Monday, March 3, 2014

Let it go!

Last night there were only three things that I was interested in at the Oscars. 1. Ellen DeGeneres hosting (she's witty and silly and also very pretty). 2. That Frozen won for Best Animated Feature Film (it did). 3. That Let it Go won for Best Original Song from a Major Motion Picture (it did). So all in all it was a good night at the Oscars.  Leonardo DiCaprio still hasn't taken home an Oscar (but then neither has Johnny Depp - both a shame IMO). Lupita Nyong'o made a lovely acceptance speech. I love watching happy Italian directors and producers win Oscars for Best Foreign Film. They are always so exuberant.

But Frozen was my main concern this year. I've seen the other nominees and enjoyed watching them, but Frozen was what I wanted to see win. I loved the animation, the script, the dialogue, the songs, the artwork, the Norwegian details (hey, there was knitting!), and the characters, especially the trolls. I have the soundtrack and sing with all the songs. I know all the words. I can sing several different parts. I love snow and snowflakes. I have it pre-ordered fom Disney so I can get the bonus lithographs. Seriously, I love this movie.

Having said all that There was one part of the movie that just really bothered me and no it isn't part of the "Frozen is a metaphor for homosexuality" argument. (If you don't know what I'm talking about Google it. Although I totally see how Let it Go is a beautiful coming out anthem.) No, I'm talking about  Elsa and Anna's parents. Not that they were royalty or that they died. I call it the Rudolph syndrome. Rather than embrace a child's uniqueness, they hid it. I keep thinking about what I would have done had it been my child who had been born with such a different ability. You see, I would have liked it if Elsa's parents had talked to the trolls a bit more about other options than erasing Anna's memories of her sister's magic. Perhaps understanding that her sister is magical and that it isn't something to be played with so recklessly would have been a better cure than erasing that memory from her. I also wouldn't have made Elsa feel guilty for hurting her sister and making her feel like she is a monster. All that pent up energy only made things worse for her. I would never have allowed Elsa to isolate herself from the rest of her family, especially a beloved sister (I have daughters and I've seen what happens when they don't get along and shut each other out even for short periods of time). I would have found a way to help Elsa control her powers and understand the magic behind it. I wouldn't have told her to "conceal don't feel." Perhaps that worked for her father who had limited frozen powers, but not for Elsa. And certainly not for Anna who totally didn't understand why her sister suddenly didn't want to go build a snowman with her. I would have found someone to teach Elsa how to use her power for goodness, not shut the gates and push her to loathing herself and her powers and thinking that she was a danger to everyone. The way those two little girls grew up was not healthy and they needed each other.

Of course I realize that if Elsa and Anna's parents had been more like me that there wouldn't have been a very good movie. It would have gone something like this: Kristoff would have grown up as an (presumably) orphan ice cutter with a reindeer and trolls for family; Elsa and Anna would have grown up healthy and happy, riding their bikes in the halls and, under supervision, making snowmen in the ballroom; the parents would have still died (I mean they did have to go on some big trip, so let's go ahead and kill of the mom and dad); Elsa would have come to age and become queen and she would give her people the gift of a little bit of eternal winter in the courtyard; Anna would have married Hans (although there might have been a plot there because he was sort of dastardly and envious of anyone with power); and Kristoff would have grown into a bitter old lonely man talking to reindeer and rocks. So yeah, I guess we have to have a little bit of "less than stellar" parenting in order to have a beautiful movie.

Besides, both my daughters (about the same age difference as Elsa and Anna) love this movie and my son does have sort of square-shaped pear-shaped weirdness to his feet. (And even though he washes well he always ends up sort of smelly, but you'll never meet a fella who's as sensitive and sweet.) So I'm going to let it go and celebrate that Frozen won and Idina Menzel did such a lovely job presenting it last night.

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