A while back a lot of nut jobs out there started complaining that the popularity of Frozen might teach kids that homosexuality is okay, and while those people are undoubtedly crazy, their arguments aren’t entirely unfounded. Let’s take a closer look at the popular movie to see why it’s actually really, really gay in the best way possible.
We’ll start with the obvious…
Okay, saying a Disney character represents all homosexuals may not seem that obvious, but the parallels are undeniable.
For those of you reading who haven’t seen the movie (why are you reading this?) Frozen is the story of two sisters. Elsa, the white-haird older sister is for some reason born with the same powers as Iceman but Anna, the redheaded younger of the two (who despite all logic does not have fire-powers) does not know. Because her inability to control her powers nearly killed Anna when they were children, Elsa is forced by her parents to repress her powers and hide them from the rest of the world.
How do they go about this, you ask? Well basically, they emotionally abuse the shit out of her. They spend their time trying teach her to keep her powers under wraps, and when they fail to accomplish this, Elsa is essentially confined to a small, unfurnished room for the rest of her life…a room that some may say resembles a closet.
When Elsa’s powers are finally “outed” on Coronation Day, she flees to the mountains, where her powers develop to include the ability to create clothing, and the ability to give sentience to snowmen for some reason. It is here, away from the judgements of her kingdom, that she can finally accept her abilities. Anyone who has ever heard “Let It Go”, which is everyone who’s been within 10 feet of a small child in the past 6 months, knows that is all about joyfully accepting yourself for who you are.
Okay, so we have a girl whose forced by her parents to repress who she is for fear that she may harm the younger generation. When the weight of her identity becomes too much to bear, she flees the small minded place she grew up in, and runs to a new place where she learns to accept herself and is finally happy. Yeah, I’d say it’s the second most heavy handed instance of Ice powers as a metaphor for homosexuality in the history of film.
Okay, so you’re probably saying, even if aspects of the film parallel homosexuality, what does it have to do with marriage? A lot, actually.
Probably the most used argument against same sex marriage is the idea that it goes against “traditional marriage.” It is therefore very interesting to note that the other half of the film shows a very traditional, very romantic-seeming marriage in the making and (spoiler alert) it doesn’t end well.
The other half of the story focuses on the fact that Elsa’s isolation has made Anna lonely and desperate for human interaction. On the day that the castle walls are finally opened, an elated Anna throws herself at the first guy she sees: Prince Hans.
It’s the classic Disney love story: Girl meets boy. Girl sings musical number with boy. Boy and girl get engaged on the spot.
When, by the end of the movie, Anna inevitably needs to be saved by the power of love (it is a Disney Movie, after all), she is taken to Hans in hopes of a kiss. It is here that we find out he doesn’t really love her, and he only proposed to her in hopes of becoming a King. He sucks.
Hans’ using marriage as a means to an end immediately marks him as the villain of the film. (The fact that he leaves Anna to die, and then goes to put Elsa to death, doesn’t help.) It should be noted, though, that though he is an undeniable butt-head, his engagement to Anna is very much in line with what “traditional marriage” entailed, because traditionally marriage was more of a business transaction between families than it was about love. Princes and Princesses were married as a way of merging two kingdoms together, which is exactly what Hans wanted. Whether intentionally or not, by making Prince Hans the villain, Frozen presents the idea of “traditional marriage” as antiquated and really not all that great.
The other main argument against gay marriage is the Helen Lovejoy standard: “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” Frozen touches on this argument as well, suggesting that one man/one woman is not the only way to make happy well-adjusted families.
There are a few families presented throughout the course of the movie. Most of them are really fucked up. The most prevalent is Anna and Elsa’s, which featured one mother, one father, and as I’ve mentioned, was strained and mildly abusive. Neither Anna or Elsa are happy with their family life, and it’s largely due to their parents. The other traditional family mentioned is that of Hans, and while we don’t know much about it, we know it’s bad enough that it turned the prince into a psychotic, regicidal dildo.
If there is one big, happy family in the movie, it’s that of Kristoff, Anna’s eventual love interest. After apparently being abandoned as a child, and forced into a life as a child ice harvester, Kristoff is adopted by a bunch stone trolls. (Yes, that is real.) The movie never makes it clear who he’s raised by specifically, suggesting that he is just taken in by a bunch of loving creatures who become surrogate family. Unlike the other families in the movie, the trolls and Kristoff seem genuinely happy and functional. Despite his non-traditional upbringing, Kristoff is a good, generally normal person. In case people don’t get it, they dedicate an entire musical number to describing why he’s awesome, even though he’s a little rough around the edges.
Oh wait, there is one more happy family briefly presented in the movie. It’s that of the Swedish sounding store owner, and as anyone who reads the internet already knows by now, that dude is gay with a husband and some very happy looking kids. We’ve come a long way since Snow White.