Why Frozen‘s Twist Ending Sends An Awesome Message To Girls

Disney Frozen Anna nervous


I’m just going to give you the requisite SPOILER ALERT before I even start this post, so if you haven’t seen Frozen and would prefer to not know what happens, stop reading. If you’ve seen the movie and/or are totally okay with spoilers, read on.

I went to the theater this weekend to see Disney’s newest animated feature Frozen because I’d read reviews comparing it to all the great Disney movies I grew up on, with compelling storytelling and catchy music. It didn’t totally live up to those expectations because movies like The Lion King and Mulan hold such a special place in my heart that few things can compare. But I still really enjoyed it. It had that signature Disney charm that’s appealing to both children and adults. My favorite thing about it, however, is how it defies fairy tale conventions with a twist ending that sends a powerful message to girls.

There’s certainly been a lot of discussion about how the portrayal of Disney princesses affects young girls’ perceptions of what it means to be a woman, and I certainly think the whole “someday my prince will come” idea is unhealthy and outdated. I don’t think Disney movies are the deciding factor in how a girl views herself, and it’s totally possible to enjoy a fairy tale without applying its themes to your everyday life, but it’s always nice to see that stereotype challenged, as Disney has been doing in their recent princess stories.

I loved that Disney/Pixar’s Brave was totally devoid of a love story and showed that a happy ending isn’t always defined by whether or not you get married. I also loved that it focused so much on the mother-daughter relationship, which doesn’t often get much attention in Disney movies since the moms are usually dead.

I liked Frozen, which was loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” for many of the same reasons, but what I found so interesting in this case is that I didn’t see that message coming. It’s clear throughout the movie that Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) is an unconventional Disney princess. She saves her companion Kristoff’s (voiced by Jonathan Groff) life more than once, and she’s not one to sit around waiting for things to happen to her. Similarly, her sister Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) is an ice queen who could easily have been portrayed as a one-dimensional villain but ends up being a much more complex character than Anna in many regards.

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Jenni

      Now I really want to see it!

      • CrazyLogic

        See it, it is awesome.

    • CrazyLogic

      Story is great, songs are great and the snow sparkles like actual snow! Hell they managed to animate velvet!

      One of the best CGI movies visually yet.

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    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I LOVED this movie too.

    • Stephanie

      We took my boys (5 yrs old) to see it last weekend with their grandparents & everyone in our group just loved the movie. Even my Dad stayed awake which was impressive. And that twist ending was just wonderful, I’ve been recommending the movie to everyone!

    • Stephanie

      We took my boys (5 yrs old) to see it last weekend with their grandparents & everyone in our group just loved the movie. Even my Dad stayed awake which was impressive. And that twist ending was just wonderful, I’ve been recommending the movie to everyone!

    • Nancy

      I just googled to find more articles about this because it’s awesome and saw this: “Frozen has a heroine behind the scenes too; co-director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee is the first woman to hold that title on a Disney feature.” Yay! http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/disneys-frozen-is-good-news-for-little-girls-8978485.html

      • Jill O’Rourke

        That is so awesome!

    • EX

      Loved this movie and especially the ending! As a mom to a girl (soon two) I am SO happy to see these contemporary princesses who can save themselves. Such a great lesson for my girls!

    • Cbalducc

      Sounds like a Lifetime movie to me!

    • G.E. Phillips

      I saw Frozen this weekend with my son, and my sister saw it with her daughter, but separately. Last night we had a half hour phone call about how much we loved it and how we both cried when realized that Anna’s act of true love was her saving her sister. It was a real “I love you, man” moment.

    • Kresaera

      My mom and I took my daughter to see this movie on Thanksgiving. I was really impressed with it! I too was expecting her to go kiss the asshole prince and completely miss the point that it was Kristoff the whole time. When she saved her sister I was amazed! Sisterly love is what it took!! No man needed!

      • Malcolm Cheer

        Be Careful, don’t be SUPER-Feminist like those radical feminists who are so stupid, retarded, and insane, they believe in the (FALSE) idea that rape can only be done by men. NOT TRUE!!!! Also, just a Heads-Up Warning and Caution, NEVER EVER be sexist.

    • Nisa Taft

      I love how Frozen the different side of love that gives people a new perspective about what love is.
      sign letters

    • Lajya

      you know i thought the act of true love would be the snowman staying with her and melting after he says “some people are worth melting for”. but this was great too <3

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    • Malcolm Cheer

      I loved Frozen so much, I would probably have sex with it if my huge dick could fit through the disc! That movie also makes me want to have sex with Elsa and Anna, if only they were real…

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