. I didn't want a Token Antagonist, I just wanted everyone to have their own complicated motivations and reasonings as to why they think they're right and just have all these ideas butt heads, none of which are necessarily BAD unto themselves because you can at least understand how the person came up to that conclusion, hence why it's all such a clusterfuck tragedy. Yes Hans had his own personal ambitions of the throne, but that doesn't automatically negate all the legitimately good things he did to help out. That doesn't negate the legitimately positive bravery and competence and caring he shared toward Anna, Elisa, and Arendelle. Wooing a naive Anna is one thing, but you can't fake EVERYTHING.

Trishbot:
(and him killing Elsa WOULD end the threat).

That's what Hans THINKS will end the threat, but he would have been wrong. "True love" is what ended the threat. When Elsa embraced and loved herself and her powers and her sister instead of fearing them, that's what gave her the control she needed to thaw out Arendelle. Killing Elisa might have ended the immediate snowfall (keyword: might), but they still would have been doomed without her.

Again, this is such an intriguing, realistically human situation that they put a damper on by turning Hans into M. Bison; you could still have the same movie without that. Mustache Twirler cliches are just as bad as Impossibly Good Guy cliches.

"Fear is the enemy", right? Fear should have been the only true antagonist here. Elsa fearing for herself, Anna fearing for her sister, and yes, Hans genuinely fearing for the people whose lives he's getting involved with. They make these rash emotional decisions out of fear/misunderstanding and it's not until they take a step back when they realize what they've been doing wrong. Sure Hans might have underlying motives as well, but I'm sorry, the Cobra Commander shit just doesn't happen in real life.

Trishbot:
They've actually done that "oh, he's not my REAL true love" thing before ("Enchanted" comes to mind), and everyone in the theater, including me, was thinking "well, Kristoff is her true love. He'll give her the kiss".... but the movie subverts this by having her reject his act of love to instead save her sister. She is not the one that gets saved; she saves HERSELF. All while showing that, you know what, love comes in all shapes and sizes. This isn't Ariel "I'll abandon my life, family, and friends for a guy I don't know"; this is "I will give up my life and happiness for the family I dearly love that needs me". That's a revolutionary message for a Disney film, and it subverted the formula and our expectations... and resulted in a much, much stronger heroine than one that simply gets kissed by Kristoff.

...which is exactly what I just said. Don't have Anna kiss either of them and head toward Elsa.

And Anna still gets paired off Kristoff by the end anyways (who ironically enough she has LESS chemistry with than with Hans), even if they're going the "oh we're taking it slow and not getting engaged immediately" thing. They still wanted to have it both ways...

Also, Elsa saves Anna.

Jusssst sayin' (:

-----------------

I'll finish off with those trolls later...

The Dubya:

Trishbot:

Making him so likable is precisely why the twist works. They didn't tip their hat too early, and the fact that he IS so gosh darn likable makes the act of pulling the rug out from underneath you so much more damaging. You don't just see Anna's shock and confusion when he betrays her; we feel it too, because we, just like her, thought he was a handsome, good guy... and like her, we bought his ruse.

And my point was his demeanor DIDN'T feel like a ruse. They gave him TOO many genuine positives and made him TOO competent that the ultimate negative just didn't feel like something that character would do even in the back of his mind.

Even the best manipulators inevitably do or say that ONE little thing that makes you go "Hmm..." and tip you off that all is not what it seems. Something you might not think of in the moment, but going back to re-examine his character you'll realize he said this but meant something completely different. And other than the single "I've always wanted a place of my own" line, I just never got that from Hans.

Say he hesitated ever so slightly when they were on their first date. Where it looked like he had to think up a canned line or two to use in response to something Anna said. Throws in a few "umms" or "uhhs" or "yeah sure..." during conversation. Stuff like that we the audience notice but Anna doesn't since she's so head over heels.

I'm not asking for Disney to hang a sign over his head going "THIS WILL BE THE BAD GUY LATER", but the best twists work when the clues given to you are reasonable enough to convince you that there's a slight chance that a twist COULD happen. Everyone was shocked by the Sixth Sense twist, but going back and re-evaluating the movie you could see how all the little clues added up to that conclusion. I knew about the twist here walking in, and I couldn't help thinking "So how are they going to make this twist work?" And to me, what they gave me wasn't sufficient enough to logically justify a reveal like that. I really just think that this was a case of Disney outsmarting themselves just to cram in their Token Antagonist Villain in somewhere.

I disagree, he doesn't have TOO many genuine positives...he just acts like he does. The thing with Hans is that everything he does up till the reveal is superficial. If you stop and actually listen to his lines, it shows that he isn't the kind person he's portraying. While I do feel that the hints are a bit too subtle, they are there. From the point when he firsts meets Anna there and onward. Heck, in his only song, if you actually listen to his words, he's not actually singing about Anna, he's singing about himself. But not only is Anna fooled, so is the audience because Anna is singing above him. Even going to their first meeting, really pay attention to how Hans seems more interested in Elsa than Anna. Notice how he calls Anna "ordinary." There are signs, but aren't really noticeable the first time through.

Trishbot:
Hans actually starts off evil from the start (he had plans of murder in mind before he ever showed up.

Trishbot:
Hans isn't out to kill Anna; Anna's dying already before his betrayal ever happens.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things, doesn't belong...

For him to be the "villain all along", he had to know that A) Elsa even had her ice powers in the first place, B) Elsa would freak out enough to flee, C) Anna would insist she goes alone to find her, and D) Elsa would get talked down enough to bring back to Arendalle.

No.

Again I buy that he wanted to marry Anna just to get the throne, but this overly hammy Evil McBadGuy bait and switch just felt way too phony and it oversimplified the complex tragedy they were building. Yeah yeah, kids movie and all so ya need more black and white morals, but it was doing so well before the 3rd act.

The Duke of Wesealtown (WESLETON!) would have been a better choice for the Token Human Antagonist role. He was the major instigator to freak out at Elsa, and he was wanting her dead from the get go ("If you need to take care of that Ice Queen, boys, TAKE CARE of that Ice Queen...). Sure Hans had his own interests in mind, but he still seemed to care about the people and care about the sisters. The Duke was all "KILL EM KILL EM KILL EM NAOWWWW...oh but you do the dirty work Hans since I'm a wuss and I'm going to use you insecurities to pressure you."

(Oh but that's what they wanted you to think too...ya know what, give me a bit of predictability that makes the most sense than unpredictability for the sake of unpredictability)

See this is what I get for watching too much Game of Thrones. I didn't want a Token Antagonist, I just wanted everyone to have their own complicated motivations and reasonings as to why they think they're right and just have all these ideas butt heads, none of which are necessarily BAD unto themselves because you can at least understand how the person came up to that conclusion, hence why it's all such a clusterfuck tragedy. Yes Hans had his own personal ambitions of the throne, but that doesn't automatically negate all the legitimately good things he did to help out. That doesn't negate the legitimately positive bravery and competence and caring he shared toward Anna, Elisa, and Arendelle. Wooing a naive Anna is one thing, but you can't fake EVERYTHING.

So...because he's not the force behind all the problems and because he acts nice, he's not the true villain? Well, I can certainly see your point but I disagree. You are saying that all the nice things he did (Help the kingdom, Prevent Elsa from dying...yeah, that's it) are genuine. I think the main difference is that you're seeing him as a "normal" person. I see him as a sociopath. Someone who is willing to manipulate the world to get what he wants.

Furthermore...bravery and competence doesn't have to belong to the hero alone. Which leaves "caring" he shared between Anna, Elsa, and Arendelle. Well, obviously he cares for Arendelle, he wants to rule it. Helping out will make his ascension much easier if they like him. What? Expect the villain to make himself unpopular with his subjects? That's going to go so well.

As for Anna and Elsa...again, listen to his words, they sound caring...but there extremely shallow. I'm not saying that Love at First Sight never happens, but name one quality Hans says about Anna...ever. He doesn't, he just lets Anna carry the conversation and nods and goes along with it. And caring for Elsa? I suppose you are talking about the scene where she is about to kill the two men. Well, again think about this politically, Hans needs Elsa back. Of course he's going to persuade her not to use her powers to kill. If she kills them, he thinks it would be easier to kill him should he make a wrong move.

Trishbot:
(and him killing Elsa WOULD end the threat).

That's what Hans THINKS will end the threat, but he would have been wrong. "True love" is what ended the threat. When Elsa embraced and loved herself and her powers and her sister instead of fearing them, that's what gave her the control she needed to thaw out Arendelle. Killing Elisa might have ended the immediate snowfall (keyword: might), but they still would have been doomed without her.

Again, this is such an intriguing, realistically human situation that they put a damper on by turning Hans into M. Bison; you could still have the same movie without that. Mustache Twirler cliches are just as bad as Impossibly Good Guy cliches.

"Fear is the enemy", right? Fear should have been the only true antagonist here. Elsa fearing for herself, Anna fearing for her sister, and yes, Hans genuinely fearing for the people whose lives he's getting involved with. They make these rash emotional decisions out of fear/misunderstanding and it's not until they take a step back when they realize what they've been doing wrong. Sure Hans might have underlying motives as well, but I'm sorry, the Cobra Commander shit just doesn't happen in real life.

And as I'm saying, Hans ISN'T a Cobra Commander type villain. He's isn't trying to take over the world, he's ruining the lives of two women. It's not the goal of his (That's to become king) but manipulating two people? That's far more realistic of a villain than MOST Disney has put out there.

Furthermore, you're telling me that Hans doesn't exist in real life? Seriously? Two words: "Nice Guys." You know that meme? People who are real entitled petty people who have a false exterior? That's Hans entire persona.

I still have problems with those trolls though...

Again, I think we just walked out of the film with different interpretations.

The Dubya:

And my point was his demeanor DIDN'T feel like a ruse. They gave him TOO many genuine positives and made him TOO competent that the ultimate negative just didn't feel like something that character would do even in the back of his mind.

That's the WHOLE POINT. A "ruse" isn't something you SHOULD see coming. If his demeanor felt like a ruse, then it would be a bad ruse. Every last single act that Hans does in the movie is serving his own goals. ALL his positives all serve his benefit, even the ones that outwardly appear like "love" or "kindness" to others (notice how all of these actions are taken when others are watching him, yet the one time he's alone and sure he's going to get away with it he reveals his hand.) Giving blankets to the poor and cold wins him the approval of the people; he comes across as a selfless and valiant hero trying to "save" the queen and princess, etc. He's the best kind of evil; the one who gets the people on his side, trusting his decisions, without ever twirling his mustache or dropping his guard.

Even the best manipulators inevitably do or say that ONE little thing that makes you go "Hmm..." and tip you off that all is not what it seems. Something you might not think of in the moment, but going back to re-examine his character you'll realize he said this but meant something completely different. And other than the single "I've always wanted a place of my own" line, I just never got that from Hans.

The WHOLE song doesn't "feel" right (notice how he only AGREES with Anna and never actually expresses any personal traits of his own AT ALL), and the whole "I have 12 older brothers" means he was never going to be high up the royal food chain. But more of that below...

Say he hesitated ever so slightly when they were on their first date. Where it looked like he had to think up a canned line or two to use in response to something Anna said. Throws in a few "umms" or "uhhs" or "yeah sure..." during conversation. Stuff like that we the audience notice but Anna doesn't since she's so head over heels.

But WE the audience weren't SUPPOSED to know he's evil. That's sort of the point. Beyond that, he came to the coronation prepared to woo one of the two sisters; he did his homework, put on the facade, and rolled with everything Anna said (no matter how silly or stupid some of it was....)

I'm not asking for Disney to hang a sign over his head going "THIS WILL BE THE BAD GUY LATER", but the best twists work when the clues given to you are reasonable enough to convince you that there's a slight chance that a twist COULD happen. Everyone was shocked by the Sixth Sense twist, but going back and re-evaluating the movie you could see how all the little clues added up to that conclusion. I knew about the twist here walking in, and I couldn't help thinking "So how are they going to make this twist work?" And to me, what they gave me wasn't sufficient enough to logically justify a reveal like that. I really just think that this was a case of Disney outsmarting themselves just to cram in their Token Antagonist Villain in somewhere.

I think all the pieces fall in line. His bizarre eagerness to get married (HE wasn't sheltered like Anna was), some hint his duet with her, his origin and history, the fact that only HE showed up for the coronation (and no one else from his kingdom), the way he takes charge of the whole kingdom so readily (and offers Anna absolute no escort on her journey), etc. He said all the right things and was in all the right places, even if there were some twists and turns he had to deal with... More on THOSE below...

Trishbot:
Hans actually starts off evil from the start (he had plans of murder in mind before he ever showed up.

Trishbot:
Hans isn't out to kill Anna; Anna's dying already before his betrayal ever happens.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things, doesn't belong...

For him to be the "villain all along", he had to know that A) Elsa even had her ice powers in the first place, B) Elsa would freak out enough to flee, C) Anna would insist she goes alone to find her, and D) Elsa would get talked down enough to bring back to Arendalle.

He says he was going to murder ELSA and marry ANNA for the power. He wasn't going to kill Anna because he needed her alive to marry her. He even says Elsa was who he wanted to marry, but she was too unapproachable, but Anna practically threw the door open for him ("Love is an Open Door"... huh). He saw his 'in' and took it. He didn't plan everything that happened; his plans shifted as the twists game. He was opportunistic and seized the moments. When Anna was dying, he saw yet another opportunity to speed up his plans. He was malleable rather than rigid in his aims, and that's a more realistic villain. He didn't know what Elsa could do, didn't expect the freak out, didn't expect her to leave... but he capitalized on the tragedy like the opportunistic vulture he was, all the while turning their tragedies to his benefit.

Again I buy that he wanted to marry Anna just to get the throne, but this overly hammy Evil McBadGuy bait and switch just felt way too phony and it oversimplified the complex tragedy they were building. Yeah yeah, kids movie and all so ya need more black and white morals, but it was doing so well before the 3rd act.

The Duke of Wesealtown (WESLETON!) would have been a better choice for the Token Human Antagonist role. He was the major instigator to freak out at Elsa, and he was wanting her dead from the get go ("If you need to take care of that Ice Queen, boys, TAKE CARE of that Ice Queen...). Sure Hans had his own interests in mind, but he still seemed to care about the people and care about the sisters. The Duke was all "KILL EM KILL EM KILL EM NAOWWWW...oh but you do the dirty work Hans since I'm a wuss and I'm going to use you insecurities to pressure you."

The Duke still IS a villain. He never stopped being one. But he wasn't on the same level as Hans was. He also wasn't the major instigator of Elsa's freak out; Anna did that too her, and Elsa probably would have fled regardless of the Duke's presence there or not (though he certainly didn't help matters).

But, also, Hans DID care about the people and the sisters... as means to an end. He cared about them in the same sense that he wanted them on HIS side only as long as he needed them. He wanted them to trust HIM. When something "happened" to them (he said he was going to stage an accident), he wanted both the sister and the people to trust in him so they'd never suspect he was involved.

(Oh but that's what they wanted you to think too...ya know what, give me a bit of predictability that makes the most sense than unpredictability for the sake of unpredictability)

It makes total, complete sense. Nothing he says or does contradicts his actions. You just felt he didn't let the audience in on his plans enough before the twist, but that doesn't mean his plans didn't make sense. They actually made a LOT of sense.

See this is what I get for watching too much Game of Thrones. I didn't want a Token Antagonist, I just wanted everyone to have their own complicated motivations and reasonings as to why they think they're right and just have all these ideas butt heads, none of which are necessarily BAD unto themselves because you can at least understand how the person came up to that conclusion, hence why it's all such a clusterfuck tragedy. Yes Hans had his own personal ambitions of the throne, but that doesn't automatically negate all the legitimately good things he did to help out. That doesn't negate the legitimately positive bravery and competence and caring he shared toward Anna, Elisa, and Arendelle. Wooing a naive Anna is one thing, but you can't fake EVERYTHING.

Yes you can. It's called acting. And a good villain will do good things to keep the blame from falling on his or her shoulders. The BEST villains do that and absolve themselves of blame, often playing the part of wolves in sheep's clothing. I mean, he wasn't designed "obviously" ugly and evil like, say, Jafar or Ursula, but both of those villains all did "good" things as a means to their end (Ursula made Ariel's dreams come true, after all, and Jafar freed Aladdin from prison and led him to the cave of wonders). Hans just kept his Poker face and became, perhaps for the first time in Disney history, an EFFECTIVE villain but not looking or dressing or sounding the part. Because, guess what ladies, villains and scumbags can be hot guys only looking to use you and telling you what you want to hear to get their way... (ooh, good life lesson there, in fact.)

Trishbot:
(and him killing Elsa WOULD end the threat).

That's what Hans THINKS will end the threat, but he would have been wrong. "True love" is what ended the threat. When Elsa embraced and loved herself and her powers and her sister instead of fearing them, that's what gave her the control she needed to thaw out Arendelle. Killing Elisa might have ended the immediate snowfall (keyword: might), but they still would have been doomed without her.

I don't see how the kingdom would've been doomed without her (he would've been there to lead them and the winter would likely have ended if she wasn't around to control or create it). But, yes, obviously "true love" ended it in a much better fashion than in bloodshed. Not that he knew that.

Again, this is such an intriguing, realistically human situation that they put a damper on by turning Hans into M. Bison; you could still have the same movie without that. Mustache Twirler cliches are just as bad as Impossibly Good Guy cliches.

But he's not a cliche. How can he be a cliche if there is literally NO other villain like him in a Disney movie before, and the sheer absence of which is how he manages to pull the wool over so many people's eyes? He's actually an ANTI-cliche in the Disney formula.

"Fear is the enemy", right? Fear should have been the only true antagonist here. Elsa fearing for herself, Anna fearing for her sister, and yes, Hans genuinely fearing for the people whose lives he's getting involved with. They make these rash emotional decisions out of fear/misunderstanding and it's not until they take a step back when they realize what they've been doing wrong. Sure Hans might have underlying motives as well, but I'm sorry, the Cobra Commander shit just doesn't happen in real life.

Tell that to the people who took advantage of me, my innocence, and my trust. You bet it happens in real life. You bet it happened to ME. And you bet this is a message that I wish Disney had taught my younger self rather than "a handsome prince will solve your troubles". The lesson of "looks can be deceiving" and "beauty is only skin deep" and "sometimes men lie to you to get what they want"... that definitely happens in real life every single day.

Don't have Anna kiss either of them and head toward Elsa.

Er, that's exactly what HAPPENS.

And Anna still gets paired off Kristoff by the end anyways (who ironically enough she has LESS chemistry with than with Hans), even if they're going the "oh we're taking it slow and not getting engaged immediately" thing. They still wanted to have it both ways...

And they got it. Guess what? You're right. She doesn't have as much "chemistry" with Kristoff because he's not pretending to be her dream guy. She and Hans had chemistry because he was telling her everything she wanted to hear, not sharing the things that were true about him. Kristoff, however, shares his flaws, his quirks, and the parts of himself that aren't so perfect, and, well, that's the whole reason he, like EVERY person, is a "fix 'er upper" rather than a "dream guy". The whole point of their relationship is it's built on honesty and acceptance, which takes TIME, rather than immediate infatuation with superficial characteristics that turns out one person was only saying to please the other.

Also, Elsa saves Anna.

Jusssst sayin' (:

Anna saves Elsa from Hans, and it's that self-sacrifice that thaws her (and breaks the "curse" on Elsa to manage her powers). Elsa didn't "magically cry" her back to life; her own actions, her "act of true love" to sacrifice herself for her sister, was the catalyst that broke the curse. She saved her sister, herself, and the whole kingdom, and she didn't need Hans or Kristoff to kiss her to make it happen.

Smokescreen:

pretzil:

Smokescreen:
Can we make a deal where you WON'T write spoiler articles until at least TWO WEEKS AFTER a film or TV show's major debut?

Because seriously. This is stupid.

Not really, this is a Disney princess movie on a video gaming website, its a fair assumption that the 'this is actually good' message could take 2 weeks by word of mouth before people would actually go out and see it.

I have no idea what you're on about. I am suggesting that MovieBob-and others-not write spoiler-related/keyed articles until a pleasantly defined length of time so people have an opportunity to experience whatever media they're on about, instead of having them appear the day of the media's debut.

What are you trying to communicate back?

My bad, I am in Australia and have no idea of release dates in your country, I thought you were saying that the spoiler warning at the start of the article was unnecessary since the movie had been out for 2 weeks...

Trishbot:

They've actually done that "oh, he's not my REAL true love" thing before ("Enchanted" comes to mind), and everyone in the theater, including me, was thinking "well, Kristoff is her true love. He'll give her the kiss".... but the movie subverts this by having her reject his act of love to instead save her sister. She is not the one that gets saved; she saves HERSELF. All while showing that, you know what, love comes in all shapes and sizes. This isn't Ariel "I'll abandon my life, family, and friends for a guy I don't know"; this is "I will give up my life and happiness for the family I dearly love that needs me". That's a revolutionary message for a Disney film, and it subverted the formula and our expectations... and resulted in a much, much stronger heroine than one that simply gets kissed by Kristoff.

To be accurate it's been done before by Disney, it is just not often done in a film with princess in them. Which, yeah, any aberration from the set model can be subversive for a Disney Princess movie. Lilo and Stitch and Mulan are good examples of movies that deal with familial love. Most Disney princesses aren't put in a position where they have to choose romantic love over familial love (or vise versa) like in Frozen. Mostly because family members play such a small role in such films, they are either dead, or already have the protagonist's unconditional love. With your Ariel example, for a second at the end it was just a conflict between Ariel, King Trident, and Ursula. First King Trident exchanges himself for Ariel which actually makes Ariel angry enough to Attack Ursula. But of course the prince has to butt in and muddy the situation and it goes back to the romantic plot :P. A more complete example of what you are talking about might be the Pocahontas movie(s).

It was a good show simply put, could help but clap at how it was executed!

Kudos to them!

....ya know what, screw it. I promised myself I wasn't going to open this can of worms, but while making my response to Trishbot I got to thinking about what was on my mind more and more, and the more frustrated I grew. And since MovieBob himself already opened one half of it, tis a good a time as any to open the other one:

I would like the know what IS so wrong with the Heroic Prince archetype anyway that Disney felt the need to "deconstruct" anyways. Why COULDN'T Hans' good looks, charm, classiness, friendliness, calm under pressure and MORE than competent bravery, chemistry with Anna/caring nature toward Arendelle, etc. etc. been the genuine, authentic article? Why go through all this trouble to make what would honestly be a pretty damn good role model for BOYS only to pull the rug out from under them and go "nope, if you fit that mold you're inauthentic/the bad guy."

What the hell are they supposed to make out of that then? It's the same shit that pisses me off when people say that Superman needed to be "deconstructed" in crap like Man of Steel because a man that was a sincere good guy just for the sake of being a sincere good guy isn't "realistic" or "wouldn't work/be relevant today" or is too "boring" or is straight up phony according to Frozen. Because apparently what it means to be a man these days is to be a bulky, gruffy, emotionally stunted man child brooder like everyone's current favorite Batman. Some asshole that's always detached from everyone and everything in fear of showing any human vulnerability, which makes you "less of a man" to other men. So now Superman's the same selfish mood angsty-wangsty "Nyea I don't have genuine human emotions because happiness and sincerity are too cheesy" crap that's plaguing all facets of media because seriously Katniss is fine and dandy and all but who's my hypothetical son supposed to look up to NOT THOSE ASSMUPPETS THAT'S FOR DAMN CERT...

.......

Ahem. I think I'm getting off track ._.

But yeah, like Bob said in his Pink video, everyone's so hellbent on turning over the usual princess tropes that they're not noticing collateral damage to the other side. Here this movie is calling the positive traits that the prototypical male portrayed an illusion, as something you can't trust, something that no man could POSSIBLY be unless he was faking it with ulterior motives. Which...is some serious bullshit. He was a dude doing good in a situation he didn't HAVE to be in whatsoever, but chose to stick around and help out. For show or not, he WAS doing a damn good job keeping the people of Arendelle warm and well fed and inspired, not letting them fall into despair (and for what it's worth, he never shit talks THEM when going into his hammy monologue, so there's little to suggest he'd even be a cruel or bad king for them). When people wanted to bail/call treason, he's the one that told them off and made everyone chill out and shape up. He went on the front line of a rescue mission and put his OWN ass on the line against a freakin ice giant (very competently defeating him, mind you) and saved his men not through brute force, but by verbally calming Elsa down and not letting her cross over the edge. He could have very easily either A) shot her right then and there, or B) "let" Elsa kill the men and then kill her, making up the excuse that "he had no other choice she went craaaazy", but he didn't. He chose the right thing to defuse the situation without getting anyone hurt. In any other movie that WOULD be considered the smart, heroic move. That and everything else he's been doing for Arendelle. But here this movie is condemning those righteous, accomplished deeds he did as all fake and inauthentic because...OOO LOOK AT US WE'RE ALL HIP AND COOL AND DECONSTRUCTIVE! LIKE US NAOW CYNICAL TUMBLR HIPSTERS!

Mixed messages much, Disney?

To what end? What was the point of this twist again? How did it add significant tension/meaning to the climax other than now we have a Token human antagonist for the last seven fucking minutes he's on screen? To take another swing at the "strong independent woman that don't need no maaaaaan" message they failed miserably at with Brave? By being needlessly cynical like every fucking body else right now and "deconstruct" their characters by bending over backwards to this degree? Especially in a movie where it could have easily been dropped without the movie missing a beat/actually made the movie better and that much more mature?

(When you seriously use the lines "You won't get away with this! Oh but I already have!", you've plummeted into kiddie movie cliche territory, period.)

Meanwhile the bumbling oaf who only agreed to help for his own personal gain as well (and was seriously debating whether or not to ditch Anna or not) and really doesn't contribute much of anything more beyond Anna's chauffeur (that she was too stubborn to listen to half the time) and an earpiece to bitch into, yet in the end still gets rewarded the girl for...some reason...THAT'S somehow better? Just because he looks all rough and bulky and gruffy and "has flaws" that he broadcasts more often makes it totally different and okay? How the FUCK is that any better than the Links and the Marios and Prince Charmings/Phillips/Erics people are always bitching about?

Good lord if Kristoff doesn't sound like the ultimate Platonic Friend Backdoor Gambit fantasy, I don't know what does...

"The guys who actually have their shit together and are traditionally masculine are the 'assholes' who are just faking it to get into your pants, while us innocent goofy goober Nice Guys mucking about are what's REAL and what's GOOD for you, girls that always Friend Zone us."

Yeah no, fuck this backhanded Nice Guy seal of approval. Frozen's lucky that Elsa and her story arc were so incredible, otherwise I'd be throwing this entire movie under the bus. AnnaXKristoff can bite me.

The worse Hans should have been was that he was just a naive and in over his head type of guy like Anna. A guy who legit strives to do the right thing but is done in by his one fatal flaw he couldn't own up to. A less tragic yet similarly overly infatuated Romeo & Juliet kind of dynamic where they loved the idea of one another more than the real them. Buttttt instead they went the easy/lazy/simple Twilight route and straight Jacob Black'd him, making him so over the moon capital E Evil that there could only be one other choice for our leading Disney lady to pair up with (because a leading Disney lady couldn't possibly end a movie without getting shipped into a Token relations-OH WAIT Mulan totally did at the end of her one and only movie that never had a sequel that we never speak of, so there's precedence for that). There were other methods of getting your Love At First Sight trope debunked without having to sink to these bullshit levels to do it. AND it still justified their 3-day romance that's this company's bread and butter. You may be fooling them, Disney, but not me! Not meeeee!

I liked the character of Hans better when he was called Gaston. Or Lots a Huggin Bear. Or Charles Muntz. Or Stinky Pete. Or Henry J. Waternoose. Or King Candy just last year. Or the billion other times where we've seen the late game Face/Heel turn. If this was released during the 90's period or shortly thereafter I MIGHT be more on board to give this twist credit. But we've seen this from this very company for a decade now; in 2013 this amateur hour trick is hardly revolutionary, if only in the sense that it's never been done so incompetently before.

Now that I got that off my chest, back to Trishbot:

Trishbot:
(notice how all of these actions are taken when others are watching him, yet the one time he's alone and sure he's going to get away with it he reveals his hand.)

How can he be a cliche if there is literally NO other villain like him in a Disney movie before, and the sheer absence of which is how he manages to pull the wool over so many people's eyes?

I already name dropped a handful of previous villains that "pulled the wool over our eyes" before. As for Han's alone time, The Incredibles straight up mocks that cliche: "Now that you're at your most vulnerable, let me monolouge my plan/motivation/betrayal to you for no real reason other than I can MUHAHA." And even their reveals felt more natural and logical than Hans' did.

I mean if he kept it up the routine for that long, why even let his guard down now at ALL? Just let Anna kiss him, then BS some excuse as to why it didn't break the spell and leave her for dead to execute the rest of his plan. "Oh deary me, it didn't work, dearest Anna...so there must be only one way to save you and the kingdom: Kill your sister!! BRB." Run with it until he literally can't run with it anymore/he's pushed so far over the edge that he just blurts it out, not just for shits and giggles when he doesn't have to. "Oh but he's cocky and thinks he can get away with it now." Let's just go with the whole sociopath route then. Even in that regard, revealing himself to ANYONE, even a dying Anna, would not benefit him in any sensible way whatsoever. Even within the context of the movie that's simply a stupid move that totally goes against his supposedly super smart master manipulator character.

That's really the crux of my issue with this; The idea of him using Anna to get to the throne is a good one. The idea of an ultimate betrayal of trust is a good one. But I just don't agree that the reveal should have been done in the gleefully evil Saturday Morning Villain fashion. To me that made it feel that much cheaper and less true to real life than what it could have and should have been. Yes people can be total assholes and stab you through the heart when they gain your trust. I totally believe that kind of shit happened to you and happens to all of us one way or another. But in that sort of one-dimensional, cartoony manner in which Hans did it? I'm sorry, but to me that just comes across as phony as his speech turned into. Ego-driven guys like Hans believe they're the heroes in their own story and would never admit otherwise. The people that hurt us the most, they're never going to ADMIT that they did anything to hurt us. Despite all facts saying that they're the douchebag, they'll fight for their side until the bitter end. Hans would have kept buying his own hype until the bitter end and not have broken character unless something pushed him/forced him to, just like Gaston and Judge Frollo bought their own hype until the bitter end.

The Duke still IS a villain. He never stopped being one. But he wasn't on the same level as Hans was. He also wasn't the major instigator of Elsa's freak out; Anna did that too her, and Elsa probably would have fled regardless of the Duke's presence there or not (though he certainly didn't help matters).

Anna is the one that got Elsa upset to start, sure, but it was The Duke that went into the "OMGOMGOMG" histrionics and riled everyone up. Anna was apologizing and just now piecing together how her sister's isolation made sense after all these years.

And honestly, after the Hans reveal I felt The Duke felt like LESS of a villain and more of a guy who was just another pawn in his schemes. Unlike Hans' fake remorse, he had the real remorse toward Anna's supposed death and went along with Hans because that's truly what in his heart of hearts felt was right for Arendelle. I mean the main reason he's there is because he wants to reopen the trade between Arendelle and Weaseltown (WESELTON!) and he made that pretty much known (which didn't win him over many friends, but that's hardly all that evil or villainous). The Duke WAS a douche when he was trying to bail after realizing that idea was gone now, but Hans made him stick around.

Yes you can. It's called acting. And a good villain will do good things to keep the blame from falling on his or her shoulders. The BEST villains do that and absolve themselves of blame, often playing the part of wolves in sheep's clothing. I mean, he wasn't designed "obviously" ugly and evil like, say, Jafar or Ursula, but both of those villains all did "good" things as a means to their end (Ursula made Ariel's dreams come true, after all, and Jafar freed Aladdin from prison and led him to the cave of wonders). Hans just kept his Poker face and became, perhaps for the first time in Disney history, an EFFECTIVE villain but not looking or dressing or sounding the part. Because, guess what ladies, villains and scumbags can be hot guys only looking to use you and telling you what you want to hear to get their way...
(ooh, good life lesson there, in fact.)

Well like I mentioned above, guess you can blame Pixar for already giving me that lesson already. *shrugs*

"And hey guess what fellas? If you are indeed the accomplished, in-shape, got-your-shit-together good looking guy that does the right thing with no outwardly appearances of misdoing...YOU'RE REALLY THE LYING ASSHOLE ONLY IN IT FOR YOURSELF! SHAME!!! SHAME!!! SHAMMMMMMME!!!!!!!!!!"

Because that's not a confusing lesson to young men at all.

I don't see how the kingdom would've been doomed without her (he would've been there to lead them and the winter would likely have ended if she wasn't around to control or create it). But, yes, obviously "true love" ended it in a much better fashion than in bloodshed. Not that he knew that.

Eternal winter, for one. And remember that it's summer when this movie takes place, so even if there wasn't some sort of crazy unexpected reaction caused by the death of Elsa, they'd still have to make it through fall, the REAL winter, and spring to let it thaw away naturally (again, if it was even a possibility). And seeing how bad of shape they were in after just a few short days...yeah 3/4s of a year woulda done them in.

And they got it. Guess what? You're right. She doesn't have as much "chemistry" with Kristoff because he's not pretending to be her dream guy. She and Hans had chemistry because he was telling her everything she wanted to hear, not sharing the things that were true about him. Kristoff, however, shares his flaws, his quirks, and the parts of himself that aren't so perfect, and, well, that's the whole reason he, like EVERY person, is a "fix 'er upper" rather than a "dream guy". The whole point of their relationship is it's built on honesty and acceptance, which takes TIME, rather than immediate infatuation with superficial characteristics that turns out one person was only saying to please the other.

If it didn't feel like the typical "main couple bickers for 2/3rds of the movie but suddenly 'fall in love' because they said a few kind words to each other" routine, sure. But that's all Kristoff/Anna was. They were no different than any other Disney couple in history other than they don't openly say the words I Do.

And thanks for bring up Fixer Upper and those damn trolls again:

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Elsa didn't "magically cry" her back to life

Yeaaaaah she pretty much did.

This was far and away HER story more than Anna's. There wasn't a SINGLE DOUBT that Anna always loved her sister, even before she knew (relearned) her secret. Elsa on the other hand always lived in fear and didn't grow up knowing what true love really meant. In a way her "conceal, don't feel" mantra was kind of selfish because it kept Anna at a distance; she wasn't able to receive any of the true love Anna was more than ready to share with her, nor give any back toward Anna. She runs off and keeps trying to shoo away her sister who's begging for her to come back, saying that she understands and loves her anyways. But Elsa doesn't want to hear it and keeps pushing and pushing until FINALLY Anna's sacrifice lights up the lightbulb in her head. Anna was always there for her sister first throughout the entire movie, but Elsa wasn't. That "magical cry" though, that WAS finally the first time where she was there for Anna. That's when she finally understood the concept of true love, which helped her control her powers better than ever before.

Frozen is the official property of one Ms. Elsa The Snow Queen.

The Dubya:

Love Is An Open Door was a totally fun duet song he and Anna had. I liked how they vibed so well and had so much fun chemistry together. And they DID talk about stuff together and had things in common and what not. It did feel like they were legitimately getting to know each other through the fun date they had. Sure it was just a first date, but an AWESOME first date that sometimes does happen when the two of you just click. And even throughout the rest of the film he was acting all legit cool and noble and Good Guy Hans. Bob namedrops PUA, but even then you can tell when a guy is being sincere and when a guy is just using canned lines. So when the axe is dropped and he's all "Muhahaha foolish girl! I never loved you!, I just wasn't feeling it. Seriously, all the dude was missing was a mustache to twirl...THAT'S probably why people found it so 'unpredictable'. Gaston's descent into villiany adds up and feels real when you take everything we've seen and known about him into account. Hans's didn't. They avoided one cliche only to run smack into another one.

*THIS*. Very much this. I loved the movie, don't get me wrong. But there's all the difference in the world between a twist that is hinted at ahead of time (even in an extremely subtle way -- see "Sixth Sense"), and a completely out-of-nowhere character reversal.

We're not just seeing the Prince through Anna's eyes -- as Bob (and Dubya) says, we see him in action absent either princess, and he is *ALWAYS* the picture-perfect Good Guy. Having him flip on a dime and turn evil WITHOUT FORESHADOWING is just "Diabolus ex machina".

This might have been fixed by just a single line of dialogue. When Anna first meets the Prince and he says he's the youngest of bazillions of kids, he might have smirked and dropped a self-deprecating line about "yeah, no way *I* will ever be king". Just something so we know he's thinking about that possibility.

Without even any noticeable-after-the-fact foreshadowing, the twist just left me... cold.

Any thoughts on this, Moviebob?

unbeliever64:
I loved the movie, don't get me wrong. But there's all the difference in the world between a twist that is hinted at ahead of time (even in an extremely subtle way -- see "Sixth Sense"), and a completely out-of-nowhere character reversal.

We're not just seeing the Prince through Anna's eyes -- as Bob (and Dubya) says, we see him in action absent either princess, and he is *ALWAYS* the picture-perfect Good Guy. Having him flip on a dime and turn evil WITHOUT FORESHADOWING is just "Diabolus ex machina".

This might have been fixed by just a single line of dialogue. When Anna first meets the Prince and he says he's the youngest of bazillions of kids, he might have smirked and dropped a self-deprecating line about "yeah, no way *I* will ever be king". Just something so we know he's thinking about that possibility.

Without even any noticeable-after-the-fact foreshadowing, the twist just left me... cold.

Any thoughts on this, Moviebob?

I'll tell you my thoughts, at least...

Rewatching the movie, they DO foreshadow his heel-turn... a lot... but in very, surprisingly mature and subtle ways.

Yes, they openly state he's furthest brother in line to the throne. He's the ONLY one from his family and kingdom to show up at the coronation. He shares nothing truly personal about himself to Anna whatsoever. The major lyrics in his song are all about "I've found my own place" (not PERSON). Every time he's acting good, he's got eyes watching him. Unlike Anna (who was actively looking to escape her life from the prison-like castle and sees Hans as her ticket out), Hans has no reason to impulsively ask her to marry him. When he seeks to defend Anna compared to Elsa, his best defense is she's "ordinary". The majority of their "bonding" dialogue is just Anna speaking her wacky mind and him just saying he agrees (without expressing an opinion of his own). He does nothing to challenge her, question her, or follow-up anything she says (such as "why do you feel this way" or "why did you do that"... stuff that Kristoff makes a point of asking as they go on their journey together).

And, ultimately, when they are alone for the first time, no eyes watching, no hope of salvation coming, all his plans coming to fruition, he drops the act. As Anna says later, he truly had a frozen heart and bore no love in it.

What I truly love about the "twist" is, well, the realism (taken to an extreme) that, well, a nice guy can and will say the "right things" to a girl if he wants something from her. He'll agree. He'll be pleasant. He'll be charming. It's the "first date". He won't be honest. He won't be sincere. He'll put on his best behavior because he wants her convinced he truly is "Prince Charming", when in reality he's just looking to use her. Anna didn't question it; she bought into the lovesick fantasy long before she even MET him, and he recognized and capitalized on it like a pro.

That's a more masterful and scarily real villain than any "obviously evil", cloaked-in-black, mustache-twirling villain like Ursala, Captain Hook, Jafar, Hades, Maleficent, or Clayton ever were.

He's a charming prince in a Disney movie. He can sing. He can dance. He's rich. He's got brothers. He's shown as competent and brave... it's the "ideal" fantasy that girls buy into, and the perfect formula to turn on its head and manipulate.

Edit: Oh, someone pointed this part out. For a split-second, during the attack on Elsa, Hans glances up at the chandelier and tries to make an "accident" happen by guiding the bolt to knock it down onto her. It's very subtle, but you can see it if you're looking for it:
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Trishbot:

Rewatching the movie, they DO foreshadow his heel-turn... a lot... but in very, surprisingly mature and subtle ways.

Yes, they openly state he's furthest brother in line to the throne. He's the ONLY one from his family and kingdom to show up at the coronation. He shares nothing truly personal about himself to Anna whatsoever. The major lyrics in his song are all about "I've found my own place" (not PERSON). Every time he's acting good, he's got eyes watching him. Unlike Anna (who was actively looking to escape her life from the prison-like castle and sees Hans as her ticket out), Hans has no reason to impulsively ask her to marry him. When he seeks to defend Anna compared to Elsa, his best defense is she's "ordinary". The majority of their "bonding" dialogue is just Anna speaking her wacky mind and him just saying he agrees (without expressing an opinion of his own). He does nothing to challenge her, question her, or follow-up anything she says (such as "why do you feel this way" or "why did you do that"... stuff that Kristoff makes a point of asking as they go on their journey together).

Dammit, now you're making me question myself. :) I'm gonna have to go see this one again...

If the foreshadowing really IS there, then I'm down to "Dammit, I *LIKED* the Prince", and "That's not how Disney princess cartoons are supposed to work!". Which isn't nearly as valid criticism as I thought I had...

They foreshadowed Hans being evil. But they do it in a way that has never been done in a Disney movie so you don't see it coming. Most Disney villains wear dark colors speak in manner that conveys the intent to deceive; he does none of that save for one scene in the whole movie.

In the whole movie he only looks, speaks, and behaves like the villain and that's when he's admitting he's the villain.

Even after that scene everything he does "appears" heroic even confronting Elsa. That was just a well played twist.

On some people thinking Elsa may become a LGBT icon I can understand why some people could see her that way. But I don't think it has solid basis. She was never ashamed of what made her different. She was afraid that what made her different would kill people. There's a difference in being afraid of what people will think of you because you're not the same and being afraid of what makes you different accidentally murdering the first person to touch you.

While I liked the film, I found "Tangled" to be far more enjoyable, and "Brave" to do a lot more for the 'Disney Princess Movie Mold Revised' than this; although "Frozen" has better songs, save for one, with 'Let It Go' being the absolute standout.

First off, the opening with the ice farmers is never paid off. Why open with a song about their hardwork and spend a few minutes with them just for us to never see them again? Is there an ice farmer village and way of life? Do the live in huts or igloos or regular old houses in the various towns? No one knows because this was pointless. There had to be a more economical way to introduce Kristoff as a boy then that. It sets us for a different sort of thing (the vibe from that opening is pretty different than from the rest of the film) and isn't paid off. Thanks for wasting my time already movie!

Admittedly, that's a minor issue that you can't realize until the movie is almost over, and it barley detracts from anything else. The biggest flaw is the super short running time. We are definitely missing some scenes or some such. Unfortunately, the biggest issue with that is Elsa's characterization-

Once she runs away to the mountain, she's there for at absolutely most, a few hours before fully embracing her powers. With all the years of suppression, it's unbelievable (I realize it's odd to complain about unbelievabity in a movie with a talking snowman, but this issue seriously took me out of the film). If 'Let It Go' (seriously outstanding song) were set to a partial montage- 2 or 3 days of her alone on the mountain in a cave or something, during the first, slower part of the song. Then a day or 2 of her using her abilities in increasingly bigger ways (showing growing confidence) as the song builds and gets faster. Finally, culminating the same way it does in the film, the creation of ice castle.

Her character could have been fully realized with something like this, but as is, she feels like maybe the movie was going to go in X direction but then decided to go Y, and they hastily rewrote it.

Finally, the one song I loathed was the trolls' 'Fixer-Upper' song. It felt like pandering and it wasn't that catchy.

Yes, the third act twists caught me off guard (mostly), but I think you overlooked alot of the flaws in the film because of the surprising amount of non-Disney things that do happen in the film.

@Ishal- your argument is terrible, because according to the logic you used during it, any company/ corp./ inc./ brand that wants to grow shouldn't. That is reductive and counterintuitive as society and politics change, so too should these brands as to reflect what they know their audiences want (I am not meaning a Poochie kind of thing with that).

Yeah, Frozen was amazing... I could talk about it forever! Or at least as long as I'm obsessed with it... OH, and that Mickey Mouse short at the beginning was awesome, too, wasn't it?

Iceklimber:
I think the technical side of the Movie was underappreciated. The tech created almost photorealistic snow, amazing Ice Effects with multiple shaders, and the stormy sea scene had probably more polygons than any animation scene before (which is why they didn'T show more than a few seconds of it).

Just my two cents.

It's quite easy to overlook that kind of stuff nowadays when EVERY movie pushes CGI effects to the max. To the point where the general audience is unphased by it. Even more so by the audience that have no fucking clue about the time and effort it takes to make these things (i.e not art major people.)

It doesn't help them one bit that it looks like a Tangeled clone in art style.

filmguy450:

First off, the opening with the ice farmers is never paid off. Why open with a song about their hardwork and spend a few minutes with them just for us to never see them again? Is there an ice farmer village and way of life? Do the live in huts or igloos or regular old houses in the various towns? No one knows because this was pointless. There had to be a more economical way to introduce Kristoff as a boy then that. It sets us for a different sort of thing (the vibe from that opening is pretty different than from the rest of the film) and isn't paid off. Thanks for wasting my time already movie!

The opening serves several purposes, in fact. It is in the spirit of openings such as The Little Mermaid (the sailors sing about the mysterious sea... none of them really show up again), Pocahontas (The Beating Drum establishes their way of life, and we barely see them again), Aladdin (that merchant sings about the setting and never shows up again), Hunchback of Notre Dame (the jester delights some kids and segues into the movie proper, with the kids never showing up again), etc., with the point of the opening being to establish the tone of the movie and the setting of the movie. Like the sailors singing about the mysteries of the ocean, the (other) sailors in Pocahontas singing about the mysteries of the new world, Belle singing about what's beyond her village, we have the ice cutters singing about the perils, mysteries, and benefits of living in a world filled with cold and ice...

It serves THREE key purposes:
1) Apart from establishing the tone of the movie, it's a great place to show Kristoff's origins... and that scene shows what Kristoff will grow up doing. It shows, through the adults, the hard work and sacrifice he'll grow into living out. We don't see it in the movie, but the opening makes it clear that this is what Kristoff is doing for a living once we meet him as an adult and we now know how he does it and how much of a struggle it is, establishing his work ethic, his resilience, and how he finds fun even in grueling labor. We don't see the other ice workers again because the movie "fast-forwards" about 15 years, meaning they might all just be retired or even dead. It seems like Kristoff is one of the sole ice merchants in the kingdom at that point.

2) It establishes the setting of the movie. Like the merchant's song in Aladdin, it establishes the beauty and perils of this Nordic world. It very quickly establishes that, unlike Lion King, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, or other Disney movies, this is a kingdom of ice and rock, built on the fjords, beautiful yet tough. It's the most easy and accessible way to very, very quickly bring people into the movie and immerse them, as a teaser of things to come once the eternal winter hits... which ties into...

3) The lyrics. The song the ice cutters sing is FILLED with meaning, and they practically set up the whole premise of the movie, which describes both the kingdom, the properties of ice, and the entire character arc for Anna and Elsa:

"Born of cold and winter air
And mountain rain combining
This icy force both foul and fair
Has a frozen heart worth mining

So cut through the heart, cold and clear
Strike for love and strike for fear
See the beauty, sharp and sheer
Split the ice apart
And break the frozen heart

Hyup! Ho! Watch your step! Let it go!
Hyup! Ho! Watch your step! Let it go!

Beautiful!
Powerful!
Dangerous!
Cold!

Ice has a magic, can't be controlled
Stronger than one, stronger than ten
Stronger than a hundred men! Hyup!

Born of cold and winter air
And mountain rain combining
This icy force both foul and fair
Has a frozen heart worth mining

Cut through the heart, cold and clear
Strike for love and strike for fear
There's beauty and there's danger here
Split the ice apart
Beware the frozen heart."

That's basically a giant foreshadowing of Elsa and Anna's entire story arc, with strong references to Elsa's nature (even the "let it go" part was entirely intentional). It's a brilliant way to tie in the themes of the movie, establish the setting of the movie, and introduce one of the lead characters (and his reindeer) in a concise and effective manner.

Dragonbums:

It doesn't help them one bit that it looks like a Tangeled clone in art style.

I never understood that complaint. "Frozen" shares a visual style with Tangled for sure, but plenty of Disney movies have done that. Like, a ton of them. I don't get why it's a problem just now all of a sudden (and the fact that Rapunzel and Flynn show up in the movie actually makes the art style seem like a cohesive whole).
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And I think the claims they look like a "clone" are overblown:
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I loved the twist and the True Love gesture, and did quite like that the knee-jerk reaction of true love happening instantly when you don't know someone being the incorrect (and even presented dangerously!) reaction. That was pretty great. And, while "Let It Go" is a pretty awesome piece, the rest of the songs are a little lackluster. I mean, other than that one, it's hard to remember them. We're not talking "I'll make a man out of you" or "I can go the distance" here.

Did love the credits, too. The "views expressed do not necessarily represent" bit was exceptionally funny this time around, which is something I don't think has ever been said.

MovieBob:

WhiteTigerShiro:
Are people really so uncomfortable about sexuality that any character not proven to be straight MUST be because the character was meant to be homosexual? She didn't have a love interest because she didn't. She's 18! She has an entire off-screen "happily ever after" to potentially meet a love interest.

I don't think people would be jumping to that conclusion (metaphorical or otherwise) if it were "only" that she has no onscreen romantic interest. But when coupled with the fact that her story is cast as a coming-out narrative - she's been (literally) in a closet most of her life because of a "difference" she was born with, can't control and fears will make her ostracized, she flees her home/hometown, with the safety of distance can finally cut loose and experiment with said "difference," and by doing so becomes her true-self and concludes that her "difference" is not only okay but kind of awesome and joyous... in that context, it paints a plausible (if by no means definitive) picture IMO.

Just don't apply that line of thinking to the introductory timeskip or your head will explode with all the grimdark fridge horror. For instance:

-Anna and Elsa playing as kids
-Elsa damaging Anna's brain (and leaving a permanent mark)
-Troll king wiping Anna's memory
-Parents discouraging Elsa and shutting her away in her room

Makes you a little perturbed when you put all that into the context of homosexuality.

Just curious: did anyone else think the Hans twist, while generally effective, was unnecessarily cruel in execution?

To clarify, when Hans has his big villain reveal moment, I found myself wondering why he was being such a jerk. Not the betrayal part - that made sense - but why he was being intentionally hurtful to boot. It was actually a little distracting; I started wondering about why the writers did things the way they did rather than just pay attention to the rest of the movie.

Why do it that way? What does it add to have him do the whole "nobody loves you anyway" thing rather than a more pragmatic "just business" type approach that his opportunistic plot suggests would be his M.O.? The only thing I can come up with is that they felt they had to make it as obvious as possible that he's A Bad Person doing A Bad Thing for the younger members of the audience, which makes sense, but I dunno. It was just sorta...puzzling.

And one other little thing that bothered me in an otherwise pretty good movie: did it seem like Elsa figured out how to rein in the cold a smidge fast at the end there? I get that she's all emotionally locked down throughout the movie and has her eyes opened to love being the answer, okay, sure, I buy that...but when you've spent the majority of your life sealing that off, you don't just "remember" how to love immediately. Give her some time to thaw out, so to speak. I dunno. Just seemed like they were rushing things.

Edit: addendum, regarding the Elsa sexuality offshoot discussion. That possibility never occurred to me during the movie or afterward until reading the idea here, but I did spend some time reflecting on how masculine Elsa is set up to be, just in terms of emotional upbringing and development. All that effort spent hiding her feelings and not wanting to hurt people, can't control her own strength, don't let people in, etc. I was mulling it over while thinking about the recent Big Picture bit re: pink isn't the problem, effeminate villains, masculine heroes, etc. Reconsidering, though, that bit in Let It Go "Don't let them know -- well, now they know," yeah, that does have sort of an out of the closet sound to it, I suppose. But then, it's supposed to: it's a pretty broad "be who you are" anthem. Sexuality's just a red letter issue at the moment, so of course that's where the conversation would lean.

I absolutely loathe Disney for the conservative, traditional, harmful messages it sends. And then along came Frozen, a Disney movie I actually liked and that made me slightly respect Disney a bit for having the courage to do the Hans subversion and resisting the urge to pair off Elsa with a dude. I wish they would have left Kristoff as just a friend (after all, the whole "he can break the curse with his love!" plot in the ending could have also worked with Friendship Love, given that the movie was already going to incorporate Familial Love to the conception of True love), but I can't expect too much from Disney.

Part of me hopes this is the beginning of an era of progress, responsibility and self-awareness when it comes to the production of media for children, but experience tells me conservativism and tradition are not evils so easily defeated.

Long post here sorry. There has been some interesting discussion here, but I want to take up two points where I disagree with Bob.

1) Elsa is a very interesting character, thus I think it is a disservice to define her "Let it Go" sequence as merely sexual in nature. Do not get me wrong, it is a legitimate interpretation, but the sequence struck me as more genuinely and deeply cathartic and even philosophical. Now, these things certainly can relate to a person's sexuality, but we are all -as human beings- so much more than our sexuality. In the end, defining this in merely, only sexual terms may support the current issue of defining LGBT persons entirely by their own sexuality, rather than including their philosophy, spirituality, aesthetics, education, etc to give a much more complete picture of them as people. Case in point: James Baldwin, one of my favorite writers, who was a homosexual, but whose efforts in the civil rights movement and fantastic work in Literature and philosophy would be lost if we just focused on his sexuality. Elsa is this way as well; I feel she rejects Hans not because of sexuality -real or super-imposed by the audience- but because of sheer common sense and intellect.

Where I disagree with Bob is the raising of the issue of authorial intent into the discussion. I could get into a Roland Bathes-style rejection of the very concept of authorial intent, but I won't. Suffice it to say that every person has the right to see, interpret, and feel works of art as they wish, and authorial intent become moot in the face of a strong catharsis that this film could provide someone who sees it. And these differences in interpretation make for some very fun discussions, like we are having here.

2) While there may be -as some here have pointed out- a few minor hints as to Hans' true character, totaling a few frames at most, the real foreshadowing for Hans comes not from Hans himself, but from Anna. The very first scene of the film ends with Elsa begging Anna to slow down and be more careful, to which Anna ignores, resulting in a disaster that is the impetus for the entire story. Why on earth would we -myself included- think that this pattern of behavior in Anna would change just because time passed? Still within the opening Musical semi-montage, Anna talks to a painting of Joan of Arc, essentially the embodiment of recklessness, beauty, and the tragically ephemeral. Showing some sympathy with her saying: "Hang in there, Joan." So, that is two hints to Anna's -and by extension, Hans'- true nature in the first few minutes of the film.

The biggest hint though comes during Anna and Hans' declaration of love:
Anna: "We even finish each others. . .
Hans: ". . Sandwiches"
Anna: "That is what I was going to say!"

At first, I thought this was a bit of whimsy. But, at the end I realized something: Anna was lying. They have not made any sandwiches, now have they? She was going to say "sentences," but lied to facilitate the ongoing romantic mood. Anna is not a perfect princess, but a child so desperate for affection that she would lie to someone she sees as her prince charming. Her flaws as a person lead to the events of the film, but her beautiful, intense philos for her sister is what -in the end- resolves the issues of the film, and saves Elsa, Arendell and even herself. This makes her a great character, equal with her sister; flawed, but with a passion and drive that steamrolls through her mistakes and makes the audience love her none-the-less.

Also, the reveal of Hans' intentions is not a plot twist. It is a Character Twist. This is an important distinction: because mere "plot twists" often ruin characters by twisting them in extension, while twists of character tend to make the plot itself malleable. This -to me at least- is the proof positive that character is always more important than mere plot events.

So, anyway. I loved Bob's review and analysis, but I thought it was very important to bring up those two points were I disagreed.

Elsa going out into the wilderness, and building her Ice Palace has all the effect of a repressed person, finding themselves alone, screaming their frustration at the world, and then going back inside. "Let It Go" is supposed to be about her finding herself after years of, at least partially, self-imposed depression and repression. But what happens? She's been caged, metaphorically, most of her life, its all she know. She finally gets out, tastes freedom for the first time, and lets loose. She builds that Ice Palace, and then mentally, unconsciously says to her "I can't take this." and shuts the doors, putting her into a new cage. She just chose this one herself. Her interactions up until the final act amount to "This is my house, go away and leave me alone." Elsa still continues to try and shut everyone out for fear of hurting someone.

Also, the trolls, the lead troll simply says "An act of true love." Its everyone else that immediately assumes that it means the good old smoochie smoochie. :p

Ryan Hughes:
The biggest hint though comes during Anna and Hans' declaration of love:
Anna: "We even finish each others. . .
Hans: ". . Sandwiches"
Anna: "That is what I was going to say!"

At first, I thought this was a bit of whimsy. But, at the end I realized something: Anna was lying. They have not made any sandwiches, now have they? She was going to say "sentences," but lied to facilitate the ongoing romantic mood. Anna is not a perfect princess, but a child so desperate for affection that she would lie to someone she sees as her prince charming. Her flaws as a person lead to the events of the film, but her beautiful, intense philos for her sister is what -in the end- resolves the issues of the film, and saves Elsa, Arendell and even herself. This makes her a great character, equal with her sister; flawed, but with a passion and drive that steamrolls through her mistakes and makes the audience love her none-the-less.

You have that backwards: Hans starts it, Anna says sandwiches, Hans claims that's what he was going to say. Which is even more damning, really.

The song title/theme itself is the big giveaway though. Sure, from Anna's perspective, love is an open door when she's been shut in all this time, but what's the problem with leaving your door open? Anybody can just walk right in.

To Hans, love is indeed an open door. That is, it's an opportunity - one door closes, another door opens.

That song's probably the most harshly cynical part of the whole movie re: what love is.

Shjade:
You have that backwards: Hans starts it, Anna says sandwiches, Hans claims that's what he was going to say. Which is even more damning, really.

The song title/theme itself is the big giveaway though. Sure, from Anna's perspective, love is an open door when she's been shut in all this time, but what's the problem with leaving your door open? Anybody can just walk right in.

To Hans, love is indeed an open door. That is, it's an opportunity - one door closes, another door opens.

That song's probably the most harshly cynical part of the whole movie re: what love is.

Ah, you may very well be right, I am obviously just going from memory here. You are right though that may be more damning on the part of Hans' character. It really just goes to show the level of craft in the script. Even with some really good movies to go in academy awards season, I would actually be disappointed if this script does not get the recognition it deserves.

I finally got to see the movie. Yes, it's very good, and I appreciate the efforts to subvert the usual narrative. But I think the "twist" with Hans is somewhat weak because he's portrayed up to that point as utterly good. I don't mean that we should be having the camera linger for extra moments on him for no reason, or casting him in shadows, or having him mysteriously narrow his brow at some untoward moment, but... For pity's sake. Leading the expedition to look for Anna? Turning the palace into a soup kitchen on his own authority? Ordering people not to harm Elsa, despite effectively having regency and a fairly straight shot to the throne if she dies- and nearly everyone being in agreement at that point that her death might be for the best? I mean, he didn't even have to order her shot on sight- he just had to stand in the way and let nature take its course. He even had his "don't become the monster they think you are" moment; villains get to give out legitimate moral lessons in the heat of the moment, now?

I think the story might have been stronger (and, again, I'm not saying it wasn't strong) if either they had made him less of a paragon from the beginning or accepted that he could become either a schmuck or at least unacceptable as a love interest without necessitating him becoming an out-and-out villain. As it stands, the twist seems to come entirely out of left field, incongruous with everything we've been told and shown before.

As far as the "Elsa as a lesbian" thing goes- honestly, I find it kind of pathetic, grasping-at-straws, filling up empty spaces with wish fulfillment and agenda. The heart of the movie being in sorority rather than heterosexual meet-cute happily-ever-after ought to be enough of a progressive step without saddling the movie with subtext that just isn't there.

And, no; it isn't there. Shunning all human contact is not akin to preferring your own sex, nor is loving yourself after being taught self-loathing through isolation an experience unique to the LGBT community. Almost any teenager could relate, and I genuinely think trying to shoehorn it into that niche is downright wrong-headed.

MovieBob:
More than a few critics and commentators have wondered/suggested that perhaps we're meant to "read" Elsa as being a lesbian, with her powers acting as an unsubtle metaphor for the same the way it does in the X-Men movies - she was, after all, born this way.

God I hope this wasn't the intended message cause if you take as fact that Elsa's Ice powers are a metaphor for homosexuality then the entire opening scene with the sisters "playing" gets really REALLY creepy.

I think there's enough there to have a conversation, but Disney's never going to confirm it.

Callate:
I finally got to see the movie. Yes, it's very good, and I appreciate the efforts to subvert the usual narrative. But I think the "twist" with Hans is somewhat weak because he's portrayed up to that point as utterly good. I don't mean that we should be having the camera linger for extra moments on him for no reason, or casting him in shadows, or having him mysteriously narrow his brow at some untoward moment, but... For pity's sake. Leading the expedition to look for Anna? Turning the palace into a soup kitchen on his own authority? Ordering people not to harm Elsa, despite effectively having regency and a fairly straight shot to the throne if she dies- and nearly everyone being in agreement at that point that her death might be for the best? I mean, he didn't even have to order her shot on sight- he just had to stand in the way and let nature take its course. He even had his "don't become the monster they think you are" moment; villains get to give out legitimate moral lessons in the heat of the moment, now?

At this point in time, Anna is missing. Hans needs one of the sisters alive, because they are his only claim to the throne. Everyone knows that Anna left without marrying him, it's not until she comes back that he gets the chance to spin a lie saying that they said their wedding vows. And on his own, he has even less claim to the thrown than a whole raft of the other noblemen. Until he can marry Anna, he needs everyone to think he cares for both her and her sister. Hence leading the expedition, giving orders that Elsa is not to be harmed (if word got back to Anna that her fiance had ordered her sister killed, I can't imagine his odds would be improved), and talking Elsa down. He does take a chance to try and stage an accident with the chandelier, in a way where he could not possibly be blamed (and would even be lauded for his actions even if Elsa died). There is a very clear reason for everything good he does. He isn't part of the royal family yet, and he can't drop the facade until he is.

Callate:
I think the story might have been stronger (and, again, I'm not saying it wasn't strong) if either they had made him less of a paragon from the beginning or accepted that he could become either a schmuck or at least unacceptable as a love interest without necessitating him becoming an out-and-out villain. As it stands, the twist seems to come entirely out of left field, incongruous with everything we've been told and shown before.

I dunno. The twist caught me, but I was thinking for a lot of the movie that Hans was getting a damned good deal out of this given his twelve older brothers. Odds were that without this kind of marriage, he'd have lived his entire life off the generosity of an older sibling (which, it's also established, he doesn't always get on with). Once the movie was over, I was pretty comfortable with the twist and how it'd been set up.

Callate:
As far as the "Elsa as a lesbian" thing goes- honestly, I find it kind of pathetic, grasping-at-straws, filling up empty spaces with wish fulfillment and agenda. The heart of the movie being in sorority rather than heterosexual meet-cute happily-ever-after ought to be enough of a progressive step without saddling the movie with subtext that just isn't there.

And, no; it isn't there. Shunning all human contact is not akin to preferring your own sex, nor is loving yourself after being taught self-loathing through isolation an experience unique to the LGBT community. Almost any teenager could relate, and I genuinely think trying to shoehorn it into that niche is downright wrong-headed.

I can see an easy enough way to make a reading of homosexuality and coming out story out of it. It's not my preferred reading, like you (and MovieBob, from the sound of it) I think the more general metaphor for being a teenager works in a far superior way. I am entirely comfortable with people using Elsa as a metaphor for the homosexual experience of being forced into a closet though.

Anyway, I saw the film myself a day or two ago. Really enjoyed it, and my approval of it has only been growing the more I think about it. That third act is just fantastic, my inner feminist spent the whole thing grinning the biggest grin imaginable.

Azahul:
At this point in time, Anna is missing. Hans needs one of the sisters alive, because they are his only claim to the throne. Everyone knows that Anna left without marrying him, it's not until she comes back that he gets the chance to spin a lie saying that they said their wedding vows. And on his own, he has even less claim to the thrown than a whole raft of the other noblemen. Until he can marry Anna, he needs everyone to think he cares for both her and her sister. Hence leading the expedition, giving orders that Elsa is not to be harmed (if word got back to Anna that her fiance had ordered her sister killed, I can't imagine his odds would be improved), and talking Elsa down. He does take a chance to try and stage an accident with the chandelier, in a way where he could not possibly be blamed (and would even be lauded for his actions even if Elsa died). There is a very clear reason for everything good he does. He isn't part of the royal family yet, and he can't drop the facade until he is.

But even before he concocts his story about Anna (which is also one of the most unintentionally laughable parts of the movie- they completed their wedding vows without any sort of officiant, and people just accept that?) Anna leaves him in charge of Arendelle. It was already announced before the party- by Anna, no less- that they were engaged; it's barely more of a stretch for him to say that they were secretly wed before she went off in search of her sister than the lie he ultimately weaves. There's no sense that I gathered that there's any sort of line of succession with a greater claim than he has, having been given stewardship of the kingdom. At the very least, going on a life-threatening expedition is an order of magnitude more effort than was going into going to a party and courting Anna.

I understand what you mean; I just think it could have been handled in a way that still would have been completely surprising without seeming so "out of left field". I mean, I had suspicions anyway, partly because of all the buzz that was going on about third-act twists; but even keeping an eye out with that in mind, I still didn't personally find the threads that led to that conclusion.

I dunno. The twist caught me, but I was thinking for a lot of the movie that Hans was getting a damned good deal out of this given his twelve older brothers. Odds were that without this kind of marriage, he'd have lived his entire life off the generosity of an older sibling (which, it's also established, he doesn't always get on with). Once the movie was over, I was pretty comfortable with the twist and how it'd been set up.

And that's fine; Your Mileage May Vary, as they say. It's really the only thing that bothered me (and my wife) in an otherwise exemplary and remarkable movie.

I can see an easy enough way to make a reading of homosexuality and coming out story out of it. It's not my preferred reading, like you (and MovieBob, from the sound of it) I think the more general metaphor for being a teenager works in a far superior way. I am entirely comfortable with people using Elsa as a metaphor for the homosexual experience of being forced into a closet though.

Anyway, I saw the film myself a day or two ago. Really enjoyed it, and my approval of it has only been growing the more I think about it. That third act is just fantastic, my inner feminist spent the whole thing grinning the biggest grin imaginable.

The "Elsa is homosexual" reading just seems incredibly shallow to me, to the point that if the idea had first been put forth by anti-gay "homosexual agenda" paranoids, the same people would laugh. The tiny and trivial things that make up that case aren't compelling at all, and it irks me somewhat that I've seen a few people sling "well you just assume she's straight because of your heteronormative presumptions" rhetoric at others who doubt it. One could as easily make the case that Elsa must be straight because her creation of Olaf suggests the need for a male presence in her life, or that his creation represents her secret desire for motherhood, or the casting of Idina Menzel in a role so parallel to the one she played in "Wicked", where she played a heterosexual character, must mean this character is heterosexual too.

(I'm not saying any of the above is the case. I'm just saying the arguments are no more compelling.)

I don't have any problem with anyone seeing parallels with a closeted gay character, or someone feeling that the way Elsa is presented suggests sympathy to someone in that plight; I'm just annoyed that some people would want to make that claim to the exclusion of a wider and more inclusive kind of sympathy. That, and a vague suspicion that a broad press for such an interpretation might make some higher-ups say "That's it, we're matching every female character with a male counterpart from here on out." I'm firmly of the belief that when exterior agendas start curtailing the ability of writers to make their own narrative choices, we all lose.

(And yeah, my inner feminist loves Elsa and Anna too.)

There is actually one suggestion that Hans is the bad guy, because somewhere in the second act he talks about protection Arrendelle from "treason" and the Duke of Weaselton looks genuinely shocked at the suggestion. After all, no one up until that point has even hinted at treason - the Duke's main reason for exterminating Elsa being that he thinks she's a monster and therefor not considering it treason - so that was kind of a Freudian slip on Hans's part. After that bit I was well-prepared for Hans being the bad guy*, so I didn't think that this was the ending MovieBob was going to talk about.
No, the thing about the ending I thought Bob would discuss was the fact that Anna has to chose, in the end, between saving herself with love's first kiss or saving her sister. The fact that she turned her back on true love to save Elsa is a pretty big deviation from your average fairy tale in itself. It makes Kristoff pretty incidental to the story, but that's a good thing. It means that there doesn't need to be a masculine hero to save the day and ultimately it makes Anna the complete hero of the story.
But this article also had some pretty interesting analyses, although I should point out that possibly being asexual doesn't make you a lesbian; that reasoning can be pretty offensive in itself. But yeah, a good film for gender equality all round. :)

*Also, Shrek has thoroughly trained me in turning fairy tale tropes upside down, especially when it comes to 'bad prince charming'.

Conner42:
So, My friends and I were already like "What?" when Anna and that prince guy, who turns out to be the bad guy, latched on to each other pretty quickly. Yeah...getting engaged after only a couple of hours of knowing eachother? Right...I wasn't sure if we were supposed to buy into that(I mean, holy shit, I already had to try to do that in fucking Les Miserables), but when Kristoff actually kind of points out that what she did was kind of dumb, I was a bit more relieved to know that, yes, the movie also knows that what's she's doing is incredibly stupid. It wasn't like Kristoff was painted in a certain cynical light. I'd imagine that if they were going that way, Kristoff would have acted more like Eeyore. But, instead, Kristoff was pretty up-beat in his own sort of way as well.

I think this depends a lot on cultural perspective. Quickly getting engaged was not at all uncommon in Medieval Europe, especially in higher social circles. Romeo and Julliet, for instance, get engaged after only getting to know each other for three days. This trend continued well on into Victorian times, when a beautiful single woman at a ball might get a couple of marriage proposals in one evening, hence the common theme of literature from that period in which women sometimes find themselves considering multiple offers to marriage.
Of course, part of this trend was because marriage had a lot less emphasis placed on it than these days. Back then, marrying was a far more formal affair and it was partly done to bring prestige to the family. Another part was money and security of living - women didn't exactly have professions in those days - and thus marriage was much more like a contract than a romantic affair. However, the fact that Anna and Hans just 'click' would then be seen as such an extra boon that it is entirely to be expected that they would get engaged in the same evening.

BehattedWanderer:

[...]

And, while "Let It Go" is a pretty awesome piece, the rest of the songs are a little lackluster. I mean, other than that one, it's hard to remember them. We're not talking "I'll make a man out of you" or "I can go the distance" here.

"Bit of a fixer-upper"? That was pretty cute.

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