(This post contains some minor spoilers for Frozen 2. Just incase you’re pernickety about that sort of thing!)
I’m not the only one who sees Queen Elsa of Frozen fame as having major depression and anxiety here, am I???
I feel like I’m stating the obvious but whenever I’ve brought it up with S he’s cynical of my interpretation and disagrees
But then again, he would
I first saw Frozen like a lot of people did – in the cinema during the winter of 2013
I’d gone there with Eldest with pretty much no expectations at all (though I’d already expressed a sceptical eye roll when I saw they’d mimicked the style of Tangled from 3 years earlier). Like so many small children at the time, I loved it. The Let It Go sequence had me enthralled, particularly because of the awesome animated piece when Elsa magics up her ice castle for one. It was breathtaking
Anyway, I digress…
There was much in Elsa I liked seeing depicted
For one thing, she’s 21 when she becomes Queen. Making her the only Disney “princess” to be an actual adult at the time (until Anna hits her 20s in Frozen 2). I liked that she questioned stupid shit like her sister wanting to marry a guy she’s just met, but then again who didn’t love that? I liked that they didn’t shoe- horn her in a love interest. But most of all I liked that she – as I interpreted it- had blatant depression, anxiety, confidence and self esteem issues. I liked it because as far as I could see it was the first time Disney had depicted a heroine as such
And let’s face it, who could blame her?!
For my grown-up child self, Elsa was the Disney heroine I never knew I’d badly wanted to resonate with
And resonate she did
- Low moods – CHECK ✔️
- Social Isolation – CHECK ✔️
- Guilt -CHECK ✔️
- Low Self Esteem – CHECK ✔️
- Frustration and Longing – CHECK ✔️CHECK✔️
- Self Blame – CHECK ✔️
- Dislike of crowds – CHECK ✔️
- Pent up anger – CHECK ✔️
- Restlessness – CHECK ✔️
- “JUST LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!!!!” but also desperately wanting company – CHECK ✔️
- Feeling incomplete – CHECK ✔️
- Feelings of not fitting in – CHECK ✔️
- Emotional outbursts – CHECK ✔️
- Despairing – CHECK ✔️
- Hopelessness- CHECK ✔️
- Feelings of being unworthy and inadequate – CHECK ✔️ aaaand CHECK ✔️
This winter, we have been graced with Frozen 2 and although Elsa’s character arc has developed loads through the original Frozen plus its two shorts ( Frozen Fever and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure), I was pleased to see that in spite of this and her much improved lifestyle – what with reconnecting with her sister and kingdom and all – she still has struggles and still has a fair way to go before being able to fully accept herself and live her best life
I was also pleased to see that again they didn’t shoehorn her into a romantic relationship (of any sexuality) because that would have detracted from the focus of her own journey of personal growth and self-love/acceptance
Josh Gad: “It was more about Elsa embracing Elsa”
Although Elsa starts off the movie already agitated, troubled and discontented the most telling moment for me that screamed “DEPRESSION” was when Anna goes to check on her sister after she walks out, distracted, on a family game of charades….
I shan’t attempt to describe the exchange here because previous attempts at describing a movie scene from Wreck It Ralph 2 last year were pretty weak – or at least I think so, with my highly self-critical read throughs of old posts. Besides, it’s fairly subtle and I feel that without actually seeing it for yourself it would be difficult for me to convey.
But, perhaps, if you have already seen the film you could drop a note in the comments to see if you saw the same thing as I when Anna checks on Elsa and finds her wearing their mother old shawl…(?)
Frozen 2 also gifts us with the song Into the Unknown which, although it didn’t have the same “BAM!! IN YO’ FACE MUTHA FUCKA” affect on me that Let It Go had the first time I saw it in the cinema, I have come to absaloutley LOVE!! It is most definitely the best new song for me (with Queen Idunas lullaby coming in at 2nd)
Into the Unknown is also a Big Elsa Thing that has resonated with me hugely; a feeling reinforced by S the last few days who turn around and started describing in depth all the ways in which he immediately associated the song with me upon hearing it (naturally this fanned the flames of my ego nicely)
The song captures all the restlessness, longing, frustration, agitation, discontent, feelings of being stuck and trapped, of needing to be free, of desire, of having not yet found yourself properly, of not reaching your full potential and desperately NEEDING to. Of temptation. Of having great URGES with no outlet – and no, I absaloutley do not mean THOSE types of urges so get your mind out of the gutter!
Basically, there’s much depression in that song
And on that note I will leave you with it
Originally, I liked the end credit Panic! At the Discos version of it better than Elsa’s film one but now I’m not so sure which is my fav.
As such, I’ll leave you the first one I find on YouTube