Like many mothers across America, I’ve watched Disney’s Frozen at least a million times and silently seethe each time Hans pulls the jerk move on Princess Ana. Now that my little girl has recovered from her punch drunk “Let it Go” fiesta, I don’t even mind the song so much. But I still want to kick that rat bastard Hans in the balls.
However I still have one problem with Frozen that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to reconcile, and it has nothing to do with imposing a sexual identity onto Elsa, making her a champion for depression, or accusing Elsa and Ana’s parents of child abuse. Those poor people died in the first 15 minutes of the movie, for crying out loud.
Because cartoon characters.
My annoyance has everything to do with Olaf.
This poor snowman is created by little Elsa and Ana years ago when they were young children only to be forgotten and abandoned. Obviously I don’t blame the princesses; they were obviously occupied with overcoming loneliness and bizarre ice-making abilities, not to mention mourning the loss of their parents. But Olaf is still lost, wandering the wilderness, relentlessly cheerful and optimistic and asking for warm hugs. Talk about a strong survivor instinct.
Sure, Olaf dreams about Summer but who can blame him? I mean, I live where it snows all through the winter and I pretty much cry from the moment the first snowflake falls to the time it’s finally so warm I’m crying about how hot it is. Olaf is more of a snowman in my eyes for admitting he dreams about Summer. It gets damn cold around here. I feel the feels, Olaf.
Any parent who has been alive and mostly sober in the last three years knows that in the midst of angst caused by not knowing who she really is, Elsa accidentally freezes her sister’s heart. These things happen. Apparently I once ruined my sister’s makeup by sticking my fingers in the palettes when I was a little girl; spats between sisters is totally normal. (Note: This makeup situation is according to my older sister as I have NO memory of doing this whatsoever.) Thankfully Kristoff’s troll family knew what to do. (Notice that it is Kristoff who is here and not Hans. Because Hans is an asshole.)
Only an act of true love will save Princess Ana.
We all know this because we’ve only watched this a million times. To save Princess Ana’s life, she must experience an act of true love. It’s the nosey troll lady who comes up with the idea that it’s supposed to be a true love’s kiss. Thanks, Nosey Troll Lady — nobody asked you. The wise troll, the one Kristoff actually came to see, the wise troll that has all the wisdom, is the one who said an act of true love.
But thanks for butting in.
After Hans pulls the jerk move on Ana and leaves her to die like assholes do, who is it that finds her in the parlor close to death? Olaf does. And this is where the curse actually should have been broken.
Boom. You heard me.
Olaf broke the curse. Not Ana. Not Elsa
When Olaf finds Ana and she confesses that she was wrong about Hans, he tells her that he will wait with her.
“I don’t know what love is,” she says to him
“That’s okay, I do. Love is putting somebody else’s needs above yours,” Olaf explains.
You know, kinda like what Olaf did when he found Ana and immediately lit a fire. What is purest act of true love one can show? Risking his life. Olaf knows the fire will melt him, thus ending his life, yet he lights one anyway in order to save Ana’s life.
Ana tells him, “Olaf, you’re melting…”
He reminds her, “Some people are worth melting for.”
Olaf’s willingness to risk his life in order to save Ana while also teaching her what love is, helping her understand that she had true love all along, is truly the unselfish act that merits recognition of breaking Elsa’s curse. Yet, it didn’t. For some reason poor Olaf’s sacrifice was not enough and that annoys the hell outta me.
Sure, it’s cool and all that Ana sacrifices herself for her sister and Elsa recognizes what Ana does for her. And seeing Ana melt was pretty sweet. All of that could have still happened. I want some justice for Olaf here. He was willing to turn into a puddle out of his devotion to Ana after spending years wandering alone in the wilderness without any friends or companionship.
Olaf needs warm hugs and recognition. He saved Ana’s life after all.