I’m sure everyone on the Interwebs has, by now, heard of or seen Frozen, Disney’s newest animated musical.
While there has been strong backlash against the movie from feminist and minority groups – and indeed, the backlash is warranted – I found myself drawn to it for more reasons than one, and the biggest reason is Elsa.
Elsa’s character development through the first half of the movie plays on themes of isolation and fear. After she accidentally hurts someone when she is little, Elsa is first isolated by her parents, and then learns to self-isolate since she cannot control her condition. Her entire life is about fear: fear of herself, fear of losing control, and fear of hurting people she loves.
I did a little research and I’m not alone in thinking this: Elsa’s fear and anxiety is so visible and well-crafted that those of us in similar conditions or situations can relate immediately. Whether it’s mental or physical illness, sexuality, or something different, Elsa’s constant fight for control, her happiness when she apparently finds a place free of worry or fear, and her complete despair when she finds out that she is no longer safe, are powerful dramatizations of the inner struggles that so many of us face.