As you might have heard in the latest edition of the Bewildered Dad Podcast, we finally watched Frozen the other weekend, two-and-a-bit years after it was released. It was quite the climbdown to have made, considering the frequency with which I have made my feelings on Frozen plain thanks to the Disney corporation’s decision to steal my daughter’s name.
In those pre-Frozen days, we thought Elsa would be an unusual moniker without being on the Moon Unit Zappa side of ‘different’. However, thanks to Mickey Mouse’s intervention it is now creeping up the list of popular girls’ names, courtesy of what I suspect is the pester power of Frozen-loving elder siblings.
In case you are not sure of what happened, here is the timeline:
The reaction you receive when you tell people your daughter is called Elsa varies wildly, with many visibly trying to calculate whether we might have wasted our final cinema trip as non-parents to see a kids’ film. We did not. Children love it; it’s particularly sweet when they tell you “Elsa? I’ve got a film at home with an Elsa in it” as if they are the only person in the world who has seen what is now the most popular animated movie of all time.
However, you have not witnessed real disappointment until you answer the door and see an excited toddler’s face instantly drop, realising that their mum didn’t mean they would be spending the afternoon trekking up to the ice palace when they told them they would be visiting Elsa.
I knew the day would come, sooner rather than later, when we relented; Elsa has started nursery and the other kids are already word perfect on the songs from the film. We finally caved after Jill and I had spent a day tag team cuddling a grizzly, sickly, teething Elsa, watching endless Peter Rabbit on iPlayer and ready to throw the laptop out of the window if we had to watch the Cottontail’s Birthday episode one more time. Peter Rabbit clocks in at a pathetic 12 minutes per edition – we needed something longer. Something more substantial. Something that had previously been banned from the household.
Frozen, it was.
Elsa’s Reaction to Frozen
Inevitably, Elsa absolutely loved it although, in my experience, most toddlers seem to prefer one of the two princesses rather than the character that turned out to be her favourite:
My Reaction to Frozen
I have had no previous interest in watching the film. I can’t stand musicals, I’m not bothered about animation and I hold a deep and extremely bitter resentment over the whole name thieving thing. It turns out it is…alright but I’m not sure I understand the adoration it receives. There are really only a couple of memorable songs and, although there’s a neat twist, there’s not much of a storyline on offer to rival anything like Snow White or Cinderella.
I’m also confused about why so many kids idolise Elsa (the one in the film, I can understand them idolising my daughter, obviously). She’s not very pleasant (film Elsa) and the movie is surely all about Anna and her journey. She’s the interesting one, but having to dress up as Anna for a party is punishment for not being quick enough to bagsy the Elsa costume. All Elsa does in Frozen is walk off in a monumental teenage huff; I’m not sure I want my daughter emulating that, she’ll get enough practice in ten year’s time.
Could it be to do with the magic? Are we willing to ignore a two dimensional, crushingly dull and awkward personality because we are bewitched by someone’s ability to make stuff appear and disappear? Does that explain Claudia Schiffer’s relationship with David Copperfield?
Wait. Is he litigious? Hope not.
What We’ve Learnt
I wanted Elsa to like Frozen because it was the only thing separating us from a teething toddler tantrum at the time, but I also hoped that once we’d seen it she would have scratched that itch and have moved onto something else. Within 24 hours she had asked to watch it again and, I guess, I need to admit defeat now. I can envisage our house slowly filling with Frozen-branded merchandise until the next fad comes along. Unfortunately, that is likely to be Frozen 2, which is apparently already in the works. Deep joy.
There is very little that isn’t emblazoned with the two princesses’ faces nowadays – from pens and posters to duvets and bear traps (probably), so it’s no surprise to see you can even buy Frozen pasta shapes (as opposed to frozen past shapes – subtle difference).
I have to say, it’s a nice touch that they found the only other person in the entire world who hadn’t seen the film to design them: