Editor’s Corner: Frozen enchants as feminist film

samantha_WEBBack in November of last year, the world was taken by storm — and a snowy one at that. The Disney movie Frozen opened to highly positive reviews. Audiences fell in love with the family-friendly story and catchy music. They were taken by the tale of two sisters with a bond strong enough to save a whole kingdom. It seemed that the world was caught under a spell as strong as Elsa herself.
However, not everyone is raving over the hit Disney film, being shown on outdorrs on campus Sept. 19. Some modern feminists are unhappy with the film’s portrayal of women.  Other individuals are dissatisfied with the movie’s depiction of men. A story meant to be uplifting has quickly slid into a position of social scrutiny.
Feminism has been molded to fit many definitions. However, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the actual definition is “the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” Feminism, therefore, is simple; women and men should be able to tread the exact same playing field, with neither viewed as stronger or weaker than the other.
I consider myself a feminist. I also thoroughly enjoyed Frozen the first time that I watched it. The movie was not solely about romance, and none of the female characters appeared weak or incompetent. Anna is brave and daring while Elsa is strong and independent. It is not the only Disney film to display strong women, with movies such as Mulan depicting similar traits through a female protagonist. Still, Frozen presents a new moral by teaching girls that loving and relying on their family and themselves can mean so much more than relying on a man or significant other.
Many who also claim to be feminists seem to disagree. They criticize Disney’s laziness in animation, shown through the strong visual similarities between Anna from Frozen and Rapunzel from Tangled. Disney even released a statement saying that women are simply too difficult to animate. I understand that sentiment and the anger it causes. Women are not all the same, and deserve to be represented with diversity reflecting reality. We should be worth more of an animator’s time.
But someone should ask the little girl with a Frozen backpack if she noticed that. Talk to the child hugging an Elsa doll and ask if the similarities among Disney princesses anger her. We live in a society where a woman’s role is downplayed, where she is seen as weak. In Frozen, the story revolves around the roles of young women. Anna’s decisions ultimately save her sister and her home. Elsa proves her strength in her drive to take care of herself. In a world where little girls are learning to feel inferior, the strength of Frozen’s message is worth more than its shortcomings.
What about the men of Frozen, then? Are their roles really so inconsequential as to imply disrespect of males? To me, that is a senseless thought. Although Hans is an untrustworthy character who only causes conflict, Kristoff’s character is the opposite. He has a supporting role: He tries to help Anna, and even tries to save her life. Without him, Anna’s voyage to the mountain could have ended completely differently. He also provides emotional support, playing the role of the caring partner that women tend to play. While this role may be more submissive, it is not demeaning.
Frozen has reached massive worldwide audiences. Rolling Stone reported that the film has officially become the highest-grossing animated film worldwide, grossing over $1.1 billion internationally. This means that millions of people have seen a film whose message promotes the strength and independence of two young women, as well as the importance of their deep familial bond. Despite the so-called lazy animation or supporting male characters, this movie has spread a positive, revolutionary message to an immense audience worldwide.
Frozen is more than feminist. It is a movie that will change the way that young girls view their personal significance. This is one of the Disney films that teaches girls that they don’t necessarily need a prince or magic to help them. Because of its massive reach, this feminist, positive message has been able to spread to more people than any other animated film to date. To all those who cannot see the movie’s inherent importance, they should take their negativity and “Let it Go.”

-Samantha Sawh
Sophomore jounalism major

Printed in the 09/17/14 issue.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button