Does 'Frozen' Set Sisters Up For Real-Life Disappointment?

Frozen 2 Anna Elsa Disney
The release of “Frozen 2” has yours truly wondering about whether the Disney franchise is setting sisters up for real-life disappointment. Why? It is no secret that “Frozen” revolves around the relationship of sisters, Elsa and Anna.

Their dynamic is the cornerstone of the franchise's action and adventure. The first “Frozen” told the story of an estranged bond being strengthened as Anna risked everything to find her sister and stop the winter weather Elsa had accidentally unleashed. Their relationship and what led to that initial estrangement proved to be the driving force of the story.

“Frozen” has been praised for its emphasis on two female leads. A theme that one cannot help noticing also includes a step away from emphasizing the power of finding Prince Charming. Do not get me wrong. Romance and finding a great partner remain elements, but they are not the key in the first “Frozen” movie.

The thing that is concerning is that “Frozen” seems to trade the fantasy of finding Prince Charming for having a great sister. In truth, nothing has been solved by switching one out for the other. They are both human counterparts to one's existence. A relationship born out of human fault and frailty.

As the world seems to have an easy time identifying the potential reality that finding Prince Charming may not be possible, the same can be said for having a sister with whom you share a strong and lasting bond like Elsa and Anna's. In many ways, “Frozen” has switched one potentially unobtainable relationship for another.

What is sad is that so many families that will be taking their kids to see “Frozen 2” may feel this is within reach for their daughters. They bought them the doll. The older sister can be Elsa and the younger Anna. They can sing the songs together and see these two sisters as role models for their own sisterhood. There is nothing wrong with that.

The thing is that many of these sisters will grow up to be Elsa and Anna's age, and things may not have stayed that way. Why? Relationship drama. Imagine if Anna's sleazy first fiancรฉ had not been exposed, and Elsa and Anna remained at odds about Hans. Would their relationship have lasted?

This is the guy that a romantically hungry Anna sang “Love is an Open Door” with. Would she have ended up trusting Elsa with all of those hormones raging? It is a genuine question and one with many factors. As the first “Frozen” pointed out, infatuation can be blind.

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Image by Disney
Elsa did not give her sister her blessing to marry Hans, and she was proven right by the end of “Frozen.” If he had not been exposed, there should have been no thaw to the stalemate. That is unless Elsa was to ignore all of her concerns and agree to helplessly watch Anna commit to the corrupt Hans because Anna "loves" him.

Ignoring Hans' dastardly nature would be every bit as destructive as one of Elsa's uncontrolled power outbursts. “Frozen” sort of gave the sisters an out from exploring a full-blown crisis in the romance department.

As a story, it broke new ground by having sisters at the center of it. Parents of real sisters need to be wary, though. Elsa and Anna are an exception, not the rule. Just as every Disney princess and her fairytale endings have been to this point.

In Elsa and Anna's particular case, they survived the machinations of a villainous third-party boyfriend due to him getting exposed. Real life can sometimes be less giving in that department. To her credit, Anna did not put marrying Hans ahead of saving the kingdom, providing time for his undoing.

The key variable in determining the outcome is that at their core, both sisters proved in the first “Frozen” that they share a selfless love for each other. Elsa loved Anna enough to lock herself away after blaming herself for harming Anna with her powers when they were younger.

In a similarly selfless move, Anna jumped in front of Elsa to save her life when Hans tried to kill her. There is no question that they put each other first. Nothing can come between a sisterly bond built on trust and a desire to put one's sister's needs/wants/desires before their own.

However, many sisters watching “Frozen” may miss that point, which is essential to understanding the outcome. Without this selfless love, siblings cannot have the genuine bond that Anna and Elsa share.

Whether Prince Charming or a princess sister, at the core, both represent humans and their nature. There has to be a turning point. In life, when a selfless love is not mutually shared, the one who loves selflessly is the only one who suffers.

Many siblings will go to “Frozen” and enjoy the songs and movie. They should also brace themselves for realistic expectations where their familial relationship is concerned. Unless they share the selfless bond of Anna and Elsa, it cannot have the same fairytale ending.

“Frozen 2” arrives in theaters on November 22. You can now stream the first “Frozen” on Disney+.

[Featured Image by Disney]