Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Now Showing: Frozen

I went to see the Disney movie "Frozen" yesterday with my four-year-old niece. It was her second time to watch it, but a first for me. I already knew the story by heart, however, as she made me and everyone in the household read her storybooks almost thrice daily.

In this post I will not discuss the debates surrounding the movie re feminism and the Disney-fication of a beloved classic, "Snow Queen." You can jump to this article for that and more links. I am not an expert on either subject matter.

My niece's take is totally different from mine, that's for sure. She focused on the little girls' games, the snowman, the marshmallow man, and the reindeer. It was a delight to watch her with her tiny 3D glasses, sitting at the edge of her seat, squealing in delight at her favorite scenes.

Despite my job as a mere movie companion, I found myself relating to the Snow Queen herself.  I liked her icy, translucent gown, to start with. And the freedom she enjoyed while unleashing her powers and being herself on top of the North Mountain held such a compelling image for me. I wanted that. The music helped to seal the deal: this is my current favorite Disney princess movie as well.

Elsa, the Snow Queen, thought she could isolate herself and not hurt anybody. But Anna, her warm, passionate, and persistent sister, showed her that Elsa's powers affected their kingdom down below and buried it in deep, deep, deep, deep, snow. Elsa was frustrated because she did not know how to bring back summer, and despite trying so hard not to hurt anyone, she still ended up hurting the ones she loved the most.

I will not put spoilers here, because those inclined should go watch the movie in 3D. But I must say that Elsa's journey showed me how I should accept my powers (gifts or skills or talents), and instead of hiding who I really am and what I can do, I should learn to just become Ella and trust that there is a place where I can unleash those powers and learn to control them.

The above song was performed by Idina Menzel, whose concert was my first at the Sydney Opera House, only last year. It really spoke to me powerfully.

The movie resolves its conflict by concluding that "an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart."

My own story does not have a conclusion yet. At heart, I am more like Anna. Mine is not the frozen heart.

In photo below: Refusing to be frozen last winter in a farm in Victoria, the hills were alive with the sound of Ella. And the cows moo-ing behind me.

A beautiful farm in Flowerdale, Victoria

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