1. Marian Jacobs says:

    Good thoughts. My biggest pushback would be about the negative aspects of Frozen. I used to hold this same view of “Let It Go,” but have recently started digging a little deeper into plot and character arc in this film. At the point in the film that Elsa sings that song, she’s at her most selfish and disillusioned. She’s abandoned her family, responsibilities, etc. for a life of ease. There’s not much that’s good about that song, and that’s the point, right? She still has a very long way to go in learning how to be a good sister and a good queen. What didn’t work was how the filmmakers glorified that moment of freedom. But since she does eventually figure it out she was wrong to leave, it sorta works itself out. Almost. It’s Anna that, although naive, has real virtue in this story. If anything, Frozen II has far more insidious messages hidden even deeper in the plot and even the magic system.

    • Yes. I think “Let It Go” is not the overall message the film is sending. The beliefs Elsa embraces in that song have consequences (freezing the kingdom and nearly killing her sister).

      • Travis Perry says:

        I made part of this comment to someone else below, but it applies here.

        I’m saying the catchiness of the song “Let it Go” and the general attitude behind it will have more impact on the intended audience of young viewers than the climax of the film. But even if that isn’t true, Elsa never really “repents” of having cast aside her parents’ restrictions. Her final status is one who has “let it go” but no longer has to do so in isolation. I.e. letting it go basically paid off.

        The consequences you mention don’t require Elsa to back off having let it go, not entirely. So the consequences seem more focused on the society to me–by rejecting Elsa, they brought risk upon themselves.

        Am I see that wrong? If so, how?

  2. notleia says:

    Shorter tsun tsun Travis: if nobody dies in it, why should I be interested? /s

    Y’know, Stephen, Zack, this does make me appreciate your positive approach more (that I gleaned by secondhand because I still don’t want to be bothered with a podcast). These “old man yells at cloud” approaches are a dime a dozen.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Really now? I didn’t yell at anything.

      Nice try at an ad hominem though…

      • notleia says:

        That’s a reference to a meme, silly beans. You’re being very tsun tsun today, desu ne?

        • Travis Perry says:

          Sorry. My education in memes is lacking.

          However, I don’t feel too bad about it. I do at times feel left out of the crowd, but overall I believe I survive just fine paying minimal attention to memes. There’s only so much info a person can process and I’d rather be reading stuff that interests me, space, history, Bible, physics, etc.

          I still suspect you’re misapplying whichever meme you’re referring to, but why don’t you share a link to the meme here? So that way I’ll know for certain where you’re coming from…

          • notleia says:

            You want to make sure I’m abiding by rules in memes, the most lawless and evolutionarily prolific form of communication yet invented by mankind? For someone who claims not to not be a rules-ey person, you do tend to rely on them as a defense mechanism against the horrible possibility of being wrong on the internet. I know you’re prickly after feeling dogpiled on the other day, but I’m just teasing you about being a reactionary Old. You’re good enough at thematic nitpicking to be an SJW.

  3. I agree that rating doesn’t always equal bad or good. In a way it’s almost like someone assuming that a story is for children just because it’s animated or about animals. Assuming such things is a good way to expose children to the wrong content too early AND to demean the quality of some very awesome stories(because many people assume that stories meant for kids are always lame or low quality)

    I heard that back then PG or PG-13 movies were actually more akin to what we would call R rated now, so with older movies rating would be a bad guide from that standpoint. From what I understand, and show might actually be sort of clean but get an R rating just because the chars cussed one too many times or something.

    Bambi was pretty tame, all in all, so probably a good way to start showing kids that life can be sad and use it as a conversation starter to help them cope better. Though kids will definitely have different hangups. I would constantly seek out sad, angsty stories because I was always more comfortable handling sadness and anger, and needed those stories to come to terms with things I dealt with day to day. But I always had a harder time with fear, and had a much lower tolerance for scary stories.

    I kind of disagree with your assessment of Frozen. Although I had my own gripes about the movie, Let It Go took place in the middle of Elsa’s character arc, and was not the culmination of the movie’s message. At that point, she was feeling lonely and crushed by the weight of her stress, and realizing that she needed to release a lot of her feelings in order to be healthy. But of course she didn’t have all the answers yet, she was only part way through the movie and still had growing to do. But the show wasn’t trying to ignore the dangers of her ice powers.

    Anna went after Elsa because she wanted her back of course, but she ALSO had to stop her from burying the land in snow. Clearly, running off to a castle and ‘letting go’ wasn’t enough to solve all of Elsa’s problems. And hurting her sister with her ice powers for a second time was a major plot point toward the end. Actually, that makes me feel more sorry for her now that I think about it. Elsa ran off to isolate herself because it felt like the only way to both gain peace AND protect Anna. But even with all that her powers still caused harm. So, for a while there, it felt like no matter what Elsa did, she couldn’t escape the prison that society and her powers put her in. Not even that happy moment of ‘letting go’ was enough. The problems kept piling up. Anna still got hurt. There was no apparent escape. So her emotions spiraled even more out of control until she finally learned to cope better.

    Let It Go is a catchy song and what most people remember, but many will just see it as a means of emotional release and venting. People CAN take it as something else, like encouragement to explore their sexuality, but that’s probably not the point. At all. And even if someone takes it that way, it probably won’t be nearly the sole factor in their decision making. If they interpret that message and find it appealing, it is probably because of what they are ALREADY feeling and thinking. Yes, maybe they should have other influences to break them out of bad decisions, but it’s not necessarily the best place to place blame, especially if that’s not even what the song is about.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I’m saying the catchiness of the song “Let it Go” and the general attitude behind it will have more impact on the intended audience of young viewers than the climax of the film. But even if that isn’t true, Elsa never really “repents” of having cast aside her parents’ restrictions. Her final status is one who has “let it go” but no longer has to do so in isolation. I.e. letting it go basically paid off.

      • We’re all basically required to ‘let it go’, it’s just a question of what we’re letting go of. You have a problem with it because you assume a lot of people will go to sexuality, which may or not be true. And you’re still labeling the song as a cause when, even if people strongly associated it with enabling their sexuality, they were probably already going to decide to enable their sexuality and then pick Let It Go as their theme song.

        It kind of reminds me of when people criticize Disney Princess movies and fairly tales for encouraging girls to be damsels in distress or something. Regardless of how harmful some people thought it was for kids to grow up with fairy tales, most people liked them as children. In spite of that, girls have become MORE independent, not less.

        It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie, so I’m having to remember stuff as I go. But, initially, the things that stand out most to me without much effort is the let it go song and part of the scene where Elsa realizes the solution to her problems. I think she said something about love. Instead of telling herself she has to obsessively lock down every emotion and constantly fear hurting her sister, she changed her outlook, and her emotions and behaviors followed. So people probably won’t just remember Let It Go, one or two other scenes will probably stick out, too. In fact, considering how much people love the movie, they will probably watch it and think about it enough to remember quite a bit more.

        I don’t see the consequences as being focused on society, as you mentioned in your other comment. Yes, society had some consequence, but most people weren’t even aware of Elsa’s powers. I’m quite willing to have negative feelings toward society(even though I love people), but the focus was on Elsa and Anna’s character arc. The story’s solutions revolved around what THEY did and how THEY changed. Not society.

        But the ‘wrong’ Elsa committed wasn’t throwing off her parents’ restrictions. Her parents’ purpose was to keep her powers under control so she didn’t hurt people. Elsa found a way to do that that was more effective than wearing gloves. Once her parents saw that, they would have been happy for Elsa, because the gloves weren’t the point. It was their daughters’ well being.

        I agree that a clear confession and apology is often a good thing, but doing things so stereotypically in a movie can be fake or unrealistic. People don’t nearly always straight up apologize or repent, but they still realize they are wrong and regret it. I had a pretty clear example a few days ago, where someone I knew didn’t say sorry, and most people wouldn’t take his speech or behavior as an apology. But in some ways it was a very indirect one, and I realized that everyone would benefit from understanding that, so I explained what that guy was trying to do and why. And it did make things a little better.

        A lot of people won’t realize dynamics like that, but they really should. They’d hurt each other a lot less if they’d actually be willing to understand the motives behind someone’s behavior, instead of freaking out because they don’t hear specific words from someone’s mouth.

        How do you tend to process messages, though? Like, have you experienced that direct and blunt ones have been the most beneficial to you? And, like, in day to day life, are you more likely to want someone to directly tell you how they feel and what they want? I’m somewhat curious now. It wouldn’t be a bad thing in either case, of course.

  4. Fantastic. Well written and well thought through

What do you think?