Media Affectation in Frozen

by criticalhit009

Disney's Frozen - Paintings and Anna

When talking about feminism in the media, people typically emphasize that media does not occur in a vacuum, but rather has social, historical, cultural, and politics contexts, among others,  that inform a reading. A pervasive trope, like the damsel in distress, proves damaging when its widely propagated throughout social and cultural institutions. Frozen has a microcosm of sorts of this idea: a context where a certain message seen in countless forms of media becomes the norm and is perpetuated by being taught to citizens. This particular context is within the castle walls itself.

Growing up in a relatively sheltered childhood, Anna had little contact with the outside world. We see this progression from the song “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” to “For The First Time In Forever”, from when Anna is a young girl to when she matures into a older teen. The lyrics of “Snowman” mentions that in midst of her boredom, she’s “started talking to the pictures on the walls.” This connects to her giddy actions while singing “Forever,” as her leaps and bounds around the castle mimic the poses in the paintings surrounding here. In essence, she’s become the romantic as effused by the paintings  – the media and its messages – she intakes daily.

The message is clear: media affects us and constructs what is normal and right. In Anna’s case, she growns up in an environment where the idealized images are incredibly romanticized, and thus holds wildly unwise notions about love. It’s a subtle connection the film makes, but the cause and effect is clear.