One of the things that some readers fail to realize about Elsa – but this is a vitally important point – is that in her flight from Arendelle, she is, in fact, fullfiling the primary oath that she took when she was crowned monarch: and that is, to be the “protector of her dominion.” According to the novelization – in the film, this speech is uttered in Old Norse, so for this we need to refer to the novelization – the bishop proclaims Elsa to be "The undoubted queen, protector of this dominion," as he bestows upon Elsa the crown jewels. And Elsa – whose sense of responsibility and self-sacrifice always supplants any concerns for her own well-being or happiness – takes these worlds very seriously and, by her actions, fulfills them. Why does Elsa leave the kingdom? Because she becomes a danger to it. It is precisely because of the oath that she took – the oath to be the “protector of this dominion” – that she exiles herself. She is literally defending the realm by removing herself from Arendelle, because she herself has become the biggest threat to Arendelle.
Why does Kristoff think reindeers are better than people? In "Frozen Heart," the ice harvesters are practically ignoring the young Kristoff. Not one of them teaches him any ice harvesting techniques or bother to wait for him after they've finished loading the ice onto their sled to take into town. The only one who shows any care towards the young Kristoff is Sven.
Some studies have found that left-handed people tend to be more vulnerable to negative emotions such as depression and anger. They are more prone to fear. Their brain hemispheres have more symmetry than right-handed people, which explains why their skills are most randomized and less specified to either side of the brain. So, how is this relevant to Elsa, you may ask? Elsa uses her left hand almost every time she gestures or conjures. These psychological facts more or less support the intense fear that Elsa experienced when Anna was hurt and when the prophecy was revealed to her—which led her to a life of isolation and loneliness. Elsa’s love and instinctive nature to protect Anna had made this even more difficult for her and this, in turn, had worsened her fear. Note that fear isn’t good for Elsa for this will only make her power uncontrollable and dangerous. It was also observed that Elsa’s susceptibility to experience fear had made her quick to anger when she was threatened.
Notice how Anna grows up and, when she is adult, she still wears the same warm palette she did as when she was five. She’s a big kid, she’s the same. Elsa grows up to darker blues, as she closes herself off from the world. Her sleeves get longer and shows less skin. Also hairstyles get to be tighter. This all changes when she sings “Let It Go” and she goes back to pale blue and lets her hair down. In other words, Anna still kept her warm personality, while Elsa became more and more cold towards Anna and everyone else.
Some brilliant Scandinavian fridge: Hans, from the Southern Isles, seems to be Danish, his name indicates the same. The landscape of the movie is clearly Norwegian, with high snow-peaked mountains and steep slopes. Kristoff has a Swedish-sounding name (Bjorgman), but dresses like a Sami. Given the geography of Arendelle (Arendal is a Norwegian city to the south of Norway), Elsa and Anna are then technical Norwegians, and Anna chooses the Swedish boy over the Danish one. A fitting and ironic movie to be released at the time of the bicentennial for the Norwegian Constituent Assembly, when Sweden fought to win Norway and won, while Denmark lost it forever.
Word of God confirmed that Anna's greatest attribute is love. She also has shown incredible feats of superhuman strength despite being a petite woman. Why? Because "love is the strongest force of all".
In the original Hans Christian Andersen story, the Snow Queen is more a traditional sort of fairy-tale monster that must be outwitted by cleverness. Here, Elsa is a good-intentioned young woman who doesn't want to hurt anyone, but doesn't know how not to. And a guy named Hans tries to re-write the story so that the heartbroken Guile Hero defeats the monster and is rewarded with a kingdom of his own. Whoa.
During "Let It Go", aka Elsa's divine ascension scene, she first makes the childhood snowman with a gesture — nostalgic, but let's face it, a rather crude blob of snow. Then she creates the staircase, first as a thing of rough snow with another gesture, then turning to polished ice as she runs up it. Finally she looks around craftily, before raising her castle as perfect ice from the beginning. Meanwhile she's been singing about testing her limits and seeing what she can do; it's a nice visual for her growing into her power.
Notice, the moment Elsa takes off her one remaining glove during "Let It Go", The snow around her stops. Because the storm was more than likely due to her emotion, once she let go of the glove (ie fear), she also welcomed happiness, which isn't a negative emotion and therefore wouldn't unintentionally activate her powers.
The producers just made a relatively scientific explanation of thermodynamics: Elsa's "magic" is just absorbing heat and energy from the outside world. How do you make her, a walking singularity, absorb less? Give her INTERNAL warmth. There must be a pretty high exchange rate between physical and emotional heat, though.
At the start of the movie, the King gives Elsa a pair of gloves to conceal her power in a room. The same room Anna is left to die in when Hans reveals his treachery.
During "For the First Time in Forever" Anna mentions that "...For the first time in forever, there'll be magic, there'll be fun!" Those memories may not be as locked away as the trolls thought, which couples brilliantly with the remaining white shock of hair she has.
When Kristoff says "You know? Most people who disappear into the mountains want to be alone." He's talking from personal experience.
That Anna converses with a pic of Joan of Arc looks cute at first ("Hang in there, Joan!"), but the fact she is talking to a famous martyr seems to be very dark foreshadow of the numerous sufferings that will be inflicted on Anna and Elsa later on in the film. If both sisters grew up looking at and identifying with a picture of Joan of Arc, it's likely they would have seen her as a role model, and thus both picking up her virtues of courage and self-sacrifice.
Look at the names of four main characters - all names of good Nordic roots: Hans, Kristoff, Anna, Sven. Sounds like... Hans Christian Andersen.note The name of the author of ''The Snow Queen," the literary work that inspired Frozen.
Elsa has the one braid in her hair, meaning she's the oldest. Anna has pigtails, stating that she came after Elsa or she's the youngest.
Prince Hans is very much a Nice Guy...in the real world slang, Entitled to Have You sense, brought down to its basic elements - much like real people who only pretend to be perfect to a potential romantic partner, he's just a selfish manipulator. This plays into the overall plot perfectly, as the traditional villainess is simply an unhappy lady trying to live in peace, and the traditional hero is the Big Bad. It's a complete inversion of the typical fairy tale! In fact, they work as very good foils. Elsa acts cold and distant because she wants to keep her people (and her sister) safe from harm, despite the fact that she doesn't want to be alone. Hans acts friendly and kind-hearted only so he can manipulate and hurt people, all for his own benefit.
The Duke of Weselton is widely seen as being less dastardly than Prince Hans, but they are in fact very similar in the scope and nature of their vices. What makes them insidious is the rather narrow limits of their obsessions. Hans wants to be a beloved King, and the Duke simply wants trade and has a judgmental hatred of all things sorcery and magic. These are obsessions and goals they will act both ruthlessly and sneakily upon, but outside of these limits they're mostly capable of decent acts, which makes makes most people oblivious to them, and even them being oblivious to each other.
The original Snow Queen promises Kai a pair of skates if he can break the curse. What's the last thing we see Elsa see give Anna?
More of a romantic foreshadowing as to who ends up with who but during Olaf's "In Summer", we see in one brief scene a picnic. Anna and Kristoff are looking at the snowman with sandwiches. What is that infamous line that Anna sang earlier about finishing each other's sentences/sandwiches? This becomes extra significant when you remember that Olaf is composed of both Elsa and Anna's personalities. So for Olaf, depicting a couple finishing each other's sandwiches in his daydreams indicates that their in love because Anna considers it to be a sign that their in love. So even though he's only known Kristoff and Anna for a few minutes, he can already forsee love between them. I guess he really is a love expert!
Hans, in general reeks of Fridge Brilliance, especially if you look back at how their shtick had been handled in previous flicks. One of the most lingering complaints about Disney films is the overabundance of Love at First Sight romances, and how the idea of falling in love with someone you've known for two minutes is more dangerous than the films invariably tend to portray. Guess what happens when Anna goes down that road this time? Further on this, note that in a very, very rare example in Disney films, the movie doesn't end in a marriage. Seems that Anna learned an important lesson about jumping right in, and decided to take a relationship with Kistoff nice and slow. In fact, if Once Upon a Time continuity is taken as canon, Anna and Kristoff actually tying the knot doesn't happen until two years after Frozen.
Why did Olaf call himself a love expert? Because he's the living symbol of the bond between Elsa and Anna. Therefore, he's the symbol of the love between them. He is literally the very first thing Elsa builds after she exiles herself from Arendelle, thus subtly answering Anna's "Do you wanna build a snowman?"
Olaf and warmth:
One could assume that Olaf's desire to experience heat and summer stems from Elsa's own unfamiliarity with it, having spent most of her life alone in a confined space with her own self generating cold and all. Its entirely possible that given his creation, Olaf may have a bit of Elsa rattling around in his head, especially in how he deals with Anna. When Kristoff leads them to a field of rocks, Olaf believes the situation is dangerous and says to her "Because I love you Anna, I insist you run." Less than ten minutes earlier, Elsa had more or less said the same thing to her "I love you, its dangerous, get out of here!". Not long after that Anna is locked up and told that no one loves her, only to be rescued by Olaf who had been the only one to outright tell her "I love you". He then puts his own life at risk to save Anna in the same way that Anna would risk her life to save Elsa later.
There's another reason why Olaf has a thing for warmth. When Elsa first created him as a child, she didn't really delve into his personality... other than specifying that he enjoys one thing: "warm hugs". Because Elsa never gave Olaf an identity beyond that one trait, he ended up developing a fixation on warmth in general.
"Love Is An Open Door":
It sounds like another love song. But watch it a second time and never mind all the double-entendre... a traditional Disney Duet is re-practiced over and over until they are super-awesome perfect (see "A Whole New World" for an example) but he and Anna seem to always be one practice session away from that. Hans doesn't start singing until it's clear what Anna's going to say. He often comes second to copy Anna's words, and he's just a smidge behind when they sing together. Even when they are in sync, they're not quite perfect.
A more obvious example is the "We finish each other's —" "Sandwiches!" bit seems at first like them both being, as Anna puts it, 'crazy':
Hans: I mean it's crazy... Anna: What? Hans: We finish each other's — Anna: Sandwiches! Hans: That's what I was gonna say!
This is Disney, and it's animated. Anything they show you is deliberate. You expect 100% perfect choreography in their ridiculous spontaneous songs. But here, they're not quite in time with their dancing, or the lighting. When they dance in the spotlight, it's not centered like you'd think it would be, when they come to the top of the lighthouse Hans falls behind Anna, and when they run down the corridor, they're slipping and sliding, and Anna is yanking Hans along.
When it comes to duets, you need specially trained singers to get it perfect, and some voices just don't match others in their harmonies. Disney doesn't usually hold back for that. They will hire special duet singers to get a love song perfect, if that's what it takes. Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana are both trained singers, if that means anything. But as well as the words and dancing being off, they're not quite in harmony...
There's something musically peculiar about "Love is an Open Door". In the line "Love is an open door", the harmony on the word "door" starts out as a consonance but on the last syllable of Hans's "doo-oo-oor" it turns into a dissonance, where the underlying chord changes to a dominant 7. This contains a tritone, one of the harshest dissonances there is, and it's subtly emphasised in the arrangement. "Fixer Upper" also contains dominant 7 chords, but because it has elements of gospel and Latin rhythms, they seem idiomatic and natural. "Open Door" is mostly written as a classic, joyful, diatonic Disney-style Love at First Sight song, so the presence of harsh, bluesy harmonies seems a little strange and plants the suggestion that Anna and Hans are not in such perfect harmony as they appear to be.
There's a line in the song that says "You and I were just meant to be." But Hans says "You" and Anna says "I". Like all the other confusions in the song, it's so fast that you don't even notice it - just like how fast their relationship is moving.
Love is an open door. Why doesn't Elsa open her door? Because it's dangerous.
The lines "Love is an open door" and "Life can be so much more". It sounds cute at the time, but afterwards you realise...
Hans: With you! Anna: With you! Hans: With you!
It's a bit like they're arguing, isn't it? Like "Love is an open door for me with you" and "Life can be so much more for me with you." Who's it going to be best for? And guess what? Hans gets the last word in.
Also look at Hans's first line in the song. "I've been waiting my whole life to find my own place." Not "my place" as in "where I'm supposed to be" but as in, "the place that I own." And he's gesturing, not toward Anna, but toward Arendelle.
Notice that when eternal winter does start, Elsa takes a step into the fjord. When she starts building her castle, Elsa takes a step to begin sculpting her new home. Then, when she returns back home, she takes another step to build an ice skate rink for Arendelle. A subtle aesop that it only does take that one step to cause something horrible or create something wonderful.
The last verses of "Fixer Upper", if you listen closely. The trolls sing that "everyone's bit of a fixer-upper", essentially saying that nobody is perfect, but true love brings out the best in people nonetheless and makes their other flaws seem small in comparison. And every character in the movie, good or bad, is shown to be flawed in some way except for Hans. He is portrayed as the flawless Prince Charming that Disney is so well known for churning out right from the very start. This is just yet another clue hinting that it is all a façade.
Gloves play a symbolic role of concealing one's true nature for two characters. The first one is Elsa, who conceals her powers when wearing them. When she takes them off, she's not restricted anymore from showing emotion and using her ice powers. What other character removes their gloves in this movie? Hans. He takes off his glove when he is explaining his plan to Anna of usurping the throne from Elsa. Hans wears gloves not only to conceal his true nature, but also to conceal a crime he was attempting to commit. Think about it: Gloves have been used by criminals to help them avoid being caught in a crime. Hans wears his gloves the entire time to conceal his true intentions that would lead to a crime. And he puts the gloves back on when he says "I, however, am the hero who is going to save Arendelle from destruction."
A more literal take on 13=unlucky: Hans is the youngest of 13 siblings, making him unlucky 13.
Sometimes we fall for someone who's similar to our sibling. And Anna gets into a relationship with Kristoff, who has a lot of similar traits with Elsa: Both are 21, chew out Anna for marrying a guy she just met, have some relationship with ice (Elsa has ice/snow powers and Kristoff is an ice harvester) and enjoy it, are protective of the impulsive Anna, both start off as an Ineffectual Loner (but they aren't by the epilogue), and have a close bond with a Non-Human Sidekick (Sven for Kristoff and Olaf for Elsa.)
The snowmen Elsa creates are actually parts of her will. Olaf represents her desire to see heat and the sun and not to bother with the cold. It also represents her bond with Anna. Marshmallow, on the other hand, represents her wanting to stay away from others and Arendelle when she flees. Note how he was created when Anna tried to bring her back home. Note, too, that Olaf is small, weak and ultimately ineffectual. Marshmallow is huge, and dangerous. Which side of Elsa's personality was more aggressively fostered...? Probably entirely coincidence, but it makes a nice bit of recursive sense. The scene where Olaf tries to stop Marshmallow from getting to Kristoff and Anna's ice anchor gains an undercurrent of Mood Whiplash laden symbolism when you think how in For The First Time In Forever Reprise, the Genre Savvy Anna tries to convince Elsa that their bond is enough to stop the Eternal Winter Elsa accidentally set off, Foreshadowing the end of the movie but all that actually happens is Anna is hit with a potentially fatal ice blast in the heart. It's been mentioned that Olaf is so innocent and constantly happy because he was created when Elsa was finally happy, during her "I Am Becoming" Song. Marshmallow gets created when she's angry at Anna for trying to get her to leave the castle, and lashes out. That's why he's so big and dangerous. That's why his reaction to having a snowball thrown at him is to try and kill Anna for it, and his happy ending is to rule over the empty castle, completely alone.
The ice castle Elsa creates during 'Let It Go' can represent her desire to finally belong in her own place and not to be scared. The song's meaning and the palace's creation aren't just a coincidence-the song represents her letting go of her past, and the ice castle is a place she can belong.
"Let it Go"
It's a very ironic song. The entire song is about how free and unrestrained Elsa is, and how she can finally do whatever she wants. How does the song end? By two massive ice doors slamming on the viewer. While it's one of her own design and choosing, all Elsa did was exchange one prison for another to seal herself away.
Irony's built into the music too: from a music theory point of view, the final line of the song, "The cold never bothered me anyway", is sung in an almost throwaway fashion on the subdominant harmony, which by the usual rules of your big Disney power ballad amounts to leaving the song unfinished, and is a sign that although Elsa may feel that "Let It Go" is her last word on the subject, the score knows better.
Elsa's cold and Anna's warmth:
While Elsa represents the cold and ice, Anna represents light and heat. She is always energetic and excited about everything. Also, Olaf spends the movie with Anna. Olaf's biggest wish is to see summer and heat. He sticks close to Anna.
It's not just in her manner, but even her appearance. Her hair is strawberry blonde while Elsa's hair is platinum blonde, and she has a tan and freckles on her shoulders that her sister doesn't have.
Elsa is winter, Anna is spring. This theme heavily influenced their design- Elsa is pale and blue-eyed, and her clothes heavily cover most of her body. Anna has pinker skin (and a tendency to blush), freer clothes, and turquoise eyes. Don't forget that in the original story, Gerta visits the Queen of Summer, who's the Snow Queen's sister. She also didn't want to be alone, which is why she worked summer magic on Gerta to make her forget.
As far as Anna's warmth manifesting in Olaf: others have noted that Anna swiftly and confidently ignites the bedroll on Kristoff's sled and throws it at the wolves. Her knack for fire seems to be something Olaf shares: notice how ridiculously easy it is for him to start a fire in the fireplace, and that's right after Hans has poured water on it.
There's also the revelation of their birthdays courtesy of Jennifer Lee: Elsa was born on or around December 21st (winter solstice in the northern hemisphere) and Anna was born on June 21st (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere).
Hans not being executed or imprisoned for what he tried to do to Elsa and Anna (attempted regicide and murder of a member of the royal family, current heir to the throne) makes sense. As a foreign national, a hanging would strain relations, given Hans' status as royalty. 13th or not, it's still blue blood. It's also a clever diplomatic move, for several reasons. One, Elsa demonstrates benevolence and magnanimity to both her subjects and foreign powers. Two, it obligates the Southern Isles to punish Hans, as they'd rather not risk someone who's essentially a goddess. Three, she can leverage the diplomatic capital to obtain compensation or put political pressure on the Southern Isles in future politics.
During "For The First Time In Forever" Anna sings "I suddenly see him standing there, a beautiful stranger, tall and fair!" Hans is average height, 5'8", and brunette. Who's tall and fair-haired? Kristoff. Totally.
Olaf's simple minded personality can possibly be a result of how Elsa first created him when she was a kid, and while acting him out, gave him a personality a kid would have. When she subconsciously creates him again and he is brought to life, he gets infused with that personality.
Hans shares multiple cute conversations with Anna, tells her that he would never shut her out, shares a bombastic duet over it, asks for her hand in marriage, and simply tells her when he's worried about her. Kristoff threw Anna onto Sven to save them both from the gorge aware that he may not make the jump himself to protect her from wolves, rode on Sven twice in eternal winter at breakneck speed; first bring her back to Hans in spite of his own feelings, the second time braving a blizzard over the fjord to help Anna. Outside of the occasional bickering; he's a man of few words, even less charm, and only sings a goofy lullaby to Sven. But in the end, Hans' words were just an act to get to the throne, while Kristoff and Anna become a couple. Actions speak more than words, indeed. And on that never shut you out business, he shuts her in the room after revealing his plan so she can't interfere.
Elsa has platinum hair, which seems odd when you consider both her parents are brunettes and her sister is a redhead. Then you consider that after being struck by her ice powers, Anna's hair turns white as well. Elsa's hair has always been white because she's always had her powers since her birth.
Anna already subconsciously knew that sisterly love was the key to ending the winter, as evidenced by the reprise of "For the First Time in Forever", in which she expresses getting together with Elsa to "fix it hand in hand", but Elsa's reflexive rejection of love and conviction of her inability to end the winter prevent her from hearing what Anna's saying.
The Trolls are love experts, as boasted by Kristoff. And apparently in lore, given the time the parents consulted to find them and ask for help. Despite Kristoff's protestations during "Fixer Upper" they weren't just enthusiastic because this was the first girl he brought home... They could tell a spark of love had already ignited in Kristoff, and they were so blase about the engagement because humans arrange marriages without love all the time.
Also, despite the fact it is almost a Big Lipped Alligator Moment, there's these lyrics: "People make bad choices if they've mad or scared or stressed. But throw a little love their way and you'll bring out their best. True love brings out the best." Considering how Elsa's powers seem to react to her emotions and until then, only really used them when mad, scared or stressed, the "true love brings out the best" acts as Foreshadowing for the fact the way for Elsa to control her powers is through love.
The Trolls also seem to hint at Hans' true personality. They're love experts, right? For love between family, and love between, well, lovers. So, if Anna loved Hans, why would they try to push her to be with Kristoff? As stated above, they knew Kristoff was starting to fall for her, they also knew that Anna's love for Hans wouldn't work because he didn't actually love Anna.
The Trolls also note, "her 'quote engagement' is a flex arrangement" which is revealed to be absolutely accurate. They literally can't see any love between Anna and Hans so to them, the engagement is meaningless. Not to mention the line "Get the fiance out of the way and the whole thing will be fixed!" In the end, sending Hans back to the Southern Isles opens the door for Anna's and Kristoff's budding romance.
Speaking of the Trolls, consider how different they are from the original The Snow Queen tale, in particular Grandpabbie. When Grandpabbie cured Anna of her head-freeze, he took care to "leave the fun". In other words, he makes Anna remember only the good things of her childhood and not the bad ones (i.e., getting shot in the head). Compare that to the original tale's trolls who make a mirror who makes people see only the bad things and not the good ones.
The first time we see Elsa and Anna together, they are both skating on an ice rink made by Elsa, and they are with Olaf. The last seen we see is Elsa helping Anna to ice skate on the ice rink created by Elsa, and Olaf is there with them as well.
Elsa and Anna's childhood scene suggests that Elsa could control her ice powers to an extent and even actively used them. It was only after she accidentally hurt Anna that she started letting the fear take over and lose control of her powers.
These lyrics from frozen heart: "Beautiful, powerful, dangerous, cold!", "Stronger than one, stronger than ten, stronger than a hundred men." Are they describing ice... or Elsa? "Beware the frozen heart." Rule of Symbolism and handy foreshadowing all rolled into one sentence. Really, the entire song could be sung about Elsa.
In hindsight, Kristoff's claims about the trolls being love experts make a lot more sense. Pabbie knows to leave Anna the memory of having once been close to, and having once had fun with Elsa. They know that with the long years ahead of Elsa's necessary distance from Anna, Anna will need that to continue loving her sister.
There's an old saying that "Time stands still?. Usually when something horrible happens to a person's life. When Elsa hears of her parent's death, we see her in her room, and all the snow is standing in place. She instinctively stopped their motion because the death of her beloved folks made her want to stop time. The same thing happened when Elsa is led to believe she killed Anna. In tangent to this, most people have a sense of numbness when hearing horrible news like this. Because Elsa's powers react to her emotions, the snow continues because of all the despair she feels, but it stops in place because it's so much that she goes numb and doesn't know how to feel. In writing, this tends to be noted as being, well, "frozen". The word frozen is also used to describe stopping motion.
Notice that when child!Kristoff and child!Sven are near water on an icy ground, and when child!Kristoff is about to fall in, child!Sven tosses him back to the icy ground. Fast forward thirteen years later, when adult!Kristoff and adult!Sven are racing across the ice filled waters of the fjord Sven tosses Kristoff on the solid ice, when it looks like he'll fall in the icy water.
Genius Bonus: Elsa being able to construct a beautiful, ice castle with the right shapes may seem like a Rule of Cool moment, but in the book A Sister More Like Me it was stated that Elsa loved geometry; which is studying how to make the right shapes, and is used in designing. In other words, Elsa's mastery in geometry helped her make the ice castle. The "fractals" line in "Let It Go" speaks volumes about how she mentally manages all that elaborate construction. She knows enough about math to make math build it for her. She checks her surroundings before creating the castle, meaning she was trying to figure out the right calculations for her castle so it doesn't collapse due to a poor structure. She even creates a center point to make sure it was balanced.
While the line's obviously just meant as a joke to show how little Anna knows him, if we consider the naming traditions of European nobility (in particular, the use of nobiliary particles, 'of the Southern Isles' probably is the closest thing Hans has to a last name. In fact 'of Arendelle' is the sisters' last name, it seems. If this is all in Norsk, their name is von Arendelle, it's quite a viable last name.
As the trolls say, "Love will thaw"; as a little girl, Elsa seemingly had full control over her powers and it was only a dumb accident that led to Anna getting hurt. Elsa only developed Power Incontinenceafter she was isolated from her sister. And the longer the two were separated the worse her powers got. She finally lost control entirely after the two had their argument at the ball; the first time the two sisters ever fought. Elsa's love for her sister is so great that the growing distance with her over the years is what is causing her powers to become uncontrollable, peaking with their argument over Hans. But then Elsa runs off, and seems mostly in control again; she creates her palace, her dress, etc. She only loses control again when she fights with Anna again. But she regains control of her powers for good when Anna sacrifices her life for Elsa, reaffirming the love between the two. Love not only thawed the ice in Anna's heart, but Elsa's too.
In "Let It Go" Elsa 'lets go' of the three thing that restricted her: The gloves (lets go of the restriction of her using her powers), her cape (restricted her from being herself, having to put on queenly facade), and the crown (she lets go the queenly duties that bound her).
Every time Pabbie gives advice on Elsa's powers, those who receive it misinterpret it horribly (the King and Queen thinking that the fear referred to people fearing Elsa, while Anna and Kristoff both thought "True Love" meant a kiss) and ends in disaster. It makes his character seem rather misguided despite being presented as omniscient; but it fits in perfectly with the "parody of a conventional fairytale" theme, as Pabbie fills the role of the wise old Master Yoda-type mentor who usually dishes out advice in the form of vague words or weird koans and expect the heroes to figure it out and not interpret it as something else. Similarly, interpreting the advice in the old ways is exactly how most of the mess started.
Alternatively, while Pabbie is smart and knows his stuff, he's not all-knowing. He actively shows the King a scene where people are afraid/angry of Elsa, who then fears them, and alters Anna's memories to protect even her from Elsa's power, so you can easily see why the King went to the "we have to hide Elsa from everyone" thing from there. He warns Elsa to control her powers, but doesn't say exactly how. One could argue that it's because he straight-up has no idea how to do that, or else he'd have said so. Pabbie also says "an act of True Love can thaw a frozen heart", which is true—it's the other Trolls who automatically assume it's True Love's Kiss (and the movie doesn't actually say that wouldn't work—we never get to see if it does). That's why Anna's sacrifice was so big—she turned down what she thought was a sure chance at her own survival to protect her sister with a dying breath.
While it now seems foolish for the parents to hide Elsa's powers, they were only going by what they know from being royalty because holding back is probably what they're used to. As king and queen, there is always a physical and emotional wall between themselves and the subjects they are in charge of. Notice some of the lyrics of "Let It Go" include Don't let them in, don't let them see. // Be the good girl you always had to be. // Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know. They apply to Elsa's status as a future queen as well as someone with potentially dangerous powers. There's also the fact that some people were were really afraid of magic: like the Duke, whose first act upon seeing Elsa's powers is to call for her execution as a "witch". The King and Queen knew that they had to protect their daughter from such a fate. Additionally, while it's easy to critisize in hindsight, their logic was sound. Elsa is afraid of hurting people. We close the gates to all visitors except authorized personnel and those with permission, reduce ourselves to only a skeletal staff, and separate her from Anna so there's less of a chance of her accidentally hurting people until she learns to control her powers. Unfortunately, this ultimately increased her fear, making the situation worse, but it could have worked.
Two meanings of "Control" define Elsa's entire character arc — Control as in Containment (i.e. Elsa's ability to hide / conceal her powers, and what Elsa's parents tried to teach her) and Control as in Mastery (Elsa's ability to do as she pleases with her powers). Pabbie only mentioned "Control", but maybe he should've been a little more specific...
Notice how that the first and last time we see Hans includes a bucket. The first time, Sitron (Hans's horse) accidentally knocks Anna into a boat, with a bucket on her head. The last time, after his true intentions were revealed, a bucket lands on Hans's head, after he was arrested. The bucket could represent how Anna was tricked by Hans, but when his crimes are known, the bucket is on the other head.
When Elsa was still young, the King told her to "Conceal it, don't feel it," a mantra she adopted to keep her powers in check. However, she slightly changed it to "Conceal, don't feel", showing that she misunderstood her father's meaning (as many young kids do). He was telling her to ignore her powers by acting like they weren't there. Instead, Elsa believed she could no longer feel any emotion without unleashing her powers, hence the eventual total loss of control. Elsa's misunderstanding was further reinforced by the few times she observed her parents interacting with others outside the family. Being the king and queen, they would act guarded and reserved, and Elsa would be interpret that as them concealing, not feeling.
Elsa's theme song "Let It Go" has received praise aplenty, while Anna's song "For the First Time In Forever" has sometimes been criticized for having less than clever lyrics (The window is open, so's that door/I didn't know they did that anymore!; "Don't know if I'm elated or gassy, but I'm somewhere in that zone!"; etc.). In hindsight, it makes sense that Elsa's lyrics might sound better: Elsa is the elegant, more eloquent sibling, whereas Anna is silly and a little awkward.
At the end, Kristoff gets the position of "Royal Ice Deliverer" (or something along those lines), a job that they created just for him. Given how the monarch is an ice-generating queen, you'd probably need a position like that, and it keeps Kristoff in business.
Alternately, it's a position they can use for the first time. Elsa can generate ice, but only where she is. She can create the ice for Kristoff to take and sell. By massively increasing the amount of ice that Kristoff can sell, while massively decreasing the time and effort and cost of obtaining the ice, Kristoff can sell more ice for much less, benefiting the entire kingdom.
Also this job - whether or not the position existed previously - could serve the purpose to introduce and establish Kristoff at court while he and Anna are dating. That way he can learn court manners, etiquette and maybe a bit about economics and politics (considering his girlfriend is next in line to the throne) while potentially also building himself up financially. After all, IF it ever comes to a wedding there probably would be a bit of a ruckus if the next heir apparent married a poor, uncivilized country bumpkin, True Love and all this be damned. So, Elsa both made the position useful and ensured Kristoff would eventually be able to move somewhat graceful on the proverbial political ice.
At the end of the musical note For the First Time in Forever, Anna runs into Han's horse as she sings "Nothing's in my way!" This has more sinister implications given Hans' true role in the story. Having "nothing in her way" means that she is as open to Danger and Evil as she is Joy and Love. It could also mean that he is going to change that by "being in her way". As in: in the way of her finding happiness. Subtle foreshadowing
Olaf seems to be made of Fridge Briliance, because another one of his lines ("Some people are worth melting for.") could apply to not just his love/adoration for Anna, but for Elsa's love for Anna at the end, when Anna melts after Elsa hugs her as well. Anna is, indeed, someone worth melting for.
"Do You Want To Build A Snowman" is a very sad song for Anna, representing as it does her hurt and sadness at Elsa (from her point of view) freezing her out and ignoring her. But think about it also from Elsa's point of view for a moment. Every time Anna knocks on Elsa's door, she innocently and unwittingly asks the same question she used to ask to see Elsa's magic on the same night that Elsa accidentally injured her. Every innocent invitation to build a snowman is a fresh reminder for Elsa that she almost killed the sister she loves deeply with the magic powers she fears intensely.
Kristoff is a human raised by trolls. What other Hans Christan Anderson story deals with one species raising another? The Ugly Duckling. The trolls may even recognize that such an upbringing has left him "socially impaired" with his own kind. No wonder they're thrilled when he brings a human girl home to meet the family.
Much comedy (and drama) is made of Olaf's impossible desire for summer. But look at how he was created, and it makes perfect sense. Elsa didn't even know that she was bringing a snowman to life, much less that she could. Olaf himself is the impossible made possible. He'd understand- if on nothing more than a subconscious level- that reality's limitations are meaningless faced with magic.
Anna has trouble iceskating at the end because she hasn't done it since she was five. Elsa could have had some practice moving around her room, but her powers would also instinctively activate to provide her secure footing.
Grown-up Elsa never slips on her own ice again, be that her castle, or the bridge, or the rink - because sliding occurs due to a thin coating of melted water (while skating, it's melted by mass concentrated on a very thin sharp blade), and she's freezing water, not vice versa.
Another Foreshadowing of Anna being in a relationship with Kristoff, and not Hans is their relationships with their families. Anna has always wanted to reignite the warm love between her and Elsa. And let's look at Hans and Kristoff's families: Hans (by his own accord) told Anna that some of his brothers ignored him for two years. This may or may not be true after his reveal as as the Big Bad, but Hans' resentment over being 13th in line and his desire to rule somewhere else indicates that his relationship with his family is non-existent or strained. now, Kristoff's family are trolls who openly love and treasure him; they even believe in The Power of Love. In other words, Kristoff has the warm love of family that Anna needs (and gets after she and Elsa are able to be together), while Hans has the cold family relationship that Anna doesn't want.
Why doesn't Elsa know how to melt the ice? Because Love and Happiness is much easier to hide than Anger and Fear. None ever slipped out.
Pabbie's line about how the heart is not as easily changed as the head is also foreshadowing for the eventual 'love, of course' realisation for Elsa. She spent years suppressing her emotions by mantras and force of will (the head), but her feelings towards Anna never changed. She always loved her sister (the heart). She could change her mind, but not her feelings.
After an entire childhood of Anna asking her "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" and being unable to for fear of revealing her powers, what's the first thing she builds during "Let It Go"? Her first instinct when finally able to freely use her ice powers was to answer that question her sister had been asking all those years. And in so doing, causing Olaf to exist, meaning he could save Anna, meaning she could save Elsa, thus saving Arendelle. Anna's childhood devotion to her sister and Elsa's positive memories of it are the key to saving both of them, decades on.
Elsa's crown is different from her mother's...because her mother's crown sank beneath the sea when she drowned.
While Hans' color motif being white makes a delicious subversion of Disney expectations, there's also a more symbolic dimension. White was indeed a colour associated with death in slavic countries and at the very least a colour associated with evil in surviving pagan Scandinavian records, as seen in the comparisons between "White Jesus" and "RedThor" by Norse pagans, and certainly not a very pleasant colour when you're in the middle of the freaking winter, naturally or otherwise.
Notice that when Anna falls and is caught by both Hans and Kristoff: Anna is pushed by Hans's horse and while Anna willingly falls, knowing that Kristoff would catch her. A romantic foreshadowing that while Anna was pushed to fall in love with Hans, she fell for Kristoff on her own.
"Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" is almost the Arc Song for Anna and Elsa's entire relationship. If Anna hadn't enticed Elsa into building a snowman in the first place, Anna would have never received the injury that caused Elsa to retreat into herself and close herself off from her sister. When Elsa's secret is found out and she's fled the castle, the first thing she does—almost casually—by way of exploring her own powers, is to rebuild Olaf. Later in the film, we see that Olaf has somehow come to life. Later still, when Anna is dying in a locked room in the castle, who picks the lock on the door, discovers Anna, relights the fire—which Hans had put out—in order to keep her alive a bit longer, and helps her to realise that Kristoff loves her? Olaf. He then helps Anna to break out of the castle—when she can't figure out how to get out of the high window, he encourages her to slide down the packed snow, which we've already seen he's a master of. He gets Anna out onto the ice, which if he hadn't done, she wouldn't have been able to stop Hans from killing Elsa, an act of true love which, it turns out, also saved her own life. Ironically, it's the creation of Olaf that started their problems, but it's Olaf who resolved their problems too!
Anna's Heroic Sacrifice didn't just melt her heart, it also melted Elsa's! Elsa's heart was frozen by her fear of her own powers, and that's why she couldn't melt her ice-because her heart, which should have been her source of warmth, was frozen with fear.
Probably just a happy coincidence, but what other wholly appropriate song has a title that rhymes with 'Let It Go'? 'Let It Snow'!
"For the First Time in Forever":
The song includes the line "A beautiful stranger, tall and fair." Look at Hans's hair. Now look at Kristoff's...
Consider also that Hans comes from the Southern Isles, while Kristoff is an Arendelle native. Given that Arendelle is based on Norway, this puts the Southern Isles somewhere sunnier, where people are more likely to get tanned. People in Arendelle are more likely to have fair skin.
"A beautiful stranger, tall and fair" could also refer to Elsa; she is practically a stranger after 13 years of isolation, and is also tall and very fair. Andshe is the one whose love is the true love that broke the spell.
Why was Hans "concerned" about Anna leaving to find Elsa? He wasn't concerned about Anna at all ... he saw this as an opportunity to become king immediately as Anna would be next in line. As Hans said when he revealed his true intentions, "Elsa doomed herself." If Anna never left to find Elsa, Hans's plan would've been complete without the death of Anna.
Some have pointed out that Kristoff (who is, by Word of God, Saami) has a Scandinavian-styled sled instead of a Saami-styled one. Actually, if he's been conducting trade with the Scandinavians as an ice harvester, it makes perfect sense that he might pick up some of their technology along the way.
The scene where Hans reveals his true intentions has a chess set visible. A few minutes later when Olaf tries to warm Anna up said character inadvertently knocks over the pieces. Even better, when the window first blows open, that chess set is out of focus in the foreground as Olaf is rushing to the window to close it—even so, we can hear and see the White Queen piece fall over. At that moment, Elsa is on the run from Hans, who is planning on killing her.
The presence of companions, human or not, seems to signify a character's conscience and morality, with non-human characters representing a far healthier conscience. Anna and Elsa both have Olaf, the film's most sentient non-human companion who is a reminder of their love for each other; and are the most good, kind and noble of the film's characters. Kristoff has Sven and his troll family to serve as his Conscience, and it's his persona as "Sven" that often gets him to act selflessly for others despite his own bitterness and cynicism. The Duke of Weselton has two guards that function almost as extensions of his will rather than actual companions and he is mostly judgmental and unreflective on his own actions even though he is capable of feeling pity and sadness. Prince Hans has his horse, Sitron, but he rarely interacts with it and when he reveals his cruel nature at last, Sitron disappears from the film entirely. This represents how he uses his conscience in an entirely utilitarian manner and is willing to shed it in an instant when he has to.
In Sweden "Let It Go", while being a popular song, is often criticized for sounding too much like a schlager. Disney has been known for having the music in their movies match the setting. Maybe it's not a coincidence that "Let It Go" sounds like something that might represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest?
In the Swedish dub, Weselton is translated into Vässleby, which is pretty much a direct translation of Weaseltown, and the name everybody else uses is Vassleby, which is a bit like a Swedenised version of Weselton. This reversal seems odd until you realise that the difference between the two is an "ä". This letter doesn't exist in the Danish and Norwegian alphabet, so if you go by the theory that Weselton is supposed to represent Sweden, it's possible they don't actually know how it's supposed to be pronounced (or simply don't care) and just did what most people confronted with an umlaut they don't recognise do: ignore it and pronounce the word as if it didn't have it.
Look how Hans dresses when Anna meets her. He's wearing an outfit that's blue, purple, and black. But once he decides to have an interest in Anna, he dresses in a light green outfit. Who else wore a blue, purple, and black outfit? That was Elsa's coronation outfit. Who wore a light green outfit? Anna. Hans's outfit showed that he was clearly interested in Elsa at first. When Hans betrays Anna and reveals his intentions, Hans is wearing his first outfit ... also showing he stopped caring about Anna as a love interest and wouldn't mind killing her off. His outfit at that point represents the queen he would've overthrown.
Why was Anna oversleeping on the morning of the coronation? Clearly the sky was awake last night.
Rides darker horses with yellow-themed names? (Sitron and Buttercup) Check. (Although that one is suspect, since one is Ascended Fanon with Jennifer Lee's approval and one is a nickname given by Santino)
Has to marry someone to be king/rule? Check.
Their plot involve the pursuit of a pretty lady, both metaphorically and literally? Double check, because Hans initially intended to woo Elsa, the elegant ladylike one, but settled for Anna, the spunky cute one. Ella, Prince Topher's dream girl, is elegant, ladylike, spunky and cute all at once. (Also - Ella, Elsa and Anna? See the resemblance yet?)
Overshadowed? Check. (Hans by his twelve brothers, Topher by his advisor Sebastian)
Topher is frustrated and fed up with being essentially Sebastian's dummy, and he wants to be a good ruler but doesn't know how. Hans is also frustrated, but he knows exactly what to do and will not stop at anything to get on the throne.
Topher knows a thing or two about consent, "Oh my god, you have to marry me! I mean, will you marry me?" whereas, although Anna is clearly willing to marry him right then and there if Elsa had given them their blessing, do we ever see Hans asking Anna to do anything? He's just following along (with some token protest, "Anna, no. It's too dangerous.") because that'll further his plans, fooling her into thinking that she's given complete consent. Whereas Kristoff explicitly ask for consent with that kiss at the end. ("I could kiss you! I could. I mean I'd like to. I'd... may I? We me... I mean, may we?") And it takes a lot more for Kristoff than Hans to comply with Anna's requests.
This is Fridge Brilliance because it makes audiences who are familiar with Santino Fontana in Cinderella first, then Frozen later, a lot more unprepared for The Reveal, fully expecting Hans to be another Topher due to typecasting.
The trolls, according to Kristoff, are love experts. The first think they thought about seeing Anna is shipping her with Kristoff. 'Love' is their way of life. Fridge kick in that maybe, when they told Elsa 'to control her powers' they obviously telling her 'to control her powers with love'. They didn't say 'with love' parts, because for them, it is obvious. It is not so obvious to the humans, though.
"Fixer Upper" has several lyrics that sound more like they're referring to Elsa than Kristoff:
His isolation is confirmation of his desperation for human hugs People make bad choices when they're mad or scared or stressed/Throw a little love their way and you'll bring out their best! * The trolls are the equivalent to the gargoyles in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. They are annoying comic relief and they sing a song that is completely out of place, considering the situation ("Fixer-Upper", "A Guy Like You"). They even resemble Hugo.
Much like real-life sociopaths, Hans tailors himself to match up to the person he's manipulating - he's a goofy dork towards Anna, a would-be Morality Pet towards Elsa, and a cold Jerkass towards the Duke. What was the thing that really fucked shit up in the original story? A mirror.
During the film's climax, each of the protagonists perform an act of true love:
Anna sacrifices herself to save Elsa.
Kristoff braves the storm to get back to Anna when he fears she could be in terrible danger.
Olaf starts the fire to save Anna, despite the fact that doing so causes him to melt. That's the love of a friend.
Sven throws Kristoff off his back before falling into the freezing water. In that weather, when there's no guarantee of a thaw, he could freeze to death.
It's not the climax, but we see the love of the Trolls for Kristoff. They can see his faults, but they also see through them! That's family love!
Han's attempt to kill Anna by simply locking her in a room may be seen as Genre Blindness but is Genre Savvy as as not one is allowed near there and the fact that he simply speeds up the process Elsa unintentionally began will ensure that he looks innocent as it will appear that Elsa is the reason Anna's dead.
The eternal winter starts after Elsa runs across the water, freezing it as she goes. A common reason that northerly regions have warmer than expected weather is because of warm-water currents increasing the air temperature above what one would expect for their latitude: see the British Isles, for instance. But if, say, a particularly cold winter (or a magical Snow Queen) freezes a strait through which the current runs, it can drop the temperature of the whole region, making the winter even colder, making the strait stay frozen, and starting a feedback loop that drastically changes the local climate.
Notice that whenever Elsa is in the cold, you can't see her breath. Though this is also done with Anna and Kristoff as the movie progresses, for them it's most likely for visual effect. However, if you think about the fact that Elsa is the one with the powers to create winter, her body temperature is probably as low on the inside as the temperature of the outside, making it so that she doesn't create fog with her breath. She is literally the same temp as the air around her. The reason for the audience not seeing the fog earlier in the movie is also most likely both visual effect and to some degree, she is still human.
A very unintentional Fridge at the beginning of 'Let it Go'. "A kingdom of isolation." Isolation. Iceolation is one way to interpret it considering Elsa didn't know what she had done at the moment.
Olaf describes Elsa (who he had not met personally at that time) as "the nicest, gentlest, sister." This perfectly describes Elsa, as her aloof nature stems from her desire to keep Anna from danger. This also shows that Olaf knows Elsa on a somewhat spiritual level, as his warm and friendly nature reflects how Elsa was during their childhood.
Kristoff's "Didn't your parents ever warn you about strangers" comes as a good foreshadowing of Hans' true nature. After all, strangers who have ill intentions on somebody tend to act nice to them to gain their trust. Particularly funny as Anna misses the point and pulls away from Kristoff, when she pretty much forced herself into his company.
One interpretation of the ending: when Pabbie said that "true love will thaw a frozen heart", he really was talking about Elsa. Anna's revival isn't so much a result of the ice magic's mechanics as it is Elsa's action, her long-frozen heart finally in full harmony with her power. This ties in brilliantly with Olaf's earlier suggestion that "love is putting someone else's need before yours": for thirteen years of her life, all Elsa has really known of love is enduring untold heartbreak, isolation and pain so that the people she cares about stay safe, without expecting any measure of acknowledgement in return. When Anna throws aside her own survival for Elsa's, she embraces her sister's hard but true notion of love - thus showing Elsa for the first time in forever that yes, Anna will always love her no matter what.
Notice that when Anna is restored, the white lock of hair from the first accident is now gone. This is a good, subtle way to show that she and Elsa can truly put the past behind them.
During "Let it Go" Elsa sings about finally being able to stand in the light of day. Almost every time we see her use her powers, it's dark outside, with the sole exception maybe being Hans's raid at the castle (which happens in the early morning). Even her castle was created during the night, and when she was brought back to Arendalle it was overcast and grey. But by the end of the film when she learns to love and gets a handle on controlling her powers the lighting changes. Giving Olaf his own personal flurry and creating the ice skating rink in the courtyard was done during the day in full sunlight.
During the banter between Kristoff and Anna during the sled ride, he quizzes Anna about Hans to see how little she knows about him. This happens:
The sisters' shared love of chocolate is an insight into their characters. Chocolate is considered to be a "warm" flavor, as opposed to "cold" flavors like mint (though it's notable that today, chocolate gets combined with "cold" flavors all the time). The fact that it's the Trademark Favorite Food of both sisters hints at Elsa's hidden warmth.
Having chocolate as a 'trademark favorite food' might provoke a response of 'is that supposed to be unusual?' until you remember that the film is set in the mid-19th century... and chocolate sweets like the ones staked on the buffet were first manufactured in 1847, so they're a very new and exotic treat, although chocolate as a hot drink was by then relatively commonplace. Chocolate fondue is still about 140-150 years off, though, alas.
How much stuff has Hans brought with him for an event that was meant to be over in 24 hours? Why did he just happen to have his winter coat? Okay, so maybe it could get cold at sea (especially at the Northern latitudes), but nobody else seemed to have them... why does he have his sword with him? Okay, so it could be for ceremonial reasons, except he doesn't seem to wear it as part of his dress uniform... why has he gone to the trouble of bringing his horse? The castle is in spitting distance of the quay! Is he too lazy to walk short distances? Sure, he ended up using all that stuff, but how come he was so Crazy-Prepared? The Reveal supplies the answer: he wasn't planning leaving for a while...
Elsa's posture is always very elegant, regal and composed, except, of course, when she's having emotional breakdowns, which is more than 70% of the movie. This is particularly noticeable after the "Let It Go" sequence, where Elsa sheds all the pretence that held her back and made her miserable. But then you notice that Elsa continues her queenly mannerisms even in her scenes after "Let it Go". For instance, notice that her manners and gestures when Anna first finds her in the ice castle are very similar to the way she acts during the post-coronation party. They show that they are not just a pretence, they are who Elsa really is, and likewise being the queen of Arendelle is not a role that has merely been forced upon her, it is who she is truly meant to be - it's her higher calling. So for all to be right with the world, Elsa not only needs to be free to live as an ice-sorceress, she also needs to return and live among her people as their rightful ruler.
The ice harvesters at the very beginning of the film sing about how beautiful and dangerous ice is, but nevertheless that its "frozen heart" is "worth mining," showing that they have a greater appreciation of ice than the average citizens of Arendelle. Kristoff's line of "Now that's ice; I might cry" upon seeing Elsa's castle wasn't just because he grew up with trolls and was accustomed to magic; he had spent some time with the ice harvesters too as a child, and their appreciation of ice had rubbed off on him.
A very subtle bit of foreshadowing, when Olaf shouts in excitement (while- rather oddly- looking into the camera to address us : "Let's go kiss Hans! Who is this Hans?" Partly it draws attention to the fact that Anna seems to have forgotten about the existence of Hans for a couple of days, if she's never mentioned him to Olaf, which already says something about the state of the relationship. However we immediately cut to Hans at the head of the force about to make a raid on Elsa's palace, so we do ask ourselves, "Who is this Hans, indeed?"
Compare the faces of Hans and Kristoff when they emote. You'll notice a subtle clue that Hans's emotions are him acting: A lot of the time, he seems a little... distant, especially when compared to Kristoff, who is always very open and emotional. And when he smiles, look at his eyebrows and see they don't budge an inch. His smile looks a little pasted on, artificial, and maybe even slightly dipping into the Uncanny Valley. There are only a few times where his expressions look genuine, like when he's dangling from the stairway after Marshmallow tries taking him into the chasm.
If you look very carefully at Elsa's glove during the "Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I tried" in 'Let it go', you can just about see a snowflake on the back of the hand. This shows that the gloves can't hold the power in for much longer, i.e. "can't hold it back anymore." The powers have built up so much that the thing she sees as stopping her can't. This means that even without the argument, she probably would've ended up freezing everything sooner or later anyway. Also, foreshadowing the fact she escapes the prison by freezing her shackles until they become so brittle that they break.
At the end of "Do You Want to Build A Snowman?" when Anna is pleading with Elsa for the last time to come out after their parents have died, it looks like she really might this time. She's standing on the other side of the door, clearly conflicted, and the second-to-last lyric ("What are we going to do?") would rhyme with "Yes, I do [want to build a snowman]." Instead, the melody echoes and creates a Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion.
When Anna and Elsa are first brought to the trolls, Pabbie asks if Elsa was "born with the powers or cursed?" and her father responds that she was born with them. Later, when Anna confronts Elsa in her ice castle, Elsa sings "I can't control the curse." That's the issue: she's treating her powers like they are a curse rather than a part of her that needs to be embraced.
Watch the finale again. Do you know what else is subverted about Disney movies here? The heroic male lead. Oh yes, Kristoff cares for Anna. He's being brave. But he has nothing to do with the rescue. He doesn't even get to Anna in time. It was Olaf who risked his life inside the castle - he unlocked Anna's door, helped to warm her up at the very strong risk of melting, and got her out of the castle to find Elsa. And then Anna saved Elsa. And then Elsa saved Anna. Yes, Olaf really does deserve that prominent position in the advertising.
The fact that Anna had to be the one to perform the Act of True Love rather than have it done to her makes a lot of sense. Being kissed wouldn't have summoned Anna's inner warmth; only Anna herself could have done that. Sacrificing herself to save her sister's life was the ultimate expression of her warm-heartedness, which was so strong it overpowered the ice magic.
Anna tells Hans that she once dreamt about being kissed by a troll. Kristoff was raised by a family of trolls and though he's human, he can be considered a "honorary" troll.
Pabbie erases Anna's memories of magic but leaves her the happiness because he knows she will need that memory to sustain her relationship with Elsa in the future. Thank God he didn't erase them all, because had Anna grown up even without the memory of love and affection, she might have become needy, angry, and bitter...and as a result cruel and selfish...like Hans did over his own neglect.
What kind of childhood did Hans have if it turned him into a complete sociopath? What kind of treatment from his brothers could he have received that it made him concoct an Evil Plan and feel no remorse for killing an innocent or two, or toying with a girl's feelings? And at the end of the film, he's on a ship headed back to those brothers...
Imagine all of the people in Arendelle, including children and the elderly, who might have gotten pneumonia when eternal winter hit.
If Anna or anyone else had not come up to the mountain to reason with her, what could possibly happen to Elsa if she was left alone? Considering how her isolation and concealment had an impact on her as a growing child, what more could it affect her as an adult? She would have probably become the very Snow Queen in the original tale.
Think about it for a second. For thirteen years, Elsa forced herself to remain stoic and emotionless, even distancing herself from her only sibling. Anna lost her best friend, and being cooped up in a castle all her life, no friends around her age and your only sibling being so cold towards you. And then, losing your parents. Both had no friends, contact with the outside world, and lose their beloved folks. Imagine the kind of depression issues the two might have developed.
Just how terrible Elsa’s childhood must have been:
After the accident, Elsa would have naturally come to fear her powers, so any manifestation of her skills would have terrified her even when involuntarily inspired by a positive emotion (which, if her facial expressions in "Let It Go" mean anything, would allow her a way to explore her powers in a controllable, inspiring way). Add the emotional coaching she received from her (well-meaning but misguided) parents, and you have a young girl who would feel some happy emotion, which would make her afraid because “Oh no, I felt something, what if I create ice and hurt someone?”, and that fear would cause her powers to react negatively, which would make her more afraid, etc. etc. until she can’t control it anymore.
The lack of personal interaction amplifies it still further, as the longer a person goes without talking to someone (especially large groups), the harder and more stressful it is—thus ensuring any interaction Elsa had was almost certain to trigger her powers, making her even more terrified of being around people, etc.
And then add a sister who you love and are terrified of hurting again, who doesn't know (and who you can't tell) why you shut her out. By pushing Anna away until she feels that she has her powers under firm control, Elsa is trying to protect her sister, while at the same time causing herself emotional anguish that, likely, triggers her powers in a negative fashion.
Speaking of characters in the movie who suffered terrible childhoods, remember how Olaf says that "when life gets rough, I like to hold onto my dream"? He's been alive for a day, if that.
The strand of platinum blonde in Anna's hair after Elsa's magic accident, imagine how Elsa feels every time she has to look at Anna? The physical reminder for Elsa about how she almost killed her only sibling, her baby sister, and her best friend. Her inner guilt and self hate must have increased for every time she saw Anna for the next thirteen years.
Elsa and Anna losing their parents is hard enough, but what about the other people on the ship with the King and Queen? They most likely perished as well, so there's a couple dozen other greatly traumatized families out there.
Speaking of losing the King and Queen - in the burial scene, Anna is by herself. Meaning Elsa wasn't even able to attend the funeral and give a final goodbye to her own parents. Meanwhile, Anna has to lead a country in mourning alone, and the last remaining member of her family won't even stay in a room with her. She probably knows that there's something badly wrong with her sister, would do anything to help or even just support her, but she's not even told what the problem is. She's fifteen years old.
As soon as she takes the gloves off, Elsa starts freezing everything she touches. That her powers are that strong makes you think and realize she must have had a hell of a time trying to bathe without ever getting her hands wet for longer than a few seconds. The logistics of hiding her powers as they got stronger and more volatile must have been incredibly frustrating and stressful.
The Duke of Weselton's judgmental prejudice against magic and sorcery and those who practice them as "monsters", to the extent of even tarring the next of kin with that brush (he is dead set on thinking Anna is a co-conspirator with Elsa at the beginning) and wanting them killed at all costs is also pretty nasty even though he's not part of Hans' league. Ironically had Hans not changed his mind by lying to him about Anna's death, he might have attempted to kill Anna too. What could make him feel that way? The possibility that his own kingdom was attacked by people with Elsa's powers, but none of her restraint.
A weird blend of Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror: If Elsa had been on that ship when her parents drowned, there's a pretty decent chance she could have saved them. Her winter magic is strong enough to freeze over an entire fjord, so she could easily make a big enough iceberg to hold the ship above water until help could arrive (in some form). By shutting her out, the King and Queen unwittingly may or may not have sealed their own fates.
A big deal is made in the ice harvester work song "Frozen Heart" is about how ice is beautiful, but it's also dangerous. With that in mind, the fact that Elsa's winter magic makes her immune to cold (and immune to the potential of frostbite or hypothermia) seems to make her almost a goddess, as though she were ice itself. Equal part Fridge Brilliance. You ever heard the simile "pure as the driven snow"? She is also the most purehearted, selfless and giving human character in the movie (exceeded only by Olaf, who literally is the driven snow itself).
Elsa is Carrie with a sister to love her and less dysfunctional parenting.
If Olaf can be seen as representing the love Anna and Elsa have, Marshmallow can be seen as representing Elsa's isolation, depression, fear, and, in a way, her bitterness and anger. Note how Marshmallow is bigger than Olaf; all the love and innocence Elsa had is overshadowed by all the negative traits that she's accumulated over the course of her life.
Listen to the lyrics of "Let It Go", but imagine Elsa being sick of suppressing her powers. The song could literally double as a transformation song from innocent princess to evil sorceress. It fits so perfectly, especially since she was originally designed to be the antagonist. Word of God has it that Elsa was originally going to be a more villainous character, but the tone of "Let It Go" was so upbeat they rewrote her character and subsequently the movie. Disney toys with the possibility of Elsa becoming a villain throughout "Let it Go," which in itself is the closest thing to a villain song in the movie. Consider the line "No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I'm Free!" Doesn't that sound like something a villain without moral scruples would say? And also consider straight after her transformation into the Snow Queen, she says "That perfect girl is gone!" A lot of villains during their transformations often shed their older identities. But notice her facial expression reflected on the floor while she says it: she's scowling.
Furthermore, when you read the lyrics of the first verse, you'll notice how, had "Let It Go" been the villain song, Elsa would have been singing those lines with a more mocking tone of voice.
Mixing it a bit with brilliance, the King knew exactly where the scroll for the Trolls was and knew they'd be able to help with a magical related incident. Also he wasn't surprised to see them and in fact they seemed to know him. What if he has a sibling or family member who is much like Elsa with a different power?
One of the Trolls passed a kidney stone...the size of his hand. OUCH.
If Anna could hear Hans drawing his sword, odds are that Elsa did too. After freezing the kingdom and killing her sister, she was willing to sit there and die for her actions.
Counts also as Fridge Sadness: When Elsa dies Olaf and Marshmallow will die as well.
How about a triple dose of Fridge Logic, Fridge Brilliance AND Fridge Horror? Let's start with the scene where Anna confronts Elsa in the ice palace; Elsa's panic over finding out she has frozen over Arendelle causes a snowstorm indoors, when the weather outside is still pretty calm and clear.
So let's recap a bit to the "Let It Go" scene, which is after Elsa accidentally freezes Arendelle. During the first verse of the song, she's walking under a snowy weather, but as soon as the first chorus starts (right after she takes off the glove), the snow just stops falling immediately, and until Anna and co gets kicked out of the ice palace, the weather around the palace remains clear; no snowfall, no cloud, nothing. This later can be attributed to how feeling happy allows Elsa to control her power better, but does she realize about this at first?
It probably would have been better if she never realized that in her happiness, the weather becomes good, because otherwise, imagine how she feels when Anna tells her the Arendelle is freezing. Elsa is not just shocked ("Oh no, I've accidentally frozen my country!"), but also confused ("But the weather in the mountain is fine, how could Arendelle be snowed?"), and also very much horrified ("When I said 'Let the storm rage on', this is NOT what I meant!!")
This brings another question - Is Elsa's weather-control power related strongly to her (to the point of being centered on her), or can she lock a place in a given weather (such as cold weather) until she orders otherwise? She manages to turn the mountain weather from snowy to clear, but somehow this clear weather doesn't extend to Arendelle. And in the climax, when her anxiety causes a massive blizzard, a bit of the cold wind does reach the mountains where Kristoff is at that point, but otherwise the full brunt of the blizzard is centered at Arendelle. This brings another question: After Elsa dispels winter from Arendelle, what happens to other places which may have been affected by her winter?
If Elsa's powers are like a toggle switch in nature (meaning they will lock an area in to a state of winter until Elsa undoes the enchantment herself). That means that the duke and Hans' theory that killing Elsa would end the winter would be dead wrong; killing her would remove the only possible being that could undo the winter, thus locking Arendelle into a state of permanent winter. That means that if Hans had succeeded in killing Elsa at the end, the kingdom he sought to rule would effectively become a permanent winter wasteland. Most likely, all the residents would quickly migrate to warmer climates, leaving him the king of a kingdom of isolation. Does anybody really believe he would settle for such a fate? It's almost certain that he would soon rehash his scheme for a poor lovesick princess in another country in order to rule over somewhere decent. And if need be, he'd probably be engineering "accidents" for all her family members that stand between her and the throne, too!
Randomly gifted powers:
The existence of the book seen in the first scene of the movie, with its drawing of a man in medieval clothing having ice magic drawn from his head, implies that Elsa's powers are likely extraordinarily rare but not entirely unique. Particularly in combination with the Grand Pabbie's suggestion that some people are cursed by others to have ice powers, it seems like there's nothing keeping someone with a significantly less benign personality from having the same abilities that Elsa exhibits in the movie. Given that Elsa can almost destroy an entire country without even knowing it, what could a person with those powers but with more malign ends (or worse, an Omnicidal Maniac with those powers) achieve?
Word of God states that someone is born with ice powers every 1,000 years, and even then, only when a particular alignment of Earth and Saturn occurs. Seeing as it takes place in the same universe as ''Tangled, where a drop of sunlight fell to create a flower that gave Rapunzel healing magic, it seems that the celestial bodies have a certain power to them. What if there was, say, an alignment of Jupiter 500 years earlier than gave someone fire powers. In the hands of someone benevolent it could all be well and good, but someone harnessing a power like that and having ill intentions...
The amount of control Elsa is revealed to have over her powers is not only vast, but also omnidirectional. She can freeze a country in a matter of minutes, but, when tempered by love, unfreeze it even quicker. So it stands to reason that if she were able to maintain control of her powers, she should be able to unfreeze Anna's head or heart just as easily as she froze them. Imagine all the grief everyone could've been spared if the trolls had just taught her that any damage she may accidentally do would be easily curable by her own magic.
Within just a few days after Elsa accidentally unleashes an Endless Winter upon Arendelle, it already appeared as though the kingdom has been snowed over for years despite it being summer. One can't help but shudder as the possible consequences of this magical accident being unleashed in proper winter.
Combines to make a sort of Fridge Tearjerker: At the point that Hans delivers his Wham Line to Anna, she's just parted from Kristoff and Olaf, possibly forever (and they'd never really established whether there was anything there), and her always-difficult relationship with Elsa is at an all-time low, and... that's about all there is for her. Hans' revelation comes at the moment when she's about the most vulnerable and alone she's ever been in her life; there really doesn't seem to be anyone else to turn to, or even any comeback to what he's just said to her- his cutting remark probably just keeps going into her skin deeper and deeper. And he may well realise it. From his point of view, it's probably a particularly vicious invocation of Not So Different, seeing as Word of God says he's long known he's chronically unloved.
Hans' breaking speech to Anna implies that obviously life is an empty failure if he never gets a crown of his own. Er, what? Neither will most of his brothers... he should still be able to exert a lot of influence, it shouldn't be that big a deal, pretty sure it's not normal for even royals to be so desperate for the title itself. Somewhere he's really picked up issues about this.
Remember what Grandpabbie did to Anna to save her from having a literal brain freeze? He modified her memories in addition to curing the freeze. Let that sink in for a bit: A powerful troll has the ability to implant False Memories. It's a good thing that the trolls in Arendelle are a nice bunch, but what do you think may happen should there be a renegade troll, an Evil Counterpart of Grandpabbie, frolicking around messing with people's memories?
An Evil Counterpart of Grandpabbie would instead make people see only the bad things in life. Which would make them similar to the trolls in the original Snow Queen tale.
Speaking of literal brain freeze, even after growing up Anna still acts like a young child. Her mindset was literally frozen in place.
An example of how costume history study can ruin your enjoyment of a good film: it's the mid-nineteenth century. Anna seems to mostly wear various shades of green, including blouses, nightdresses and stockings since childhood, and Elsa wears cosmetics and dark dresses up until her Letting Her Hair Down makeover. This may not be a good thing for their long-term health. All of that green Anna wears might have arsenic in it.
Anna repeatedly blames herself for Elsa's big ice explosion and her running away, because she was the one who asked her the armor piercing questions, missing the fact that Elsa was clearly a very messed-up young woman and Anna herself can hardly be to blame for the Power Incontinence. She's even been trying to remember all her life how she had somehow offended Elsa and caused her sister to neglect her. It's hard to notice with Anna's general sweetness and light, but the fact that she assumes she is to blame somehow for most of Elsa's strange dysfunctional behaviour indicates that she's actually very emotionally damaged too, and doesn't quite have a very good yardstick for normal emotional relationships (almost as bad a trait as Bella Swan has). Her desperation for approval and willingness to believe herself at fault leave her extremely vulnerable and perfect prey to a manipulative boyfriend who is out to exploit her. Sadly this pattern is Truth in Television for many emotionally vulnerable teenagers.
At the moment Anna dives in front of Hans's sword, she had no idea that she would freeze at the critical moment: not only could she have frozen too early and not gotten there, but she could have frozen too late.. and taken the sword hit. The situation was a microsecond away from Elsa, already distraught on the floor, being left in a pool of her sister's blood and whatever else was left of her.. and no amount of love being able to heal that. And that's assuming Hans didn't go on and slash her as well.