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Analysis of movie "Frozen"

movie review

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9 replies to this topic

#1
Robofox42

Robofox42
  • 21 posts

I recently watched the movie frozen, and struck me emotionally.  I felt there was something deeper going on, and I thought about it and I think I have a good idea of one possible interpretation of the movie. *** SPOILER ALERT *** I will be going through the plot in detail and so don't read this review until after you have watched the movie. The main cue to deeper meaning is the ice.  The ice stands for the truth and integrity.  Ice is a manifestation of the true self.  The entire movie is about the struggle of the true self against the false self. 

 

To start with, the main thing that made the deeper meaning click for me is to realize that Anna and Elsa are in fact the same person.  Elsa is the true self.  I was very confused at first because I thought that Anna was the false self, but it didn't make sense with the rest of the movie.  I then realized that Anna is the manifestation of the personality.  When they are children, Elsa and Anna are in harmony as children are with their true self. However, Anna gets struck with ice to the head and this creates a panic.  I think this implicitly means that Anna is attacked for being her true self as a child.  She is rushed to the troll healer.  The troll healer I think means well, but he is actually corrupt.  His advice is to erase Elsa's memories which is basically telling Anna to self-erase her true self.  He also warns her about fear, but all his advice is terrible because it greatly escalates fear in Elsa.  Elsa must suppress her ice and cut herself off from Anna.  Elsa is also cut off from the rest of the world.  Notice that the troll healer can't heal the heart.  This makes sense because corrupt parents can't heal the hearts of their children.  Elsa's ability is considered a curse and she is told to control it by not feeling. Later on, it is pretty apparent that Anna is now completely isolated from Elsa.  She is very lonely as people are when they suppress their true self.  Elsa is completely isolated in her room which tells me that the true self is completely suppressed.  Elsa can't really control her power because the true self can't really stop existing and conform to corrupt people.  The true self can never fully self-erase and so the depression is manifested in Anna and Elsa. When coronation day arrives, Anna is now completely the false self.  She is very care-free and instantly falls in love with the very corrupt Prince Hans.  This is one of the ways we know that Anna is the false self.  She is completely blind to the corruptness of people around her. I thought it was very fitting that Elsa has to suppress herself the very most in order to become Queen. 

 

At the dance later, Elsa is very quiet and refuses to dance.  She knows that if she revealed her ice, the people there would be afraid of her.  Anna on the other hand dances with the Duke and Prince Hans who are both very corrupt.  She decides to get engaged to Hans, but Elsa refuses.  This also tells me that Elsa is the true self because she is able to recognize the danger of marrying Hans.  Anna is angry and wants to know why Elsa cuts her out. The false self wants to know why it can't be happy and is angry at the true self.   Elsa loses control and reveals her power and this incites anger in the Duke and fear in the crowd.  To me the Duke represents corrupt authority that seeks to exploit.  The crowd represents people who obey authority and being your true self creates fear in them. 

 

Elsa runs away.  Her running away creates a winter.  Basically revealing your true self creates fear, panic, and anger (Duke) to those around you.  Anna must leave after Elsa in order to try to restore things the way they were.  Anna is still the false self and is trying to stop the waves of cold that are inevitably released when Elsa's powers are revealed.   Elsa sings the "Let it go" song which is quite powerful.  This is how we know for certain that Elsa is the true self and the ice is truth and integrity.  This song moved me a lot and I think it moves a lot of people because it reaches down through their unconscious and their true selves crave the freedom.  In the song she is expressing how she won't hold it back and she doesn't care about what others think and that the cold doesn't bother her. Anna is seeking after her sister to restore things to teh way they were before.  She can't handle the cold very well and wishes her sister had powers that were powers of summer instead of ice.  She comes across Christoff.  He enters covered in snow and his job is hauling ice.  These cues of ice let us know that Christoff is actually a very good person.  Anna recognizes that only with his help can she go and find Elsa which is rather telling.  It often takes a very good person and friend to help us on our path back to our true self.   Anna is still the false self and she is easily offended by Christoff.  Christoff is also able to see the danger in Anna's engagement and tries to warn her but she is defensive.  At this moment, they are attacked by wolves, or more accurately, Christoff is attacked by wolves.  The wolves represent Anna's false self emotionally attacking Christoff when he tries to tell her the truth about the corruption of Hans. Christoff still follows her even though he was just attacked by wolves which was really her attack.  This tells us that he still does care about her, but he is feeling reluctant to help her when she doesn't seem to want his help and will attack him when he does.  But he grudgingly recognizes that she really does need him.  She is completely unaware of how lost she is and needs Christoff to even know which way to go.

 

They then meet Olaf the snowman who becomes their guide.  Olaf is the innocent child that was abandoned/destroyed when the original accident happened.  We know this because he was destroyed in their childhood and is only restored when Elsa becomes free.  He is also completely unaware of the danger of heat like a child is unaware of the danger of corrupt people.  The fact that he becomes the guide tells us that Anna must visit her childhood memories in order to meet Elsa again.  She wants to climb the wall and really can't.  Olaf shows her how to find the staircase.  Olaf is also very confused on why Anna can't just knock and talk to Elsa. Anna meets Elsa, and that they must meet alone with only Olaf is the clue that they were actually the same person.  Anna is trying to convince Elsa to bring back summer, but Elsa can't.  Anna is unaware of how Elsa is feeling and is trying to convince her to come back.  She is unaware that once the true self is let free, she can't go back to the way things were before.  Anna is struck with ice in the heart.  To me this means that full exposure to teh true self is fatal to the false self. 

 

Elsa refuses to allow Anna to corrupt her into going back and sends the huge snow creature to drive them out.  Anna is starting to become cold and Christoff takes her to see his family.  Now as they are going to visit the troll family, notice the heat vents and the complete removal of all snow and ice.  This is a cue that the family is actually a corrupt manipulative influence.  This is verified by them wanting to manipulate Christoff and Anna to get married on the spot.  This is the very danger that Christoff warned Anna about earlier.  Anna is still the false self at this point and in love with Prince Hans.  They are very shallow and judge her to be a good match looking at only her looks.  They are basically trying to setup Christoff with a person that is still dominated by the false self. 

 

He is constantly trying to ward off their manipulation, but not being very successful.  They quit trying when the coldness of Anna manifests which is interesting.  The troll healer comes and says he can't do anything to help her heart.  They then send Anna and Christoff to Prince Hans which is sending them in the completely wrong direction.   Meanwhile, the corrupt Duke and Hans come to attack Elsa and bring back summer.  The Duke through hostility, and Hans through manipulation.  The ice monster tries to protect Elsa but fails.  She is imprisoned again, but she can't bring back summer which is saying she can't go back to the way she was before.   Anna is getting colder.  The ice in her heart reveals to her the true nature of Hans.  Hans only loved her false self that he could manipulate.  Hans was just using her before to get to the throne of Elsa's.  The ice in Anna's heart is beginning to reveal to her the corruption around her that she couldn't see.  She realizes she doesn't know what love is and how shallow the false self really is.  Olaf who is the childhood guide begins to teach her.   Elsa uses ice to escape her captors and a storm begins.  I take the storm to mean the emotional turbalence Elsa and Anna are going through.  The path from the false self to the true self is very painful and turbulent.  The storm is also a great sifter that reveals the real nature of the world around her.  Only Christoff is willing to go through the storm and try to save Anna.  Anna is wandering to find Christoff because she has learned that he is the one that actually cares about her.  As Anna is becoming more aware of the truth she is getting colder and colder.  The ice in her heart is killing her false self.   Anna then is willing to die or let her false self completely die in order to save Elsa from the corruption of Hans.  When she does, Han's sword is destroyed and Anna is fully ice.  Once Anna becomes fully ice, she then melts because she now loves Elsa who is her true self.   I take the love will thaw as the ending of the storm of turbulence that comes from emerging with Anna loving Elsa and they are in harmony again.  Elsa has found the oasis where she can be happy and no longer has feel fear because she has removed the corrupt people out of her life.  She cuts off relations with the Duke of Weselton and sends back Hans.  She is surrounded by people that enjoy her ice and she now can create a perpetual winter in her castle.  Olaf is now permanently protected from melting.  She is leaving the door open which means she will not hide herself any longer. I like how it ends with a shot of the castle being in winter in isolation.  She has created an oasis where the people that value her for who she is can gather away from summer which is the rest of the world outside.


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#2
Robofox42

Robofox42
  • 21 posts

I wanted to put some of the evidence that they are indeed the same person.  First off, their childhood is very close to the same.  They are sisters that are very close yet they have grown up in isolation.  This is a big clue. 

 

Another clue is that as Anna is getting frozen, she is learning teh truth about Hans and Christoff.  Anna is becoming ice.

 

Another clue is that Olaf is the guide to Anna finding Elsa.  He seems to be the connection between the two sisters.

 

Another clue is that Elsa's permission is necessary for Anna to marry Hans.  It seemed strange that Elsa had the power to say they weren't getting married.

 

Another clue is that Hans is going through Anna to get to Elsa

 

The main clue for me is that the two sisters are so close in a lot of ways but they must be kept apart from each other.  Elsa is very dangerous to Anna, and the story seems to revolve around the two sisters being able to successfully reunite after being pulled apart in their childhood.  The story ends with them being in harmony instead of the traditional ending of Anna getting married.

 

This was my interpretation of the deeper meaning that made the most sense to me.


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#3
Joel Patterson

Joel Patterson
  • 328 posts

Man, that was really good. I also had a very strong reaction to this movie, especially the "let it Go" sequence. My initial thoughts about the song were, "Man, this describes what it's like getting corrupt people out of your life beautifully." Being alone and away from people who attack you for the first time is something worth celebrating. The creative power of the unconscious unleashes like elsa's ice fractals and old fears subside.  The interpretation of the wolfs, of the Olaf being a child, Anna the false self, it all ties in quite nicely and makes sense. I also like how concise it was. Everything was significant. I might re-write my review so that in a similar style.  How did you learn to interpret films? I would love any pointers or advice. The film Tangled had a very strong impact on me and I'm actually writing a review on it now. I posted the unfinished portion in the philosopher king forum.   


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#4
travioli

travioli
  • 50 posts

This is a really good review. I had my own thoughts about the movie, after a lot of face palming while watching it for the first time. This review is more of a metaphorical view on the movie, and it makes more cohesive sense.

 

For example, some of the quibbles I had with it were mostly disconnected, not overarching. I didn't like how they defined love as putting someone's needs before yours, (as if there is a dichotomy between people's needs when they love each other), how Anna, when going to search for Elsa, was warned that she would die, or that Elsa would harm her, but she just said "No she won't, she's my sister!" This reminded me of the cult of the family, especially how it contradicted the evidence that Elsa did hurt her in the past, and basically left her all alone in her childhood. Of course now, this makes more sense with the theory that Anna and Elsa are false self and true self, respectively.

 

The only criticism I did have of it that was covering the totality of the movie, was that I didn't how understand how Elsa ended up being so powerful and virtuous--as well as most the other cast in many aspects; Elsa just caught my attention--when they all had significant emotional trauma. Anna and Elsa's parents died, then neglected in a huge castle, Cristoff's only real friend was a Reindeer, and Hans was ignored by his brothers for 2 years, brushing it off, (although, Hans' identity by the end of the movie did make sense with his abuse and ignoring of it's pain that it caused him in his childhood). But now, I see most the criticisms I had were surface level. I still didn't like the film, (also because of the portrayal of ordinary, mostly boring, and "fixer-upper" characters), but I can appreciate the psychological aspects, which I sensed. Thanks for your review!!


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#5
Wuzzums

Wuzzums
  • 547 posts

I thought it was far too generic. Anna's your typical stock Manic Pixie Dream Girl which takes Kristoff, the simpleton that just likes ice, on a journey to find out what life is all about. This is all because the character that can manipulate matter and create life at will is afraid for some contrived reason... and has to sing a song.

 

Then the third act comes along and the conflict comes dangerously close to being resolved when the writers had the brilliant idea of turning the only character that knew what he was doing into the antagonist. They didn't even bother to add some foreshadowing. He risks his own life to save the kingdom and the queen... but he was pure evil all along? It's the equivalent to watching Game of Thrones and then they suddenly reveal that King Jeoffrey was the good guy this whole time.

 

The movie would have made more sense if Robofox42 had written the story.


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#6
Robofox42

Robofox42
  • 21 posts

@Joel Sorry for the long delay in response. I have thought a lot about the interpretation of things since watching Stefan's reviews of movies.  However, this is my first actually written review.  It's the first that I felt my ideas came together enough and fit well enough for me to feel confident to write a review to share.  For this movie, my family recently went on a long road trip.  About a week earlier, someone shared the "Let it go" song on facebook and my kids really liked it.  They really wanted to see the film.  We figured it would it would be a good film to help the kids handle the trip.  So I saw the film and heard the audio of the film about 5-6 times.  Thinking about the film was a great way to keep focus and not fall asleep on the road.  I went through multiple interpretations but none of them seemed to be cohesive with the entire movie.  I finally came to the realization that the two characters are the same person, and that is when it all came together. I can't really give advice since I feel like I got lucky and I don't feel confident I could replicate it.  The only thing I could say is watch the film multiple times (I am not like Stef and it takes me many many times to pick up as much as he does in watching it the first time). I have some other opinions on this topic, but I don't have confidence that they are completely correct.  The rest of this post is my view of interpretations and they are just my opinion and I don't feel confident that I have enough evidence for them to be proven.  They are just my thoughts... I have come to see two different kinds of interpretations that are out there. The vast majority of interpretations are where the viewer is saying their emotional reaction to the movie.  You can usually tell these because they talk only about a small portion of the content of the movie. Also, the interpretation often isn't consistent with the rest of the movie.  Don't get me wrong, I think this is a valid approach as long as the person acknowledges that it is their own reaction to the movie.  Otherwise, the person is projecting. On the other hand, the other type of interpretation is to try to come to understand the author/creator's emotional worldview.  It takes a lot of effort for an author to create a movie.  They are inevitably going to be pulled toward the emotions and ideas that resonate the most with them.  The author's emotions, the messages of their subconscious, the lies they tell themselves, this will all make its way into the ideas in the film.  These messages are very deep in the film because they have to rewrite it many times to fit to the cultural appetites of the audience.  Like the false self, the surface layer of a film is the author's attempt to write the story to appeal to an audience.  Like the the true self, the author can't fully erase the deep ideas and feelings they feel and so they are still present on a deeper layer. The author's experience in the creation of the movie is much harder to unravel, but I believe that when it is, the movie begins to make much more cohesive sense.  Sometimes the messages can be completely contradictory, but that is because the author is lying to themselves on things they know deep down are true.  The movie still can make cohesive sense because you can understand the state of the confusion of the author.  The author's state of mind may be confused, but it can be understood.  The interpretation can be cohesive even if the message is not. When a movie plot is created by multiple people, then it becomes a lot harder.  In my opinion, the interpretation is not destroyed, just made deeper.  Most of the people working on it stay focused on the surface layer of making it appeal to culture.  However, I think that the person who is still in charge still leaves their feelings in, but it is on a deeper level.   This is my theory to explain why readers hate movie adaptions of their books.  The director of the movie creates their interpretation which is not the same as the interpretation of teh original book.  Because of this, the reader feels the movie does not capture the spirit of the book.  Their subconscious reaction is very different from the book.  Even if the director tries hard to stay true to the story, they inevitably have to make so many decisions that their interpretation is woven into their product.  Recreating the book interpretation is very difficult.  It isn't just staying true to the story plotline. For me, I think the biggest clues to deeper meaning is when the plot either doesn't make sense, or events aren't necessary for the surface layer.  My guess is when the plot doesn't make sense, it is because the author "needed" something to happen emotionally but couldn't find a way to do it.  Another way it doesn't make sense is that the author is lying to themselves and doesn't see their own contradiction.  This is usually the case when a movie is conforming to culture which usually doesn't make much sense but is taken for granted. For the movie "Frozen", my wife and I discussed the movie afterwards, and a lot of it didn't make any sense.   - Christoff's personality doesn't make sense.  His personality would be shaped by being alone a lot an d also by being raised by the trolls.  His personality and mannerisms aren't like this at all.  I think the more cohesive explanation is that he needed to be a person that was separate from the world so that he could help Anna find Elsa.  He also wasn't like the trolls because he has somewhat successfully escaped their influence. - Anna's personality doesn't make sense.  She has been alone for her childhood interacting with paintings as if they are real.  Yet she is very social and warm and care-free.  She also would have given up trying to have a relationship with her sister long before coronation day.  She would have felt very hurt, angry, and resentful of being rejected much more than in the movie.  However, her personality makes sense as a false self, and we always yearn to get back to our true self deep down.  Her growing up alone isn't so much actually true as much as a metaphor. - Prince Hans has no bad vibes or forshadowing of who he is.  I think this was because the false self is completely blind to corruption.  The movie is not so much reality but experiencing the worldview of Anna in metaphor.

 

There are several more, but this post is already pretty long. One last note.  I think the author is still struggling with the false self.  I believe they are still under the delusion that when they finally do come in harmony with their true self, then summer will come again and almost everyone will love them for who they are.  I think the melting of all the ice and the welcoming of almost everyone to Elsa at the end is a sign that the author doesn't understand that they will still be rejected by almost everyone.  If the author weren't under this delusion, it would make much more sense for Elsa and Anna to leave and bring winter somewhere else and summer would come back in their absence to the city.  They would be happy away from everyone else that still lives in summer.  Remember, the author could have chosen almost anything for the ending and this is the ending they chose.

 

These are my thoughts and I hope they are helpful.  I don't have a lot of successful experience interpreting movies so these are mainly my theories.


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#7
marginalist

marginalist
  • 120 posts

I live with my relatives -aunt and uncle- and my cousin sang this song to her dad: do you want to build a snow man?... He was cold and unresponsive. Repeating over and over the line with greater questioning. He said, "No". I felt a giant tear in my heart. It felt like a defining moment as his role in their relationship.

 

I had thought my aunt and uncle were better parents than mine were. It brings me back to that age and feeling alienated as well. Oh, well God's an even better daddy anyway...

 

In Memory of the Fallen Parents and Orphaned Children


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Like lost children we live our unfinished adventures.-Kermit the Frog

#8
Rainbow Jamz

Rainbow Jamz

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holy hell this is awesome. I'm gonna watch it again and keep this analysis in mind.


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#9
J-William

J-William
  • 1284 posts
Watching this movie with my 2 1/2-year-old daughter I can't help cry during the opening sequence where she sings "do you want to build a snowman" and up until the part where the parents die. It's a really emotionally affecting parts for me, I don't really know why. (It may not be that accurate to say "I don't know why" because I've been crying to "cat's cradle" as well recently and I would say I'm in a period of mourning for the FOO... 'course is also sobbing like a baby at the end of Toy story 3)
 
To lend some credence to the part about Olaf being the inner child, I read somewhere that the creators of the movie had the most trouble with Olaf. I think they also at some point wanted to make him an evil, which is an interesting decision for the inner child especially if you have some left over belief that children are evil.

I live with my relatives -aunt and uncle- and my cousin sang this song to her dad: do you want to build a snow man?... He was cold and unresponsive. Repeating over and over the line with greater questioning. He said, "No". I felt a giant tear in my heart. It felt like a defining moment as his role in their relationship.

 

I had thought my aunt and uncle were better parents than mine were. It brings me back to that age and feeling alienated as well. Oh, well God's an even better daddy anyway...

 

In Memory of the Fallen Parents and Orphaned Children

Oh that's so sad. I guess on the bright side she doesn't have to build a snowman, her dad is already made of ice.
 
I'm really sorry that you live with such awful people, I have found it so much fun to sing the line "do you want to build a snowman" to my daughter. We both really enjoy the movie.

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#10
Joel Patterson

Joel Patterson
  • 328 posts

@robofox That's really interesting, man and I appreciate the time and insights you put in your post. That gives me a lot to think about!


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