Frozen

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Frozen

Postby amoskalik » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:24 pm

First, I'd like to admit that, yes, I am way behind the curve on pop culture.

My four year old daughter, like all four year daughters everywhere, has become a Frozen fanatic. She can sing all the songs from heart (and in tune). She is planning her fifth birthday with a Frozen theme.

None of this is particularly unexpected, but the one aspect of the Frozen phenomenon that I find puzzling is ... Elsa.
Or as the kids say Elsa, Elsa, Elsa, Elsa [pause for breath] Elsa, Elsa, Elsa, Elsa.

Notice there is no Anna in there, or Christof, or Sven, or even Olaf. The only character that matters is Elsa.
I've watched the movie. Elsa is not the main character, Anna is. So what gives?

Is it because Elsa sings the all-time, galaxy-wide, more-powerful-than-crack hit "Let It Go"? Is it because she can create a fabulous ice castle out of thin air? Other than that, as a character, there's not a lot there. She has fewer lines than a talking snowman and less personality than the reindeer.

It got me wondering, have I been going about building characters all wrong? I always thought it was about growth, and emotion. Sure Elsa has those, but to a lesser degree than other characters in the same movie. Is it really as simple as slapping a super power on someone? Obviously not, as there are plenty of failed super hero characters. So what is it about Elsa that stands out?
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Re: Frozen

Postby wellsdesigned » Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:46 pm

I read your post and then I asked my wife and kids who love the movie why it isn't the Princes Anna story. Anna never had a chance because she never sang the big song and she never wore the beautiful dress. No Disney princess is complete without the song and dress things. I suspect that if you had written the story word for word including song lyrics it would come across as the Princess Anna story.

And that is a bit of a trap in writing. While you may have the movie image you are not creating a movie. Even movies like the Harry Potter series leave out much of what gets written into the books. And there are things that get changed from book to silver screen. I feel the fact that Frozen the movie is not the Princess Anna story does not mean that anyone's need to reevaluate how they set characters.
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Re: Frozen

Postby amoskalik » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:28 pm

I think you nailed it. I watched the movie a little closer after I made my first post and it was quite clear that Elsa had the killer dress, while Anna could have been anyone from the period. She didn't stand out.

Anna did have more personality, but so did all her cohorts. Again, the more stoic Elsa stands out.

And of course the big song.

And the powerful magic.

But perhaps more important than all that, Elsa transforms from a girl to a woman (during her big song while she does big magic making the transformation all the more impressive), while Anna stays pretty much the same.
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