Warning: spoilers. For those of you who just want to read my interpretation of the second movie, skip to paragraph four as the first few paragraphs is what the first Frozen movie meant to me.
When the first Frozen movie came out, I remember seeing all the hype about it. So naturally, I gave in and watched the movie. I remember feeling emotional every step of the way when it came to Elsa’s and Anna’s relationship. Having a sister myself, I resonated with the idea that I would do anything for her, including shut her out when life got tough, I could relate to Elsa.
Elsa’s signature song ‘Let it Go’ was an amazing piece in which you could feel that after all the pain and suffering she went through, telling everyone finally let her be free to a certain extent. That pivotal scene in which she transformed into her new self after being free of her constraints and letting her power flow gave me chills. It showed how freedom from your constraints can allow you to transform. Yet, despite releasing all the pain of her life, she was still unable to let those who love her in (a feat I too have only recently came to discover is difficult) because she was still isolating herself. She was able to let go of the past and embrace her power, however; fear of letting others in was still ingrained in her. By refusing to let anyone in she hurt those she loved even more and almost lost Anna through freezing her heart. By the end of the movie, when Anna was frozen and Elsa was finally able to show her love, it was only through that release of emotion that she was able to unfreeze her.
My love for the first movie stems because of my own childhood and how my sister and I can relate to both characters. Elsa and Anna were the only ones who knew the isolation they both experienced. I could draw parallels with our own childhoods. I resonated with Elsa as I had to be strong and put up a wall and my sister was Anna trying to figure the world out alone. Despite drawing similarities with my own life, I could only relate to Elsa and couldn’t relate to any other character. Frozen 2 changes that, most characters are relatable in one way or another and it’s commentary is outstanding.
Anna’s Character Development
The start of the movie opens up to an upbeat song titled ‘Some Things Never Change’, which sings about well… things never changing. In the song she describes how the world around her is changing, yet the loved ones who surround her remain the same. She sings how the way she is ‘…holding on tight…’ to everyone around. Anna is a very family oriented person and would do anything for the people she loved because she grew up in perpetual loneliness. She is afraid to lose the ones who she now holds so dear which is why she holds onto them so tightly. These actions are something a lot of people can resonate with as we often go through life losing the people we hold dear in one way or another. Anna’s character is very much relatable because she has so much fear in losing the ones she loves and compares her will to hold onto them as strong as a ‘old stone wall that will never fall’. This idea is one that many people can draw parallels with, I for one have often fought for those I love/value even to the point I will hold them as close as possible, however; this doesn’t always work.
Holding on tightly to others doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to. Anna tried to keep Elsa close to her throughout the entire movie so she wouldn’t lose her again and have to experience the loneliness she felt throughout her entire childhood. At the end of the day, she couldn’t stop Elsa from adventuring alone to find herself. After that pivotal scene where Elsa strays too far and drowns, Olaf fades away and Anna realises that her sister is gone. The song ‘The Next Right Thing’, is a song that Anna sings coming from pure despair. The first line of the song explains how she’s ‘seen dark before’, suggesting that Anna has gone through depression in the past, yet nothing can compare for the darkness she is in now. She explains hows what is feeling is ‘cold…empty…numb’ and the ‘lights are out’. Anna is finally ready to ‘succumb to the darkness’ because ‘the life [she] knew is over’. The first lines of this song display how reliant Anna is on Elsa because without her there, only darkness remains. This is further evident with the next lines of the song in which she says ‘I have followed you around, I always have, but you’ve gone to a place I cannot find’. Elsa is Anna’s older sister and she is a role model to Anna. She later sings ‘the only star that guided [her] was [Elsa]’, further supporting that idea that Elsa has always taken care of Anna and has always been held on a pedestal by her. Without Elsa there she has no guidance or ‘reason’ to rise up, she only allowed herself to be guided by others to rise up for them in order for her to keep them held so tightly. This is something a lot of us can resonate with as sometimes we don’t act for ourselves, but for others, so they can see us in a good light. ‘The Next Right Thing’ produces a fantastic message which is to not rely on others or their guidance to rise up.
The idea of not relying on others to feel validated and develop yourself as a person is one that many of us can relate to, and its not until we listen to the voice inside our own head that we can do that. In the second verse, Anna sings ‘a tiny voice whispers in my mind, “you are lost, hope is gone, but you must go on and do the next right thing”‘. This is the crucial moment in which Anna starts to listen to her own voice. The use of the word ‘tiny’ shows how small her own voice is inside her own head because its been pushed back so many times. The voice doesn’t use the word ‘I’, instead it uses ‘you’, demonstrating the disconnect from that voice inside her head. Anna doesn’t picture the voice as her own because she’s never listened to it and its only now that she is starting to. And in darkness, the voice is telling her ‘to do the next right thing’, to ‘not look too far ahead’ and ‘break it down to this next breath, this next step’. This process that the voice inside Anna’s head is telling her really resonates with me because in those moments I suffered with depresssion, just getting through the day, one day after another, life slowly was able to get better. Frozen 2 brought a whole new side to Anna that wasn’t present in the first movie. In the first movie she was always bubbly and determined, and in this move, her mental health issues are demonstrated incredibly well.
I didn’t plan for the section on Anna to be this long, it wasn’t until I started reading and writing that I felt the need to express how I saw Anna’s character. So I will divide my analysis up into parts and continue to write about the other characters I could draw parallels with.