Frozen

Who’s running this place?

They were both so young when their parents died. I don’t think Elsa could have been more than 10 or 11. From that time until her coronation, Elsa was not running the country. Neither was Anna for that matter. While this character is never shown, there was most certainly a regent in charge of running the affairs of the Kingdom until Elsa was of age. This is all well and good and everything is copacetic with me until Elsa abdicates her recently coronated throne for a newly constructed fortress of solitude. It’s at this point that the throne would logically return to the regent until Anna became of age the same way it did for her sister. This is not the case. Anna, who is much more immature than her sister, somehow assumes control of the kingdom along with her random love interest from the Southern Isles. No one seems to be too upset about it either. Granted they are dealing with the realization their Queen is an ice witch, but still, that’s why they are paid the big bucks right? And then, when Anna decides to head out alone to find her AWOL sister, she hands over the throne, which wasn’t hers to give in the first place, to an unknown outsider. And again, no one bats an eye. So, are we to believe that if Elsa and Anna would have never returned to the castle, Hans would have been the new King? That doesn’t even make sense. But even he doesn’t even stick. He grabs some men and heads out but doesn’t publicly put anyone in charge. So while he is gone, who is running the show? That random group of guys that we later see fully accept that Han and Anna were secretly married before she died? An event in which they apparently don’t need a see a body to believe even occurred? You know, it seems to me that this ‘eternal winter’ is the least of this country’s problems.

BONUS QUESTION:
Here is a question that I had and also GlueStick Mum shared in the comments of my last post. I think when you watch the scene of Elsa’s imprisonment, we assume that the manacles that adorn her hands were created by Hans. But there just isn’t time for these to be made. So who made them? While I have defended her father in the past, I can’t help but think that he had these secretly made as a last resort. Actually, scratch that. It was probably the trolls…I really think this was still all their fault.

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Image Credit:  disney.wikia.com

What if it was all the Trolls’ fault? [a theory]

I’ve been letting this one solidify in my brain for a while. Frozen is still on a decent rotation in my household so I’ve been able to watch this movie enough times to believe that this theory has some decent foundations. There are no shortages of posts floating around the internet about the plot holes in this movie. I’ve posted a few of my own on this blog. However, I think that the theory I am about to lay out might solve almost all of them. And it all starts with the question: what if the trolls were behind….everything?

Let’s start at the beginning of the movie. Elsa has just nearly iced Anna and the King & Queen rush to trolls for help. This signals a previous relationship between the royals of Arendelle and the trolls. What kind of relationship isn’t clear but we know that the King only turns to this group because the trolls are fluent in the workings of magic. Not only does the Troll King understand Elsa’s powers completely, he is even able to heal Anna & even change her memories. The day is saved! Trolls Rule! But then, the Troll King has a chat with Elsa. He shares with her that her magic has the potential for great beauty and great danger which further exacerbates the situation engendering fear in both Elsa and her father.  So why didn’t the Troll King just tell them then that ‘Love’ was the answer? Instead he gives a vague command to the King that he must help her learn to ‘control it.’ Could it be that the trolls didn’t actually want Elsa to master her abilities? Is it possible that the Troll King not only knew this advice would not help, but also that his words would put the royal family on a path to destruction? Impossible!…yet….

Let’s look a little more at the character of the trolls. We see early on that Kristoff is ‘adopted’  by one of the female rock trolls. She surprises him and Sven and states that she is going to keep them. While cute and endearing, we only seem to accept this because it appears young Kristoff is without a family. But that can’t be true. How is he working with the ice-farmers or feeding/clothing himself and his reindeer? Whatever his situation, I can’t believe that living in the hot springs with a bunch of trolls that turn into rocks when no one is around could be the best environment for a young boy. The trolls take what they want regardless of the kingdom’s laws. Then later when Anna and Kristoff visit the camp for help, the trolls ignore the urgent need and instead join in the song that culminates with a wedding being performed on the two helpless humans. Kristoff informs them during the song that she is engaged and their response speaks volumes. They scheme: ‘So she’s a bit of a fixer upper. Her brain’s a bit betwixt. Get the fiance out of the way and the whole thing will be fixed!‘ They couldn’t care less about what Anna wants or even what she needs as she slowly freezes to death right in front of their eyes. They are solely focused on their own agenda.

The trollsBut here is where it all crystallized for me. Up until the point of the movie when Anna returns home half frozen, Prince Hans has been nothing but a gentleman. He is helpful, caring and heroic. Yet when Anna asks for him to save her with a kiss, he reveals that he has been evil all along…but what if that wasn’t him talking? What if the trolls got to him first? Instead of going back to sleep after Kristoff & Anna left, what if they went to ‘fix’ the situation? We know that they could perform magic on the brain and we know that they have a way of taking what they want. So would it be too shocking if they beat Anna back to Hans, cast a spell on him turning him evil just to get him out of the way? Once Hans was removed, there would be no reason Anna & Kristoff couldn’t be together. But why was that so important?

Theory: What if all along they were waiting for their opportunity to retake Arendelle, a land stolen from them by Elsa & Anna’s ancestors hundreds of years before? Could there have been a troll plot put into motion long ago that caused Elsa to be endowed with nearly uncontrollable magic abilities they hoped to exploit to destroy the human invaders? But then when Elsa was seemingly out of the picture, the trolls had to pivot quickly on the opportunity to insert their brain-washed, human pawn Kristoff as the husband to the next in line for Queen.

Yes, this is a little far-fetched, but if we can believe that Hans can do a complete 180…why not the trolls?

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

Non-Definitive, Completely Biased Ranking of Disney Dads

This post is going to be a little different format from my typical pointless questioning. With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s got me thinking about being a dad a little more than usual. When it comes to Disney, most of the father examples provided to us are what I would consider lacking. The ones that tend to be the best are often killed off as fast as they are introduced. So when I think about the question of who is the best Disney Dad, I decided it was only best to create a list of 15 Dads and rank them. Why 15? Because Father’s Day is on June 15th this year. (that’s not true…just a happy coincidence.)

(15 Disney Dads ranked Best to Worst)

1. James – The Princess & the Frog
This father is the perfect example of a good dad that is gone too quickly. He pops in, gives some good fatherly advice and then dies a hero. This guy is my number 1 because he doesn’t just talk a good game, the way he lived his life instilled values in his daughter that made her strong & self-sufficient.

Marlin - finding nemo2. Marlin – Nemo’s Dad in Finding Nemo
Sure he is over protective but after the loss of his wife and other kids, you can’t blame the guy. Stopping at nothing and facing his fears to find his kid across a whole ocean is definitely commendable. Rapunzel’s dad should’ve watched this movie on how to respond to a lost kid…Oh, and his jokes are terrible. That’s a prerequisite for an awesome dad!

Pongo

 

3. Pongo – 101 Dalmations
I have to say that Pongo is along the same caliber of dad-ness as Marlin. When his kids are taken, he and his wife do everything in their power to save them. He also is willing to adopt 84 other puppies and raise them as his own. He is dad to the bone. (sorry for that)

 

Mufasa4. Mufasa – Simba’s Dad in The Lion King
James Earl Jones’s voice can make anything sound more grand than it is.  This fact leads us to believe that Mufasa has this thing parenting down. Most think this dad should be number 1, but I have to disagree. Unfortunately we can see from Simba’s ‘Can’t wait to be King’ song, that he is learning more from Mufasa’s actions than his words.

5. King – Elsa & Anna’s Dad in Frozen
This dad has gotten a lot of slack for isolating Elsa but as I discussed in my previous post, that might not have been the worst idea for the Kingdom’s sake. That said, his isolation actions punish Anna as well and create lots of ‘daddy issues’ that result in an engagement to a scoundrel and the freezing of a kingdom.

6. King Triton – Ariel’s Dad in The Little Mermaid
Not only is he running a Kingdom but also raising six girls on his own. This would be a hilarious 80’s sitcom come to think of it. Triton gets grief for being prejudice against humans but I think we can assume this is well founded. His harsh treatment of his daughter’s fondness of the dark side is a little misguided but can’t fault him too much for it. However, I don’t understand him giving up so easily against Ursula (see post) nor changing his whole belief system regarding humans because of one good encounter with Eric.

7. Fa Zhou – Mulan’s Dad
At the end of the day, this guy is a product of the culture. His treatment of his daughter is based on societal norms. We find it limiting and wrong but that’s because we are looking at it from a western, twenty-first century perspective. So, let’s calm down. Plus, he is the coolest looking bald guy in all Disney movies for sure!

 

8. King Stefan – Sleeping Beauty’s Dad
So he’s willing to not see his daughter for 18 years in order to hide her and keep her safe. Then he has her brought back to the palace the last day BEFORE the curse ends? That’s a mix of amazing fortitude and poor planning. Couldn’t he have had the celebration the next day?

 

 

9. The Great Prince of the Forest – Bambi’s Father
If people don’t even realize that you are Bambi’s father until his mom dies, maybe you are being a little too aloof. This buck’s cold attitude toward Bambi can be seen by many as helping Bambi into manhood…but I think there could be a better way to do it.

 

10. King – Rapunzel’s Dad in Tangled
I give this guy a lot of credit for honoring his lost daughter for 16 years but the rampant security issues in his castle are one of the main contributing factors to his daughter’s kidnapping in the first place. Also, you would hope that if his guards scoured every inch of the countryside they would have come across the tower that held Rapunzel. He really needs to shore up his ship.

Cinderellas dad11. Aristocrat Widower – Cinderella’s Dad
Points to this guy for understanding the importance of a mother in a young girl’s life. But even more demerits for both being duped by and willingly marrying Lady Tremaine.

12. King – Snow White’s Dad (not pictured)
This guy apparently read from the same playbook as Cinderella’s dad. He’s not even technically in the story, but we know that he was married to Snow White’s mother and then after her death, remarried a smoking hot queen who was evil. If you have kids, you might want to take them into account when choosing a step-mom…

13. Mr Incredible – The Incredibles
For being a super hero, I can’t say that this guy is very extraordinary when it comes to fatherhood. I get that he is in a rut for having to hide his powers, but becoming a father mean sacrificing…it’s just part of the gig. And he doesn’t really get this even at the end. He has his happy ending because he gets to go back to crime fighting. I think it is just icing on the cake that his family is with him.

George Darline14. George Darling – Wendy, Michael & John’s Dad in Peter Pan
I don’t think you could consider George a very ‘present’ father. Letting his pre-teen daughter live in a nursery with two younger brothers while a dog serves as nursemaid wouldn’t win him any parenting awards by today’s standards. But what can you expect from a former lost boy right?

And the worst father award goes too……

The sultan15. Sultan – Jasmine’s Dad in Aladdin
If you read my previous post on this guy, you probably saw this one coming. Only thing left to say is that while he does choose to allow his daughter to marry for love, he does the opposite of the King in Frozen and potentially sets up his kingdom for ruin. A street rat does not a great ruler make.

I know I haven’t exhausted the Disney dads with this post…that’s why I called it ‘non-definitive’. I may do another one…who did I miss that should have definitely been included in the next 15?

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Image Credit: disney.wikia.com

Didn’t he fall for the wrong sister?

Kristoff and Elsa

I don’t think fans of the movie Frozen are going to like this question but I am going to ask it anyway. Recent Disney movies have trended towards more character development so I typically hold them to a different standard from their predecessors. When you look at most relationships between Disney Princesses and their Beau’s, all have something in common: true love. They also typically have something else in common: the two love birds have no apparent similar interests besides being in love with the other. Sure, most of these movies are quick snapshots into the lives of these characters and usually feature a flurry of activity like fighting dragons, wicked sorcerers or even snow monsters. These characters are so busy trying to stay alive, they don’t have time to share that they enjoy collecting trash from sunken ships or prefer to eat bugs over meat…yet they somehow fall in love. Now, I get that besting a catastrophic occurrence can bond survivors, but I really don’t understand why when Disney had a chance to pair two characters together who were so obviously a good match, they chose instead to fall back to their old ways. So I ask, why didn’t Elsa & Kristoff get together?

To help solidify the validity of my question, I have put together a few proofs that Disney made the wrong coupling. First, Kristoff is a young man that from birth has been connected with ice. Not sure why as a boy he was working as a ice harvester, but it is something that he apparently both enjoys and excels at enough to stay employed in through early adulthood. And this not just a job for him, it’s his passion! He really loves the stuff. When Kristoff first visits Elsa’s ice castle, he is in a state of euphoria. He sighs and says ‘flawless…I’m gonna cry.’ Then when he is told to wait outside by Anna, he replies ‘oh, come on! It’s a palace made of ice. Ice is my life!’ It’s his LIFE. And although she doesn’t say it in the movie, it’s always been Elsa’s life too even though she hasn’t been able to enjoy it until now. I don’t know of two previous Disney love interests that could say they both shared such an identical affinity for a particular thing like these two do. But, they don’t end up sharing a harrowing ordeal, so of course they could never end up being the other’s true love. It does make me wonder though if Anna transforming into ice at the end had anything to do with securing Kristoff’s affection…I guess that would have one upped the ice dress huh?

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Image Credit: (edited) wallpapers101.com

Was Elsa’s Dad So Wrong?

For a character that is in so little of the actual movie, Elsa’s father in Frozen has gotten raked across the coals by numerous movie reviewers for many of his parenting decisions. His daughter doesn’t hold back either. ‘Conceal, don’t feel‘ and ‘Be the Good Girl‘ are shouted by Elsa during the song Let it Go as she is finally able to be who she truly is now that her dad is gone. This becomes the anthem of the movie promoting not being afraid to be different and never having to hide who you are. As a dad, I get the outrage against his actions, but what if Elsa’s father was thinking less like a dad here and more like a King?

King of Arendelle

When The King & Queen take Elsa & Anna to see the rock trolls, the Troll King lays it out pretty well for the family. Elsa’s got lots of power and it will be bad if she is controlled by fear. However, it seems like Elsa’s dad puts on earmuffs during this conversation as all of his guidelines and advice from that point forward only help to create fear in his daughter ultimately contributing to the craziness later in the film. But isn’t what happens at her coronation most likely what her Dad was afraid of? Not the revealing her powers part but the creating fear in others part. Because Elsa showing the world her powers doesn’t just put her at risk but the entire kingdom of Arendelle! (stick with me, I’ll explain why) I propose The King may have been putting his family’s legacy above his family, and isn’t that what Kings are supposed to do?

Let’s look at the coronation. When everything goes south and she freezes Arendelle, the first reaction of all the guests is fear. You can attribute this to the scale of the Elsa’s actions or just the simple fact that she can do it at all. In general, people fear what they do not understand and it’s not a stretch to think everyone wouldn’t understand this situation. Even if she had control of her powers and made everyone snow cones at the coronation ball, I bet that more than one person would still have been terrified because of the sheer implications of this skill. News would spread like wildfire across the neighboring regions: Did you hear that Queen Elsa of Arendelle can make snow cones from her hands? What else could she do? Could she freeze a lake? What about our ships? Could she create snow monsters? Could this be used to hurt us? Are there other people in Arendelle that have ice powers? What about Anna? Something has to be done about this right away! Uncertainty would lead to fear and fear would lead to a cold war. Attempts would be made on Elsa’s life and maybe even an all out war on the Kingdom just so everyone could feel safe again. Think of it like one country having nukes and every other country just being ok with not having them…it wouldn’t happen. The King had to have thought about that possibility. No doubt, he definitely could have made some better choices as a father so his daughters wouldn’t have so many daddy issues, but as a King, I think he may have gotten it right.

Do you think we should cut the belated King some slack here? Or was he cold as ice, willing to sacrifice…his daughter?

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Image Credits: disney.wikia.com

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Related: Maybe that’s why Eugene & Rapunzel didn’t want to get involved.

A snow monster?

Disney's Frozen Snow Monster

One of the primary messages of Frozen is the importance of love between sisters. Love is (spoiler) what breaks both the curse of endless winter and cures Anna’s frozen heart. It also makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside. Almost fuzzy enough to forget the numerous times that Elsa has either directly or indirectly tried to kill her sister. The first is mere minutes into the movie when young Elsa slips and falls and ends up launching an icicle at Anna’s head. Later on, Anna won’t stop hounding Elsa to return to Arendalle and ends up receiving an ice blast in the heart for her troubles. Both of these are considered accidents and therefore semi-excusable. Elsa is simply not able to control her powers. We get it. We feel for Elsa….we understand being told to ‘conceal don’t feel’ and then removed from contact with the outside world was not the best course of action her parents could have taken. We are all Team Elsa. And then she creates the snow monster…

Elsa creates a terrifying, demonic beast not on accident or even to protect herself, but to simply hasten her sister’s departure from the ice castle. Wasn’t that a little overkill? Couldn’t she have just created some super long ice slide home or something? Did she really need to forge something so malevolent and terrible that would not only chase them out but ultimately try to kill them? As much as I would like to, I just don’t think we can chalk this up to Elsa’s fear or lack of control. We’ve all seen that she can manipulate her powers pretty well even before she figures out the whole love thing. Don’t you remember her perfectly sculpted ice stairs, ice dress and the intricately designed ice castle?

Then at the climax of the movie, when Anna sacrifices her life for her sister, it would only make sense that Elsa would apologize for the multiple murder attempts. But, no! She doesn’t even mention it! She gets off scot-free by simply removing the winter that she originally caused and then makes an ice skating rink. So then why is Hans the villain? He only tried to kill Anna once…maybe one of the things that Elsa shouldn’t have let go of was taking some responsibility for her actions.

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Image Credit: aceshowbiz.com

Won’t Get Tangled Up in Frozen?

I’m sure by now you’ve seen that both Eugene (aka Flynn) & Rapunzel (from Tangled) visited the Kingdom of Arendelle for Elsa’s Coronation in the movie Frozen. The same coronation in which Elsa freaks out and freezes the whole kingdom trapping all the guests until she returns to fix everything.

frozen-easter-egg-tangled-rapunzel

I realize this is a little ‘easter egg’ that Disney added for fun but two things strike me as a little funny with this short, unassuming entrance. The first is that Rapunzel isn’t wearing her crown or even a very princess-y dress. We all know that Rapunzel is not one to flout her princess status, but when visiting a foreign kingdom for a royal event, a ball gown & crown should be customary, right? At least Eugene has something on that appears a little more formal than usual. And secondly, they are simply walking in with the masses. Even if they were the most unassuming royalty in all the Kingdoms, Elsa’s staff must have dropped the ball by not announcing The Fitzherbert’s entrance (do you think she took his last name?)…I mean, that’s what you do for royalty, right? They get announced everywhere they go. But that’s not what really gets my snow-goat about this situation.

During the whole Frozen crisis, Prince Hans of the Southern Isles is placed in charge and is seen passing out blankets and food to keep everyone safe while Anna goes alone to the mountains on the search for the queen. But where are Eugene and Rapunzel? I find it hard to believe that they would sail all the way to this event and leave before the party was even in full swing. Which is when they would have had to leave in order to get out before Elsa goes all ice-happy and freezes the kingdom. Granted, you don’t see them anywhere at either the actual Coronation ceremony or the after party, but I refuse to believe that they are such horrible guests to leave that early. They had to have stayed…so what the crap are they doing this whole time? Why aren’t they helping Prince Hans? We’ve seen the way that Rapunzel is with the people in her kingdom, but she doesn’t want to lift a finger to help another that’s in trouble? I do concede that this situation is a lot bigger than a mean step-mom kidnapper or twins that are bent on revenge, so they may have felt a little out of their league. But if Elsa & Anna’s parent’s died on the way to Eugene & Rapunzel’s wedding (see theory here), don’t you think that they owe it to them to help? I do…what about you?

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More to come…. @dadsquestions

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