female "equality" is a type of feminist social justice, and is a major theme in Frozen.
let’s have 2 female leads and a weak man, and call it equality… uhhhhhhhh
another major social justice idea is that existing social structures are oppressive. which is also a main Frozen theme. it presents following your emotions as the solution to this oppression. the rules are mean, so ignore them and replace with whim and be free and empowered.
lion king says existing social structures can be oppressive or not. depends who’s in charge. Scar was oppressive but that was a solvable problem without getting rid of the structure.
but Frozen says you can’t reconcile existing social structures with your emotions, identity, etc
Moana sings about “who you are” and has some identity shit. and it says this causes some mild friction with society. but that fundamentally Moana is compatible with society and is even celebrated by her society without the society losing its nature or values.
in Lion King, when Simba accepts his societal role, function, duty and responsibilities, he makes things better. his responsibilities weren’t oppressing him, they were guiding him to do the right thing which was best for everyone.
in Pinocchio, when he acts responsibly, he saves his father from the whale and he becomes a real boy. first he acts contrary to his conscience, to society’s ideas, and makes his life a mess. then he acts more like how he knew he should (how society and his conscience say to) and that got his back life in order.
Moana is irresponsible in mild ways. a bit reckless. but what matters is: she decides to do something hard because it’s important for her society in a way that’s bigger than herself. it’s also personally fulfilling. that’s compatible. she decides to take on a burden, a responsibility, a difficult heroic quest.
and the Moana plague, Pinocchio whale and Scar tyrant are all like objective problems in the world. as opposed to Frozen where the primary problem is Elsa being emo, not the political plot. Simba being dumb in the middle is not the primary problem in the movie.
Pinocchio is dumb and is responsible for some of his own problems. but his emotion following is portrayed as bad. he wasn’t supposed to give in to temptation. (as opposed to Frozen where they are supposed to give in to their emotions). and then Pinocchio faces a major challenge in the world after.
Moana is never very dumb. at her worst, she thinks she’s failed and wants to give up. one scene later to give her some wisdom, she’s back at it.
in Moana, her semi-love-interest is an older man with a large power imbalance in his favor (he’s a demigod…). he’s cocky, funny and initially dismissive to Moana. he’s high status and knows it and is literally willing to say so. Moana is strong enough to push back and earn some respect.
I see what's happening yeah
You're face to face with greatness and it's strange
You don't even know how you feel
Well, it's nice to see that humans never change
Open your eyes, let's begin
Yes, it's really me
It's Maui, breathe it in
I know its a lot; the hair, the bod
When you're staring at a demigod
What can I say except you're welcome
For the tides, the sun, the sky
Hey, it's okay, it's okay, you're welcome
that’s how his song begins when she meets him. and he shit tests her by sealing her in a cave with a giant boulder and stealing her boat and leaving
Anna doesn’t decide to be a hero. she doesn’t choose to face the dangers like wolves or giant snowman, they just happen to her. she never starts acting responsibly on purpose
she keeps gossiping. she’s super social. that’s not typical of adventure movies. but she spends her time talking and then like actually does things as a minor aside.
simba knows scar is dangerous and faces it anyway. same with pinocchio and sea+whale. same with Moana and maui, crab and fire boss
anna says elsa isn’t dangerous when she goes on journey
she isn’t setting out to face the scary unknown or slay a dragon. she’s just trying to talk with her sister like at home.
Anna’s most heroic moment is when she gets hit by a sword. b/c of self-sacrificing love, not courage. at least she knew she was stepping into danger (tho she was about to die anyway)
Moana sings about trying to choose a role in life (chief or explorer)
roles Ana plays include: clumsy-adorable girl, falling in romantic love girl, helpless girl who needs to be rescued, breadwinning provider, gossip, martyr, badguy puncher (in a comic way without strength), dismissive beta-orbiter-target
she doesn’t really play a princess role, but she does abuse her office to give Kristoff a job
she fakes confidence in a social way a couple times on journey
she never does anything to learn, grow, train, skill-up as is pretty standard in these movies.
the movie is about letting go of the structural organization of society, not having roles in life to guide you, and replacing it all with emotions – especially love.
Frozen also has no strong characters. the giant snowman/monster or random guards are the closest. the hero doesn’t even fight the monster. she just leaves and the bad guys fight it
the movie is so confused. changing the bad guy into the sister will do that, i guess.
the movie doesn’t even know if “cold” is good or bad. it can’t keep its metaphors straight b/c of the role change. she has cold powers. which are good, sorta. but Let It Go ends with “The cold never bothered me anyway.” besides a lie, this is a use of the regular meaning of cold (as bad)
and in Let It Go (all Frozen lyrics), Elsa sings:
And I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Here I stand, in the light of day.
But then when Anna shows up, Elsa sings:
Please go back home, your life awaits
Go enjoy the sun and open up the gates
It's contradictory about the sun. Elsa was singing how she gets to be in the sun now, but then she's like "nah you go be in the sun Anna".
later the trolls sing:
We’re not saying you can change her, ‘cuz people don’t really change
We’re only saying that love of course is powerful and strange
People make bad choices if they’re mad, or scared, or stressed
Throw a little love their way and you’ll bring out their best
True love brings out their best!
Frozen says Love is an Open Door (that's another song title)
Frozen replaces the hero’s journey with the lover’s journey.
in Frozen, you don’t pioneer by facing the unknown, you pioneer by falling in love... in regular movies you explore the scary unknown world and face challenges in the world. in Frozen, you explore your own emotions, and the challenges are your own emotions, and pretty much the whole world consists of emotions.
Frozen is a super social movie all about talking, relationships and emotions. it's heavy on romance, love, and dishonesty. Anna lies about her assertiveness with Kristoff and later lies about letting him tag along (faking non-needy high status even on a snowy mountain, because she thinks social reality always matters more than real reality). And Anna doesn't want Kristoff to tell the truth to Olaf about summer melting snowmen. And then there's what Elsa sings (emphasis added)
Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, put on a show
Make one wrong move and everyone will know
Putting on a show means lying.
A "wrong move" consists of one that lets everyone know. She's trying to hide the truth from them. She wants them blind ("don't let them see"). She wants them not to have knowledge. She considers enlightening and illuminating wrong.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
The cold did bother her. This is such a standard, modern, social lie. People say they didn't care anyway about stuff they did care about. Like if they don't get invited to a party they lie that they didn't want to go anyway.
And what are Elsa's ice powers a metaphor for? They are something about she doesn't fit in, she's not normal, and when she's emotional she can hurt people. I think the movie is ambiguous and Elsa is meant to fit many types of not fitting in, rather than it being about a particular type. As an example, Elsa could be a lesbian and trying to hide it (the voice actors like the idea). That would fit the movie fine. But the movie is vague and it could easily be something else instead, like she's a nervous dork. Or she could think she's a C student working really hard to get A's, but she's not smart enough for the perfect student role and worries she'll be revealed as a fraud if she slips up. Or she could be a non-cheerleader who worries if she slips up with her makeup and lets them see a pimple then people will realize she's not the beautiful girl she tries to present as. There are lots of ways people get nervous, worried and stressed. They try to fit into a role in society, and especially early on they aren't perfect at it and worry people will recognize the mismatch. And then they sometimes lash out when the pressure and stress upsets them. The pressure is often more self-imposed than the realize, but there's also frequently some genuine, important external pressures which they resent.
What is Frozen's solution? if you don't fit in, blame society. do whatever you feel like and people should be happy to support you. Frozen has no respect for the reasons society is organized as it is, no understanding of the purposes of society's structural organization. Frozen seems to think people can change their place in the world about as fast as they can change emotions.
Read my previous comments on Frozen.