Confession: I don’t get the hype around Frozen.
*Winces at instant backlash from Frozenphiles everywhere*
I’ve only seen the movie once. I don’t own the DVD, I have not bought Elisabeth an Elsa costume (not that I could find one if I wanted to), and I have not made a cutesy YouTube video of me lip-synching to the soundtrack. I am clearly a failure as a parent.
But don’t hate me just yet. Hear me out:
Damon visited a few weeks ago. We decided to take Elisabeth to her first movie. (Frozen, in case that wasn’t obvious.) I was hesitant at first – she seemed a little young to sit through a full-length movie. Plus any Disney animated film would surely feature some traumatic incident LIKE PARENTS DYING or something.*
But since the whole world was in love with this movie, and I knew plenty of parents who had taken their toddlers to see it without incident, I decided to go for it. Also, I had seen some Adele Dazeem perform a song from the film at the Oscars, and the music seemed pretty good. That was enough for me.
Now, I hadn’t seen a Disney animated movie since maybe… The Lion King? Which came out in 1994, by the way. (I Googled it, I know.) So yeah, that’s 20 years without Disney in my life. I didn’t know what to expect. (Except catchy songs and traumatic deaths, obvi.)
The movie started and Elisabeth was immediately enthralled. But also kind of terrified, I think. It was insanely loud. Why are the theaters trying to deafen our children? Elisabeth sat on my lap, clutching my shirt, the entire movie. At one point she had tears streaming down her face. I was shocked at the emotional maturity of my daughter! Who knew a two-year could connect so intensely with an on-screen character? Could feel such empathy and emotion? Or maybe she just hadn’t blinked for an hour. I can’t be sure.
I whisked her out of the theater. “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” I inquired. She seemed eager to get back to the movie so back we went. She let out the occasional yelp, and at a couple of scarier moments buried her head into my chest. She also narrated much of the movie. “Uh-oh! Snowman fall down!” It was helpful, really, because I was paying more attention to her reactions than to the movie itself.
So there you have it – I may not fully appreciate the greatness that is Frozen because I didn’t fully watch Frozen. I watched Elisabeth watching Frozen. So cut me some slack, okay?
After the movie viewing, Elisabeth insisted she liked the film. Particularly the reindeer and the snowman. What did she comment on most? Not the princesses or the music, oh no. That the reindeer ate the snowman’s carrot nose. “The reindeer eat the nose!” she would giggle hysterically. Not sure that was the point that Frozen’s writers and producers wanted viewers to walk away with, but that’s what Elisabeth got out of it.
We happened to go to Disneyland a few days after seeing the movie. There is a Frozen hut where you can meet the characters. The wait was – wait for it – three hours.
Three hours! I don’t know who these people are that wait in line for three hours to meet a character from a movie, but I am not one of them. I pointed to the mechanical Olaf on top of the hut. “Look Elisabeth! The snowman!”
“Ooooh!” she exclaimed, “the snowman!” She was content. We moved on. And after that Frozen faded from our lives. Hallelujah! Damon and I had successfully avoided Frozen frenzy.
Until last weekend. Elisabeth was in childcare one afternoon with several older kids. They watched – you guessed it – Frozen. My life hasn’t been the same since. Elisabeth is officially obsessed.
Did you read about her recent bedtime troubles? Well, after viewing this film for the second time, Elisabeth began asking for “the princess song!” and “the snowman song!” every night.
Since I am the only parent of a young girl who has seen this movie only once, I did not know the princess song or the snowman song. This was very distressing for Elisabeth. How could her mother not know the princess or snowman song? What kind of mom do I think I am!?
Thanks to YouTube and iTunes, I was able to quickly access both these songs. I played the “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” first, followed by “Let It Go,” which I assumed is what Elisabeth meant by “the princess song.” As soon as it was over Elisabeth burst into tears.
What was going on? Was she upset that the music was over? Or had the song stirred her soul? Was she recalling the plight of Anna and Elsa? I had to crawl into bed with her and comfort her for a good while; she was really distraught. That was the end of the princess song, and the beginning of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” taking over our lives.
If this is the effect movies have on children, we may never see another movie again. The snowman song is on repeat in our house. When we’re not playing it on my phone, Elisabeth is asking for it or singing her own version. Elsa and Anna have become features in her nightly soliloquies. After reading a book about snow, Elisabeth insisted it was about Elsa and kept wondering why Anna wasn’t in the book. This is my life now. Anna and Elsa and the damn snowman song that destroys my soul a little every time I hear it. I fear there’s no going back.
I better start searching for that Elsa costume now. Halloween is only six months away and supplies are dwindling.
*Oh shush, I didn’t spoil anything. I was the last person in the world to see this movie.