Like most little girls in America (the world?) today, my daughter is obsessed with Frozen. Now I know we throw around the word “obsessed” quite a bit, but there truly is no better term to describe the utter devotion and attention paid to this new Disney franchise. I’m not sure which of the Arendelle sisters’ is the best loved, but in my house the winner is Elsa.
There are several reasons for this preference: Elsa has powers, she sings the best song, and she looks a great deal like my daughter’s godmother, who’s long blonde hair both of us covet. But, I think there is something more to it than beauty, music, or being able to freeze those who are bossing you around…like your beloved mother telling you it’s time for bed.
Elsa is interesting. She not only has a magical power that separates her from others, but that power gives her the ability to create. While Anna is certainly optimistic and courageous, she lacks the force (and practical sense) of Elsa. If I had to chose which character my daughter should emulate, it would be Elsa, flaws and all, because of what she represents: agency, creation, independence, and strength. When she realizes that true love is the key to the control over her power, she is truly a model heroine.
Whether or not we prefer one sister to another, I feel that it should be stated that finally, FINALLY, the plot of a Disney movie has less to do with the rescue or seduction of either sex by the other, but rather is about such difficult topics as being truly different from your community, mastering emotion, making connections, and sacrificing oneself for another. While the film is far from perfect in its portrayal of both men and women, it is a giant leap forward. In the end, Elsa is able to be powerful, playful, and loved, and isn’t that what we ultimately want for our daughters?
Thanks to rotoscopers.com for the image.