Let's Talk About the Ending of Frozen

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About Elsa

Elsa can't be celebrating FREEDOM from terror and parental-encouraged self-oppression? She can't just be ecstatic to no longer live in fear? It has to be about her sexual orientation, or her sexual maturity. And how DARE she not-want a true love or prince, WHAT'S WRONG WITH HER? She must secretly love WOMEN, not just be content with herself or her current situation or have, I dunno, bigger things to worry about? Like running a gorram KINGDOM?

The twist in Frozen was fantastic but the same old cliched way you and others interpret it Movie Bob, is sickening.

VondeVon:
Elsa can't be celebrating FREEDOM from terror and parental-encouraged self-oppression? She can't just be ecstatic to no longer live in fear? It has to be about her sexual orientation, or her sexual maturity. And how DARE she not-want a true love or prince, WHAT'S WRONG WITH HER? She must secretly love WOMEN, not just be content with herself or her current situation or have, I dunno, bigger things to worry about? Like running a gorram KINGDOM?

The twist in Frozen was fantastic but the same old cliched way you and others interpret it Movie Bob, is sickening.

Um, I think you misread something. Bob said that he understood how people could think that Elsa was gay, not that he thought so himself. Also, he didn't ascribe it to her lack of a male love interest, but rather to the song "Let it Go" - which is a song about not just accepting who you are but embracing it and being proud of it. Bob, meanwhile, said that Elsa is plenty revolutionary all on her own for not needing a man than any issue with her sexuality.

So, while you may have beef with several other individuals on the internet, Bob isn't one of them. He agrees with you primarily.

That is actually one of the reasons I loved Elsa as a character. She is everything to everyone. Because her "otherness" is metaphorical - ice magic - it can be read as any type of disenfranchisement that the viewer feels - if you're gay, then Elsa is gay too; if you're asexual, then Elsa is asexual too, etc. She can represent ALL groups, not just a single one, and make Everyone feel like they have someone telling them to not only be okay with who they are but to be proud of who they are.

She's one of the most uplifting characters I have ever encountered. She is the reason that Frozen is my personal Movie of the Year (and personal Best Disney Film ever).

Edit:
Also, here's hoping that Anna and Elsa make appearances in Once Upon a Time. ^^

Bara_no_Hime:

VondeVon:
Elsa can't be celebrating FREEDOM from terror and parental-encouraged self-oppression? She can't just be ecstatic to no longer live in fear? It has to be about her sexual orientation, or her sexual maturity. And how DARE she not-want a true love or prince, WHAT'S WRONG WITH HER? She must secretly love WOMEN, not just be content with herself or her current situation or have, I dunno, bigger things to worry about? Like running a gorram KINGDOM?

The twist in Frozen was fantastic but the same old cliched way you and others interpret it Movie Bob, is sickening.

Also, he didn't ascribe it to her lack of a male love interest, but rather to the song "Let it Go" - which is a song about not just accepting who you are but embracing it and being proud of it.

Yeah, but he's still linking it to an issue of sexuality. I argue that such a link is both unnecessary and misleading.

I think what really bugged me wasn't the implication (not by MB) that she might be gay but that her big moment of release from constant fear (of self, for others) and the tension of self-control was reduced to metaphors of sexual release and coming of age (this was MB). This was a woman who had been raised to be Queen her whole life. This was a big sister who was already trying to reign in her little sister even as kids. This was a person who didn't need to experience romantic love in order to know that a few hours at a party wasn't marriage material. It wasn't a movie cliche of 'uptight woman sexualises herself and thus becomes confident (or confidence equals sexualised)' the way he seemed to see it. Sashaying hips? Please. She was trudging through calf-high snow, on a mountain. We're lucky she had the breath to sing, let alone sway her hips as a sign of sexual/mental/emotional maturity.

Bara_no_Hime:

Because her "otherness" is metaphorical - ice magic - it can be read as any type of disenfranchisement that the viewer feels - if you're gay, then Elsa is gay too; if you're asexual, then Elsa is asexual too, etc. She can represent ALL groups, not just a single one, and make Everyone feel like they have someone telling them to not only be okay with who they are but to be proud of who they are.

I suppose that is very true. And people are naturally inclined to make connections between things regardless of whether there is or isn't any actual evidence to the notion. It merely being vaguely similar to something else is enough. It's probably only (good) luck that I haven't stumbled over an argument about what the movie says about Feminism yet. -_-v

VondeVon:
Yeah, but he's still linking it to an issue of sexuality. I argue that such a link is both unnecessary and misleading.

but that her big moment of release from constant fear (of self, for others) and the tension of self-control was reduced to metaphors of sexual release and coming of age (this was MB).

Well, to be fair, the movie did kinda set that up. Elsa shutting herself away from Anna is very similar to what often happens between siblings when one is going through puberty while the other is not. I related particularly because the same thing happened between me and my younger sister. The whole "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" song captured that unfortunate aspect of growing up beautifully.

So, while I do disagree with Bob's use of the term "snowgasm" - there was nothing particularly orgasmic about that scene aside from how damn good it was - I do see why his mind was on puberty since the movie already had a song that addressed sisters growing apart during puberty.

VondeVon:
Sashaying hips? Please. She was trudging through calf-high snow, on a mountain. We're lucky she had the breath to sing, let alone sway her hips as a sign of sexual/mental/emotional maturity.

**blinks**

Not at the beginning of the song. At the end, when she's in her sexy dress and sashays across to the balcony of her brand new Ice Castle. That is certainly a sashay. And the eyebrow. Yikes.

The animation at the end of Let it Go is VERY sexually charged.

However, I took that more as Elsa feeling comfortable in her own body now. The source of her shame, of her repression, was the secrecy that held her back before. Now that she's free to express herself (whatever 'herself' is, see my previous comments about her as an avatar), she can embrace herself, be proud of herself, and flaunt herself - which, in the song, is portrayed as her putting on a sexy dress, literally letting her hair down, and strutting across a room made of ice while, yeah, swaying her hips like Jessica Rabbit. The difference being that Jessica did it for her audience - Elsa is strutting for herself.

VondeVon:
It's probably only (good) luck that I haven't stumbled over an argument about what the movie says about Feminism yet. -_-v

Um... **raises hand**

Well, it is an incredibly feminist movie. It presents two strong, but realistic and well developed female protagonists, one of whom saves the other without any male intervention. Frozen is the most feminist movie this year.

... were you expecting something bad?

Bara_no_Hime:

VondeVon:
Yeah, but he's still linking it to an issue of sexuality. I argue that such a link is both unnecessary and misleading.

but that her big moment of release from constant fear (of self, for others) and the tension of self-control was reduced to metaphors of sexual release and coming of age (this was MB).

Well, to be fair, the movie did kinda set that up. Elsa shutting herself away from Anna is very similar to what often happens between siblings when one is going through puberty while the other is not. I related particularly because the same thing happened between me and my younger sister. The whole "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" song captured that unfortunate aspect of growing up beautifully.

Well a) They were too young for puberty at the start of it and b) I didn't have that sort of experience at all. I definitely think this is a scenario of people seeing what they expect to, whatever it is.

Bara_no_Hime:

VondeVon:
Sashaying hips? Please. She was trudging through calf-high snow, on a mountain. We're lucky she had the breath to sing, let alone sway her hips as a sign of sexual/mental/emotional maturity.

**blinks**

Not at the beginning of the song. At the end, when she's in her sexy dress and sashays across to the balcony of her brand new Ice Castle. That is certainly a sashay. And the eyebrow. Yikes.

The animation at the end of Let it Go is VERY sexually charged.

However, I took that more as Elsa feeling comfortable in her own body now. The source of her shame, of her repression, was the secrecy that held her back before. Now that she's free to express herself (whatever 'herself' is, see my previous comments about her as an avatar), she can embrace herself, be proud of herself, and flaunt herself - which, in the song, is portrayed as her putting on a sexy dress, literally letting her hair down, and strutting across a room made of ice while, yeah, swaying her hips like Jessica Rabbit. The difference being that Jessica did it for her audience - Elsa is strutting for herself.

See, I just don't agree at all. I don't see anything sexual. I went and looked at the scene again and the one three-second scene right at the end where her hips sway widest? She's just striding with power and purpose. Wide hips plus a tiny waist equals a more visual movement than with a normal person. And sexy dress? Because of the slit maybe? (Which allows her a longer stride, by the way. I looked at her legs, she wasn't doing a Jessica Rabbit 'walking a line' walk, but a normal 'space between legs' stride.)
She barely shows more skin by her clavicle and a flash of leg and is otherwise just as clothed as she was before. This dress allows more freedom of movement and doesn't press in around her throat like the last one - 'sexy', as in designed to enhance her sex appeal, is crazy considering she's alone in the mountain and plans to stay that way. And her hair - as someone who has worn a style just like it, the relief that comes from yanking out the pins and letting it down is just elemental. If other people find that sexy... that's on them.

And the eyebrow? You see something sensual or 'come hither' but all I see is a 'fuck you, world!'

Now, I can admit that she was probably designed to be beautiful (yanking her hair free like that conveniently fell into a very nice style) but 'sexual' is very much in the eye of the beholder I think.

I don't know why I feel so strongly about it. :)
I guess 'sexy' is linked to approval of the witness, making Elsa's freedom and relief and empowerment somehow dis-empowering as she replaces 'good girl, conceal' with 'good girl, be sexually desirable'. It's like a reflection of how women have been pressured and/or encouraged to be either demure and sexually restrained or outgoing and sexually active - one or the other, with sexual activity especially being trumpeted as a sign of power when really it serves the other and blah blah blah.

It's like... bringing sex appeal into it at all, into the story of her personal growth and fear and freedom and choices and mistakes etc... it obscures everything else. It takes the focus away from her, who she elementally is and her story as a person... into something superficial and linked to the audience's lower desires.

Bara_no_Hime:

VondeVon:
It's probably only (good) luck that I haven't stumbled over an argument about what the movie says about Feminism yet. -_-v

Um... **raises hand**

Well, it is an incredibly feminist movie. It presents two strong, but realistic and well developed female protagonists, one of whom saves the other without any male intervention. Frozen is the most feminist movie this year.

... were you expecting something bad?

When it comes to Feminism? Always. People get so twisted up by it.

I agree that both characters were strong and flawed in different ways. Buuut there'll be people arguing that Anna falling for Kristoff is reinforcing that women need a man, or that women are foolish and take the slightest bit of affection as love (and Kristoff really did BARELY give her the minimum interaction necessary to just be friends - and all it took was an ignorant 'he must really love you to leave you behind' and she's sold) or that women rush into marriage with the first guy to pay them attention (unless you're a frigid single woman, who just needs the right guy or circumstances to unwind them into sexual creatures), or that it's okay for guys to be hulking and grotty but women should be beautiful and delicate(I remember gawking at the comparison between Anna and Kristoff's feet size), OR that empowerment = sexy.... :D

I'm sure I'm missing all sorts of arguments people can/are have(ing now). Exhausting.

At the end of the day, to me, it's a story about two people, gender unimportant.

VondeVon:
Well a) They were too young for puberty at the start of it

It's a metaphor. Elsa is going through "a change" and doesn't want to play with her little sister anymore. They're both also too old at the end, but that's the thing, metaphors don't need to be exact.

VondeVon:
and b) I didn't have that sort of experience at all. I definitely think this is a scenario of people seeing what they expect to, whatever it is.

Oh, I'm sure. But that's almost always the case when interpreting fiction. Still, the idea of siblings growing apart is a fairly universal issue - it happens to a lot of people.

VondeVon:
See, I just don't agree at all. I don't see anything sexual. I went and looked at the scene again and the one three-second scene right at the end where her hips sway widest? She's just striding with power and purpose.

Yup. And how is that not sexy?

VondeVon:
And sexy dress? Because of the slit maybe?

No, not the slit. The shiny. It's so pretty!

... I got a friend who runs an Esty sight to sew me up a custom one of those. It's being adjusted because she got a little overly enthusiastic and I'm not actually a Disney princess, but it is AMAZINGLY fucking sexy.

VondeVon:
'sexy', as in designed to enhance her sex appeal, is crazy considering she's alone in the mountain and plans to stay that way.

Only if you assume that the only reason to look sexy is to do so for someone else. Sometimes a girl just wants to rock an awesome dress. ^^

VondeVon:
And her hair - as someone who has worn a style just like it, the relief that comes from yanking out the pins and letting it down is just elemental.

Yes, true, but it's all of a piece. It's the deconstruction of the tightly wound, repressed Elsa and the rebirth of the sashaying (such a great word) Elsa who wears her hair down. "Let your hair down" is, after all, a term for being relaxed.

VondeVon:
And the eyebrow? You see something sensual or 'come hither' but all I see is a 'fuck you, world!'

As with her stride earlier, how is "fuck you world!" not sexy?

Besides, I didn't get "fuck you world" - I got something more teasing out of it. She does the eyebrow thing on the words "the cold never bothered me anyway," suggesting that the eyebrow is suggesting that the cold would bother others (either because her castle is really damn cold or because she's referencing the reactions her subjects and guests had to her ice magic). So, for me, it was more "you want to be here in this place that's mine? you better be able to handle the cold" - or, to put it simply, "this place here - it's MINE". Not hating the world - taking possession of her place in it.

VondeVon:
I guess 'sexy' is linked to approval of the witness, making Elsa's freedom and relief and empowerment somehow dis-empowering as she replaces 'good girl, conceal' with 'good girl, be sexually desirable'. It's like a reflection of how women have been pressured and/or encouraged to be either demure and sexually restrained or outgoing and sexually active - one or the other, with sexual activity especially being trumpeted as a sign of power when really it serves the other and blah blah blah.

It's like... bringing sex appeal into it at all, into the story of her personal growth and fear and freedom and choices and mistakes etc... it obscures everything else. It takes the focus away from her, who she elementally is and her story as a person... into something superficial and linked to the audience's lower desires.

I can see where you're coming from, but that assumes that the sexiness can't be for her. That she can't be sexy for the sake of being sexy. Or, another point - she's had to cover her body up for years. While hiding her magic (which she was shamed by her parents over), she also had to cover her arms and hands constantly, which for me echoed body shame issues. Now, here, in this cold place, she can be free of her gloves, free of being covered up, dress as she likes, and - for the first time ever - BE sexy. She couldn't be sexy back home - she might attract a partner and then freeze that partner to death. But here, alone, she can finally stop being ashamed of her cold-cursed body and sashay about being sexy if she wants to. Sure, there's no one there but her to see it (reflected in the ice walls), but who cares?

So yeah - sexy doesn't mean sexy for anyone else. Elsa can be sexy for herself, just for the freedom to be sexy and the joy of being sexy.

VondeVon:
When it comes to Feminism? Always. People get so twisted up by it.

Okay, I'll give you that one. There was this one guy I overheard as I was leaving the theater after watching Frozen for the second time who was talking about the movie "promoting violence against men" - because Anna punched the Prince who TRIED TO MURDER HER. I had to work very hard not to turn around and either ask him "what the fuck?" or possibly quote Mal Reynolds at him ("If someone tries to kill you, you kill 'em right back!").

So yeah, I'll give you that one.

VondeVon:
OR that empowerment = sexy.... :D

Well, I do tend to find empowerment pretty sexy... not sure how that's anti-feminist... but perhaps it is best not to open that particular can of worms this fine evening.

VondeVon:
I'm sure I'm missing all sorts of arguments people can/are have(ing now). Exhausting.

Oh, probably. ... fuck em. We're having a nice conversation right here. ^^

VondeVon:
At the end of the day, to me, it's a story about two people, gender unimportant.

For you, perhaps.

I'm fucking psyched that this is a Disney film about two women and their feelings. A Princess saving the Queen? That is like my childhood fantasies come to life.

If Anna was Elsa's brother instead of her sister, I don't think it would have worked as well for me. I don't think it would have moved me as much, or have dug so deep into my childhood yearnings for strong female characters who didn't have to be Xena (not that I didn't love the fuck of out of Xena: Warrior Princess, but even Gabby eventually turned into a combat badass - I loved that Frozen could make Anna the hero without making her a deadly combatant).

It's late and I'm almost certainly babbling by this point. I look forward to your reply. Goodnight!

WhiteTigerShiro:

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.

Yeah, looking at it from that angle, I can see how people might come to the conclusion that she's meant to be a metaphor for homosexuality. If nothing else, it's definitely a better excuse than what I thought was leading people to jump to that conclusion.

What I don't understand is why her problems have to be a metaphor for one thing. It's a very basic concept: She feels different and doesn't want people to know that she's different. Why do we have to pin it to being homosexual when there are so many other things that could make someone feel isolated from others and fearful? I feel like pinning it to just homosexuality really takes away from what a broad message it really is. Since people don't really get magic ice powers (that we know of...) the movie isn't trying to teach children that they shouldn't be afraid of their abnormal magical powers. It's just teaching a general message about being different and that it's okay.

nutmegmeg:
What I don't understand is why her problems have to be a metaphor for one thing. It's a very basic concept: She feels different and doesn't want people to know that she's different. Why do we have to pin it to being homosexual when there are so many other things that could make someone feel isolated from others and fearful? I feel like pinning it to just homosexuality really takes away from what a broad message it really is. Since people don't really get magic ice powers (that we know of...) the movie isn't trying to teach children that they shouldn't be afraid of their abnormal magical powers. It's just teaching a general message about being different and that it's okay.

Yeah, that's kinda the conclusion I ended-up siding towards as I continued to think about it; and really it's the more probable reasoning behind her story. I think it's safe to say that Disney denies her being a metaphor for homosexuality, less because it's too controversial for them to openly admit to, and more because she's just a general metaphor for anyone who is made to feel ashamed of who they are. Heck, if I wanted, I could easily explain how she's a metaphor for being a gamer; something that I personally was raised to feel like I should try and hide from people (especially since I live in a very sports-centric state).

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