When I saw Frozen for the first time — last winter with my younger brother and sister, when I visited my hometown for the holidays — there were a number of things I loved about the movie. But one thing that struck me visually, specifically while I was in the theater, was how beautifully the movie was animated, especially in the scenes where Elsa actually uses her powers.
Though Frozen is a film about the relationship between two sisters, it’s still a fantasy film, and the magic — and the cold, snowy setting — controls the tone of the story and the environment the characters live in. In Frozen, the magic and the (eternal) winter are unexpected, causing fear among the populace when Elsa’s haywire magic brings snow during the summer (and probably obliterating that season’s crop haul, but that’s a totally different sort of editor’s letter.) In turn, winter proves to be a source of mixed feelings for the people of Arendelle. Though characters like Anna love the winter and snow, the film also shows the dangerous part of winter as Anna starts to freeze.
The magic — and the cold, snowy setting — controls the tone of the story and the environment the characters live in.The fears that winter can bring — freezing to death, lack of food, and more — are explored in other fantasy series as well, most notably in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, commonly known by the title of the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones. The Seven Kingdoms in A Song of Ice and Fire exist in a land where summer and winter each last for years, and in the first book, summer is nearly over — which means Winter is coming.
Winter has a number of meanings for our culture. While the season holds the promise of holidays, time with our families, and the beauty of ice and snow, there are darker aspects to the winter that are also ingrained into our entertainment. As winter approaches in the United States this year, we’re exploring winter, fantasy, and everything else winter has to offer, from our
Bundle up, everyone. Winter is already here.
Feliza Casano is a fan of anime, manga, and every sort of book as well as editor in chief at Girls in Capes. She is particularly dissatisfied that winter is indeed coming. She writes for all sections of the site, and she’s the one behind GiC’s Facebook and Twitter. Follow her on Twitter @FelizaCasano.
Not caught up to Elsa’s appearance on Once Upon a Time? We’ve got a quick recap of Season Three of the show leading up to the Season Four appearance of Elsa in Storybrooke.