So, if you’ve seen Frozen, and you’re a rational human being, you know it isn’t perfect. You can say good things about it and you can state some valid criticisms. If you’ve been reading along with The Dinglehopper, you might have noticed that we tend toward the former.
There’s a clear reason for this, of course. It worked for our toddler, so it worked on us. It’s now incumbent on me to actually try to figure out what all the fuss is about.
So here we are. Frozen is the most popular Disney movie ever. So much so that it surprised them. The purveyors of our monoculture were all like, “Wait, what?” They ran out of bric-a-brac to sell. That kind of popularity never goes unchallenged.
How it Should Have Ended is an incredibly popular site that animates alternate endings for popular films, television shows, and video games; often identifying something that should be obvious and humorously exploiting it.
To whit, several people drew my attention to this last week:
While I can honor the humor and the accuracy of the HISHE clip, I don’t really like it. It falls into the same category as the takedown, where a work deemed too popular is dismantled via snark and ad hominem in order to knock it from its presumably undeserved pedestal. With Harry Potter this actually became a fully mainstream practice. Critic Harold Bloom counted the cliches on a single Potter page in the Wall Street Journal.
I guess we’re all insufferable hipsters about something. I think I take issue with “How Frozen Should Have Ended” because it only points out the obvious. Or that which is obvious to the viewer. As adults we know the parents fail to heed the trolls’ warning. The tension of the film, the story, lies in the repercussions of that failure.
As a child, I bet it’s nice to have that bookend there at the beginning so that when they come back to it at the end the whole thing makes more sense. Heck, even as a parent you’re interpellated by this egregious failure of communication. It may be easy. It may be obvious. It may be lowest common denominator stuff. But it’s undeniably effective. And I reckon that’s why it made it all the way to print.
It’s also on theme. Contrast that mistake with Anna’s absolute refusal to stop communicating. She eventually brings out the truth in everyone. Ultimately she communicates in the most powerful way possible the message the trolls were trying to impart.
In a perfect world, maybe Frozen should have ended that way. In a perfect world, we, and our kids, wouldn’t need stories.