Movie Review: Frozen

Anna, a fearless optimist, sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. From the outside Anna’s sister, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret-she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter that she can’t stop. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her. 

Part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition has been – for as long as I can remember – to eat dinner and then go see a movie at the theaters. This year, despite my wanting to see Thor II, my family chose Frozen. I am incredibly grateful that they did, because this movie could very well have just usurped every other Disney movie in my heart.

Not only is the animation stunning, but the soundtrack is brilliant from the opening scene to the close. And the story. Five minutes into the film and already I was crying. So emotional and beautiful, and even though there are moments when everyone watching is thinking one thing, Disney twists the usual plot points around and surprises us.

I’m going to state this right now: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS POST FROM HERE ON OUT. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM, DON’T READ ON. JUST KNOW THAT I LOVED THIS MOVIE SO MUCH I’M GOING TO SEE IT AGAIN.

Moving on. So why, aside from the animation and the soundtrack did I love the movie as much as I did? The story. It’s simply beautiful. I connected with Anna so much because of her free spirit and her slightly clumsy and silly behavior. And I wanted her to be happy. I wanted Elsa to be happy, too. When I went into the movie and the film started, I thought, “Great. Another movie where one sister turns evil or is jealous of the other.” But that doesn’t happen. No. Elsa cares for Anna and she’s never evil. Even though she’s basically the Snow Queen, she is never an evil character, despite some people equating snow and ice with evil and heartlessness. Not Elsa. Even in the moments when it seems like she could become a heartless queen, she doesn’t.

And then there’s the part about Anna needing “true love” to save her from the ice in her heart. I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. “Oh, true love’s first kiss. Yup. Who didn’t see this one coming.” Right? Well, Anna thinks that too, and so she rushes back to get her true love’s kiss.

BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT IT WAS THAT SAVED HER!!!!!! The “true love” that they meant in this case was the love Anna had for her sister, Elsa. When Anna throws herself in front of Elsa to save her from certain death, even at the expense of her own life, that is the love that breaks the spell on Anna.

I cheered so loud.

BRAVO, DISNEY. BRA.VO.

They took the princess stereotypes and turned them on their heads for this movie, and for that I am grateful. It wasn’t a man that needed to save Anna. Anna saved herself. And how? By coming to the aide of her sister when her sister needed her the most.

Family. FAMILY.

Again, Disney. BRA.VO. A standing ovation for this one.

Oh and I also point out that the evil character in this film is a man, and not just any man, but a Prince. “Prince Charming” wasn’t so charming at all in this movie, but the ordinary, hard-working laborer was.

God. The more I think about it, the more I adore this film. I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD so I can watch it over and over and over.

Here. Watch the music video for “Let It Go.”

Searching For Someone

A long, long time ago, when I was a little girl, I found a picture. It was when my biological father was moving out of the apartment he lived in above my great-grandfather and going off to work as a trucker. I say the apartment he lived in because I lived in a nice house with my mom and step-dad. My parents divorced when I was seven, and my mom remarried when I was nine.

But I digress. In this picture was a little boy. I don’t know why I asked, but I did. I asked my father if that was my cousin, Joe. After all, he IS the only boy in the family in my generation. What my father said next, shocked my then eleven year old mind:

“No, that’s your brother, Jason.”

Brother? Jason? What the hell is he talking about? I have a younger sister, Tiffany. There was no other baby born after that. Uh, hello. I think I would remember. I AM the oldest.

Well, it turns out I’m not. At least, not for my father. I am the firstborn for my mother, but I am my father’s second child.

About three years before I was born, my father was with another woman and they had a child. My mother knew about him but never mentioned him until I brought him up because she had never seen the child except for in pictures. But yes, I did have an older brother who my father did not have custody of, nor did he have interest in seeing, and he was later adopted by his stepfather.

It seems my brother and I have that in common at least, because when I was sixteen, my stepfather also adopted my sister and I. My birth name is not Lavoie. It was actually Michaud.

I’ve thought about the elusive Jason over the years. I’ve always wanted an older brother. Technically I have one in my stepbrother, but he doesn’t want anything to do with me and my sisters, and not even my dad (adopted dad). So I don’t see him at all and haven’t in years.

I wonder if he knows that we exist. Probably not, as his mother did not have contact with my father afterwards. Can’t blame her. I don’t want contact with him now. The last time I saw him or even heard from him, I was twelve. I’m twenty-seven now and doing just fine without him, thank you very much. My adopted dad is my REAL dad. He’s the one who raised me. But I also wonder, if there’s Jason, are there more?

I’d like to at least have a chance to meet him. As I said, I’ve thought about him off and on over the years. I asked once or twice about trying to find him, but my mother always said no. Then the other day Tiffany brought it up out of the blue, and mom thinks maybe we should try to find him. We know his mother’s first name, and we may be able to find out her maiden name as my grandmother worked on a detailed family tree while she was alive, which my cousin still has. We also know about where he was born.

I would like to meet him, even just once. Does he look like me? Do we share some of the same quirks and mannerisms? Does he like to read as much as I do? Does he have kids of his own now? Possible nieces and nephews that if we were to have a relationship I could spoil rotten? Does he have more siblings of his own, like I do with my youngest sibling, Cassandra?

But then I worry. If we were to find him, what if he didn’t want to meet us? I know it’s his right, but it would still hurt. To have my father take off and leave us, and then have a brother who doesn’t want to meet his sisters.

I guess it’s just a risk I’ll have to take. I hope someday I do find him. And I’ll just pray until then that he does want to meet with us.