If you have children of a certain age, there’s a decent chance that Frozen has become a significant part of your lives. I mentioned last week that I — like Patton Oswalt — have been subjected to the soundtrack scores of times during car trips to and from preschools and elementaries, and the truth is, even after the kids have been shoved off into their respective schools, I don’t always turn it off.
The point is, I’ve spent a lot of time with the music of Frozen, so I’ve had plenty of time to mull over the storyline and the minor plot details, and there are a couple of points that are troublesome to me. For instance, the song “Fixer Upper” and the suggestion that we should try to “fix” people instead of accepting them for who they are. My six year old is also a little bothered by “In Summer,” and the reality that Olaf’s vision of an ideal day would certainly result in his tragic death (I have to admit that this concern nagged at me, as well).
But by far, the most worrisome character in Frozen is Hans, and the one-eighty he does near the end of the film. I thought, perhaps, that in a young person’s mind, it might be difficult to square the charming and dashing young man with a fondness for chocolate fondue that swept Anna off her feet in the beginning of the movie with the man who was essentially the villain by the end of Frozen. I asked my son about it, and of course, he processes it differently.
“He was a good guy in the beginning of the movie, and a bad guy at the end of the movie.”
Oh no, son. That’s not it at all. Hans was a bad guy ALL ALONG. He was playing poor Anna from the very beginning. People don’t change like that, son. You’re either good, or you’re evil, or you’re an AMC, HBO, or FX anti-hero.
But there is a lesson to learn from this, and particularly where it concerns my daughters, I’m really quite looking forward to the moment when that epiphany dawns on them. It’s basically this: If it’s too good to be true, then it’s probably not true. In other words, love at first sight is probably not what you think it is. In reality, love at first sight is actually a man who WANTS TO KILL YOUR SISTER, LET YOU DIE A COLD, COLD DEATH, AND TAKE OVER YOUR GODDAMN SNOW PALACE.
For overprotective fathers, that’s a valuable lesson they should instill in their children. This is the reason you don’t move in with a guy you barely know. This is the reason why you don’t sleep with a guy after the first date. This is why you treat every guy with a healthy sense of skepticism. This is why you reject altruism. No, love is not an open door. It is a swinging door, and if you’re not careful, if you push it open too quickly, it will fly right back into your face and break your nose. That guy that finishes your “sandwich,” and “thinks so much like me” is not your soulmate. He’s a snake-oil salesman who has been stalking you on Facebook. That “pain of your past” that you just said “goodbye” to is about to rear its ugly head again and bite you in the ass.
When that man you just met asks if he can ask you something crazy, you say “NO” and you sure as hell don’t respond with something “crazier” like “YES” to a marriage proposal, because a guy like that who moves that fast is after only one thing: An opportunity to take all your money and kill your sister. Never trust a man with a square jaw.
So yeah, we may be sick of listening to the Frozen soundtrack and re-watching the movie over and over, but the more our kids listen and experience that movie, the sooner that message will be driven into their minds. So, maybe when they’re older, instead of jumping on the first good-looking guy that proposes, maybe they’ll wait the right one: The socially-impaired, smelly guy who likes to pee in the woods.
So what if he’s a fixer upper?