"Little Kay was blue, yes, almost black, with the cold. But he did not feel it, because the Snow Queen had kissed away his icy tremblings, and his heart itself had almost turned to ice.
He was shifting some sharp, flat, pieces of ice to and fro, trying to fit them into every possible pattern, for he wanted to make something with them...Kay was cleverly arranging his pieces in the game of ice cold reason. To him the patterns were highly remarkable and of the utmost importance, for the chip of glass in his eye made him see them that way. He arranged his pieces to spell out many words; but he could never find the way to make the one word he was so eager to form. The word was 'Eternity' ".
The birthday fairies struck early this year and gave me my own Frozen dvd so I have joined the ranks of people who did, in fact, like it :) I think I had enough rave reviews from most people, with some cooler reactions from readers here/other bloggers that they balanced each other out and I really had no idea what to expect. But I have heard plenty about it from students, listening to Disney songs on Pandora, and literally on multiple occasions I have walked outside and overheard little children singing "Let it Go." It's really crazy, how big this movie is...it's gotten to the point where, as a teacher, I really was feeling like I should see it to be able to connect with my students about it, if no other reason. I don't remember any other Disney movie that was this big. And I retract what I had previously said about "Let it Go"-way more powerful in the movie with the animation and as part of the storyline.
And in a way I feel like the movie is so unlike "Snow Queen" it really doesn't deserve mention here. However, I liked how they challenged some of the most hotly debated Disney fairy tale stereotypes-namely the passive princesses, and love at first sight (But once again, like in Enchanted, after the whole "love at first sight isn't real," the other love interest is one they also knew for about a day. At least they didn't get engaged after 24 hours, they have learned that lesson.)
Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel standing by their doll counterparts
And as far as the idea that Disney versions of tales weed out the dark aspects of stories-(SPOILER ALERT for the five of you left on the planet who have yet to see it but plan to:) the scene where Anna is turned to ice to save her sister was really, deeply moving. You kind of know that, being Disney, she won't stay dead, but I'm pretty sure it would have been traumatizing if I'd seen it as a child. Maybe because it also reminded me of another cartoon where someone's head was frozen that horrified me:
(You can watch the first few seconds if you feel so inclined, I don't know what's up with the weird singing afterwards)
From the quotes at the beginning and end of this post, you can see little parallels, or perhaps nods, to Andersen's story, but it's clearly not a retelling. The different elements-shard in the eye/icy heart, snow queen and ice castle etc., don't relate to the right characters or have the same motivations or consequences. But the solution at the end-that love is what undoes the damage-(and what a much more accurate picture of love than kissing someone you barely know) did seem to bring it full circle, a little, back to "Snow Queen".
"Then she [Gerda] saw Kay. She recognized him at once, and ran to throw her arms around him. She held him close and cried, "Kay, dearest little Kay! I've found you at last!"
But he sat still, and stiff, and cold. Gerda shed hot tears, and when they fell upon him they went straight to his heart. They melted the lump of ice and burned away the splinter of glass in it...Kay burst into tears. He cried so freely that the little piece of glass in his eye was washed right out. "Gerda!" He knew her, and cried out in his happiness, "My sweet little Gerda, where have you been so long? And where have I been?" He looked around him and said, "How cold it is here! How enormous and empty! He held fast to Gerda, who laughed until happy tears rolled down her cheeks. Their bliss was so heavenly that even the bits of glass danced about them and shared in their happiness."