Frozen (Disney film)

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Frozen castposter-645x908.jpg

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast:
I’m never going back, the past is in the past!


Frozen is Disney's 53rd entry in its animated canon line-up, very loosely inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's longest Fairy Tale "The Snow Queen". It's animated in 3D using computer-generated imagery.

In the fictional Nordic kingdom of Arandelle, there are two princesses, Elsa and Anna. Elsa, the eldest, was born with the gift of controlling ice. However, after Elsa accidentally injures Anna while playing with her powers, their parents arrange for Anna to magically forget the incident while instructing Elsa against using her powers and keep an stern facade, with the girl does at the price of separating and alienating her from her younger sister. About a decade later, after their parents' death, Elsa is vow to get crown queen, but the increasing stress of the coronation and Anna's sudden engagement with one prince Hans make her slip and reveal publicly her ice powers, causing Elsa to flee in shame. Anna, not truly understanding the situation but determined to find her sister, ropes an ice dealer named Kristoff to help her. And they must be fast, before Elsa freezes the county and palace conspirators get a hold of the trone...

The movie has gotten a lot of attention as the source of the song "Let It Go", sung by Idina Menzel. The song made such an impact that, in the words of Co-Director Jennifer Lee, "the minute we heard the song the first time, I knew that I had to rewrite the whole movie."

Released on November 27th, 2013, Frozen quickly became the highest grossing animated film -- and the fifth highest grossing film period -- of all time,

A series of children's books entitled Anna & Elsa was spun off from the movie and began being released in early 2015.

A seven-minute-long short entitled Frozen Fever was released in 2015 as a mini-sequel, showing a little of what happens after Elsa learns to fully control her powers, followed by a Christmas featurette entitled Olaf's Frozen Adventure focusing on Olaf. A feature-length sequel entitled Frozen II was released in November 2019.

Not to be confused with the 2010 drama/thriller film of the same name.

Tropes used in Frozen (Disney film) include:

Why have a ballroom with no balls?

  • Adaptational Villainy: Played straight with Hans and inverted with the trolls.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Sven the Reindeer
  • All Trolls Are Different: The rock trolls are more like silicon-based Hobbits with a penchant for matchmaking and musical numbers than the usual hulking brutes that bear the name.
  • Anachronism Stew: About as much so as any other Disney "fairy tale" film. Medieval city, 18th century ships, fashions from across about six centuries, and a mention of fractals (a word coined in 1975) are just the beginning.
  • Anti-Villain: Elsa, who is only "villainous" by accident and out of fear.
  • Art Initiates Life: If Elsa sculpts a snowman with her powers, it will be alive.
  • Artistic License: The extensive use of purple in 1840s Arendelle would imply that the kingdom is far wealthier considering the price of Tyrian purple at the time; such was the astronomical price of purple during those days that it never saw use in national flags and even members of royalty would sometimes balk at using something that's far more valuable than gold. Fast forward over a decade later and we got Mauveine, the first synthetic purple dye which pretty much made the hue more accessible than sacrificing a thousand or so snails to get a gram's worth of purple.
  • Award Bait Song: "Let It Go", which ended up winning the 2014 Academy Award for Best Song. Its potential was understood from the moment it was first played for the production team: they rewrote the entire movie into a completely original story because it was entirely too positive and life-affirming to be a Villain Song and they didn't want to lose it.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Elsa's off-the-shoulder ice-blue gown is gorgeous and turns her into a sub-zero sex kitten, but is way too 20th-century for medieval Arendelle.
  • Big Bad: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The Duke of Weasel-Town ("WESELTON!") and Hans become this.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: The Duke of Weselton. The duke fancies himself a mastermind, planning to exploit Arendelle for its riches but is unable to hide his intentions. When Elsa runs away and causes the eternal winter, he tries to restore the kingdom for his own benefit. He sends Hans and his two bodyguards on a rescue mission to kill Elsa, but Prince Hans saves her. When Hans reveals that he is the actual Big Bad, it turns the Duke into a complete non-entity.
  • Characters As Device: Hans is the mirror from The Snow Queen in human form, always reflecting the emotions of people around them back at them. Even confirmed by Word of God.
  • Closed Door Rapport: Anna and Elsa during the opening "growing up" Montage/musical number.
  • Composite Character: Elsa is a composite of the Snow Queen and Kai.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Duke of WeaseltownWeselton, for sufficiently medieval values of "corporate" and "executive".
  • Crowd Song: "Fixer Upper", the trolls' "shipping song".
  • Death Trap: It's not a purpose-built machine, but locking Anna in a room to die is exactly this trope, right down to Hans walking off to execute his evil plan, assuming she'll die right on schedule.
  • Demoted to Extra: Zigzagged: Gerda and Kai were the heroine and damsel in The Snow Queen, but they were portrayed as castle staff; Elsa, Anna and some of the other principal characters were composites of Gerda, Kai and the Robber Girl from the original story.
  • Development Hell: Oh my Lord. This film is over 70 years in the making! The Snow Queen got a place on the Disney production schedule -- as production #1092 -- a year or two after Snow White, but was shelved with no preproduction development work (that anyone can find in the Disney archives, at least). As far as this incarnation was concerned, Disney planned to produce it in the 90's as a hand-drawn feature. But they scrapped it during their change in management and their shift to CG features starting with Chicken Little and only just recently picked it up again.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Practically the first line of the Duke of Weselton, after musing about how he'll use the occasion of Elsa's coronation to figure out how to exploit Arendelle's resources.
  • Disney Death: Anna.
  • Dodgy Toupee: The Duke of Weselton, to the point of practically flapping in the wind.
  • Everything's Worse with Wolves: Especially below-zero night-time rides on reindeer-drawn ice sleds.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Subverted. Elsa's transformation of her modest medieval garb to something out of a Hollywood movie is not an indication that she's become evil, but that she's finally begun to accept herself as she is.
  • Evil Redhead: Prince Hans is a lot more manipulative, devious, and nasty than he initially seems to be.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Once we're out of the growing-up Montage/musical number, the main action seems to take place in the space of about 24-48 hours.
  • Fairy Tale
  • "Falling in Love" Montage: Anna and Hans' duet. Except it's a subversion -- the entire duet is Hans manipulating Anna into thinking they've fallen in love in a grand fairy tale way when all he's doing is setting up his short route to the throne of Arendelle.
  • False Widower: In order to seize the throne of Arendelle, Hans claims that he married Anna in the minutes before she died from her sister's attack, when in fact he has locked her away to die.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Played with in Hans' and Anna's duet:

Hans: Finishing each other's...
Anna: Sandwiches!
Hans: I was going to say that!

  • First Guy Wins: Averted. The first guy Anna meets turns out to be a murderous bastard out to seize the throne of Arendelle. The second guy, however... Well, the ending of the film makes it pretty clear that Arendelle has no problems with nobility and commoners smooching in public.
  • Flung Clothing: Anna in a deleted scene.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The key to the film's climax is stated outright in a completely different context -- the trolls' shipping song -- early in the film.
    • In Anna and Hans' duet, note how many times Anna is wrong or confused about how well she and Hans connect, and how Hans adjusts to make it work anyway -- see Finishing Each Other's Sentences above for an example. The first time you see it, it seems like a silly, comedic love song; once you know about Hans, though, you realize that it's actually a rather creepy case of him manipulating her into thinking they're in love.
  • Freudian Excuse: Hans. Maybe. Even though it's implied that his older brothers are good men at the end of the film, it sounds like at least some of them took brotherly teasing and pranks a bit too far:

Hans: I have twelve brothers, and three of them literally pretended I was invisible for two years.

  • Gender Flip: Kristoff is based on The Robber Girl.
  • God Save Us From the Queen: While The Snow Queen is built around playing this trope straight, this story is a definite subversion.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: During the closing bars of "Let It Go", Elsa transforms her medieval outfit into a slinky, sparkly gown with a high slit that wouldn't be out of place on a Hollywood starlet at the Oscars.
  • Heel Face Turn: Hans confesses and apologizes to Anna for trying to kill Elsa by saying that she froze her heart.
  • An Ice Person: Elsa, of course, as the Snow Queen of this tale.
  • I'm Taking Them Home With Me: Gerda about Sven and Kristoff at the start of the film.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Hans Kristof Anna Sven.
    • Olaf, with his body reassembled in the wrong order: "Man, am I out of shape."
  • Jerkass: The Duke of Weselton.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Applied to the young Anna by the rock trolls, making her forget Elsa's accidental attack on her.
  • Love At First Sight: Anna and Hans. It's a subversion, though -- Hans manipulates Anna into falling in love with him over the course of an evening, taking advantage of her complete starvation for affection and their accidental Meet Cute, and then rush immediately into marriage as part of his plan to gain the throne of Arendelle. Everyone who hears about it tells her it's a bad idea to get married to a guy she just met.
  • Made of Explodium: Ice sleds -- apparently every sled is a Pinto. In particular, Kristof's sled bursts into a massive fireball when it crashes in the ravine during the escape from the wolves.
  • Massive-Numbered Siblings: Hans is the youngest of thirteen brothers. Which puts him so far from the throne that he's willing to lie and kill to become a king anywhere.
  • The Matchmaker: Every last rock troll. They get an entire production number about Shipping Anna and Kristof.
  • Meaningful Name: Olaf, the Comic Relief: "Oh, laugh".
  • Meet Cute: Princess Anna meeting Prince Hans as she trips past him into a rowboat.
  • The Mole: Prince Hans.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Once Elsa gets into that ice-blue gown with the slit up to her hip... there's a reason there's a lot of Rule 34 art of her...
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Almost word-for-word Elsa's reaction when she finally sees what's happened to Arendelle from close up.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Hans Kristof Anna Sven.
  • Nearly-Normal Animal: Kristof's reindeer Sven appears to be a Mostly-Normal Animal, but he shows signs of having human or near-human intelligence.
  • Non-Human Sidekick:
    • Sven the reindeer to Kristof.
    • Olaf to both Kristof and Anna.
    • Averted by Prince Hans' unnamed horse. He looks like he's being set up as Hans' sidekick, much like Maximus from Tangled, but then completely disappears from the film after his one scene.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: How Elsa got all the way to the North Mountain on foot before Anna could catch up with her on horseback.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Hans. Not in gender, but in morality -- it's implied that all twelve of his brothers are good men and will not take his plotting in Arendelle very well.
  • Power Incontinence: Take it easy on the Ice-9 there, Elsa. This trope is the prime mover for the whole plot.
  • Prince Charming: From the moment we first see him, Prince Hans is the classic embodiment of this type as traditionally presented by Disney, right down to a typical Meet Cute moment with Anna. However, he actually turns out to be a charming Manipulative Bastard initially planning to seduce Elsa into marrying him so he can then kill her and take her throne. He switches to Anna when Elsa turns out too be too hard to seduce, and is grateful that Elsa's turned herself a convenient monster so he can safely eliminate her and open up his path to the throne.
  • Raised by Rock Trolls: Kristof.
  • Running Gag: "Weaseltown".
  • Snowlems: Olaf is clearly Type I. Marshmallow is hard to categorize; created by Elsa to defend herself, it clearly has Type III aspects. But it doesn't seem to be inherently evil -- just protective of its creator.
  • Spoonerism: Half asleep on the big morning, Anna ends up pronouncing "coronation" as "conoration".
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In Olaf's song, to avoid the implication of melting in the summer.
  • Subverted Trope: This movie is filled with subversions of the "expected" features of Disney films, which is probably one reason why the Moral Guardians who seem to think that Disney is theirs freaked out over it.
  • Talking Animal: Subverted with Sven the Reindeer. Kristoff treats him like a Talking Animal, but Sven is a Nearly-Normal Animal limited to normal reindeer vocalizations; Kristoff does all his dialogue for him in a deeper, funny voice, using him as a sounding board and/or devil's advocate for his own feelings and thoughts.
  • True Love's Kiss: Invoked and averted six ways to Sunday. Everyone assumes that to reverse her curse, Anna will need a kiss from her Meet Cute Prince Hans. Not only does her prince not care for her, but he locks her in a cold room to freeze to death. And then the audience is supposed to assume it's that other nice boy Kristof. But she never kisses him -- at least not at the climax of the film. Her "act of true love" comes from inside her own heart, as she make a Heroic Sacrifice to save her sister.
  • Villain Song: Averted by "Let It Go", which makes it very clear the apparent villain is just as much a victim as anyone else.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The rock trolls. And the merchant on the mountainside.
  • Wakeup Makeup: Utterly averted by Anna the morning of Elsa's coronation; she wakes up drooling with a truly epic case of bedhead.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: During the climax, Elsa's power erupts to such an extent that the ice in the bay all but destroys several ships as Kristof races past them. But as soon as things thaw, these damaged ships disappear, and none of the foreign dignitaries seem to be lacking for transport at the end.
  • Winter Royal Lady: Elsa.
  • Yellow Snow: To be avoided, according to Olaf.
  • You Fail Biology Forever: The trolls dismissing head injuries as trivial and easy to fix compared to damage to the heart. Then again, this is a fairy tale, and this may be as much a metaphorical moral as a literal diagnosis.
  • Youngest Child Wins: Subverted by Hans, who is the youngest of thirteen brothers, and a charming but ruthless villain out to seize the throne of Arendelle for himself. Fortunately, he doesn't succeed and is returned to his brothers for punishment.