After I watch a movie, a bunch of questions pop into my head and this was the first one that came to me after I watched Disney’s new animated movie Frozen.
In the typical Disney movie, we meet the typical villain and the typical hero/heroine that eventually defeats the villain. The way the hero defeats the villain changes through each movie, however, right when we first meet the villain, we have a sense of distrust for them even if the hero trusts them. (ex. Simba and Scar) However, the new Disney Princess movie, Frozen, deviates from this cliché villain.
In this movie, we have no idea who the real villain is. Most of the conflict throughout the movie is because of people’s mistakes not villainous actions. And the characters who are considered the villains are tragic villains at the most. So this eventually leads to the ultimate question: Who’s the bad guy in frozen?
I first heard about Frozen long before it was frozen. I had just heard rumors that it was to be based of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen”. When frozen promotions came out labeling Elsa as the Snow Queen I automatically though of her as Disney’s new villain.
I could not be more wrong. Elsa is not at the entire antagonist but instead the victim. Yes, I know she sends Arendelle into an internal winter in the middle of the summer but that wasn’t her fault. She didn’t even know that she did. How are we to blame her for things she didn’t know about and could not control? Also, her characteristics are completely different that villains. She might shut people out, but she does it to protect those she loves. She’s willing to shut herself out from those she loves just to protect others from herself. Her powers scare her as much as they do others. Doesn’t sound much like a bad guy does it? The only time that Elsa gets the slightest bit villainous is when the guards attack her and she’s about to push one off the balcony. But come on, they were trying to kill her in the first place. She was in a fury of fear and you can’t blame her for that. Also, with only a couple of words, she snaps out of it and realizes what she has done. Ultimately her character is seen as a villain by other characters but really is just misunderstood. The other characters just don’t know the other side of her story. She’s a victim of fear and society not a villain.
Also, how can a villain show all of these touching emotions?
Elsa and Ana’s Parents
An argument can be made that Ana and Elsa’s parents can be blamed for all of the conflict that evolves in the movie which makes them the villains right? But shunning Elsa out from the world was their way of protecting Elsa and those around her. They wanted to make sure that she was safe from what other people would say about her while also protecting her sister from getting hurt. This might have not been the best solution, but it was what they thought was best at the time. Their mistake teaches us a truly valuable lesson that sometimes people make mistakes. They may hurt others with their mistakes but it is not intentional. They were doing what they thought was best. This teaches a lesson about parents. They’re not perfect. They make decisions’ that we don’t like and maybe those decisions’ are wrong but ultimately the make those decisions for us.
Prince Hans of the Southern Isles. The perfect, handsome, charming, benevolent, graceful, rich, great with swords, has a nice horse, typical Disney prince. Except one thing, most people consider him the villain of the movie. He will do anything to be a king and since he is 13th in line for the throne of his kingdom, he wants to mary into another. He plans to marry Elsa but since she is to reserved, he goes after her sister Ana, planning to kill Elsa for the throne. However, Elsa reveals her powers and Ana runs after her leaving Hans in charge. He gains the trust of Arendelle and they call him Arendelle’s last hope since Anna has not returned. Once Anna returns, looking for a kiss of true love, he betrays her saying he never loved her. He leaves her to freeze to death while going out to kill Elsa.
Wow. So Hans is the total bad guy right? I mean look at all that he did. He’s like the worst Disney villain ever! Usually, when a villain is introduced into a film, the audience gets the idea that this character is not to be trusted but Hans fools the audience as well as all the characters in the movie. Even I thought he was the perfect gorgeous prince that was perfect for Anna. This makes Hans one of the sneakiest and most sinister Disney villains.
Well not exactly. To be fair, we can’t really judge Hans. First of all, we know very little about his past. The only thing we know is that he has twelve older brothers making him thirteenth in line for the throne. He was neglected his entire life especially by his brothers. Instead of helping him, some of his brothers pretended he was invisible. For two years! Yes, Hans may have a Frozen heart but you can’t blame him. Due to his many years of being neglected by his brothers, they froze his heart emotionally and that might have led to his cold personality which desired attention. I mean, the whole point of being a prince is to become a king. However, since he was thirteenth in line, there was no chance for him. He did not belong with the royalty of being a king but did not belong with the townspeople. He was just the spare. He basically felt that his only purpose was to be a King and he would do anything to achieve that purpose. I mean we do a lot of rash things to achieve our assumed “purpose” in life. As a child, he probably saw that his older brothers were not being neglected since they were on their way to being king. Therefore he saw that the only way to get attention was to be a king. His neglection led to his frozen heart but in all honestly, it was not his fault. Overall, Hans might be the villain but a tragic villain at most… or maybe he’s just a victim of neglect.
Ok, so this leads us to the last character that could be considered the villain. (I have not seen any villainous characteristics in Kristoff, Ana, Trolls, Sven, or Olaf. Let me know if you find any.)
The Duke Of Weselton
This was the only character that when he first appeared, we didn’t like him. His first lines were “Open those gates so i may unlock your secrets and exploit your riches”. However, for some reason, I can’t define him as the villain. Just look at him!!!
Also, he might have been trying to exploit all of Arendelle’s tradable goods, but he was technically doing this for Weselton. This means he was doing all of these things not for himself. Also, other than wanting to exploit Arendelle’s goods, he did not do much to be a “villain”. He was more of a sideline character who could have been easily take out which is cannot happen with an antagonist. Also, with him kissing up to the queen and then suddenly turning on her when she reveals her powers might be villainous. However, if you think about it, that was everyone in the movie except Anna. The townspeople were exactly like that. They were so excited for Elsa to become queen and when she ran out they all cheered for her. Once they saw her powers, they were afraid of her and hid their children from her. They acted the same as the Duke of Wesealton. They judged her too quickly. However, this doesn’t make them villainous. It just makes them human.
So um I guess I didn’t really answer the question to “Who’s the bad guy?” but instead just made it more complex. I guess what this all really means is that you need to know both sides to every story before you judge a character. If you take this with you than you’ll truly see the goo din people. The people who you think are bad people become good people who have just made a few mistakes. I truly believe that people are good on the inside but are just influenced by things they cannot control. If you think about it, these “tragic villains” are the best. They are seen throughout literature in books like “A Tale of Two cities” which also doesn’t really have a villain. The most villainous person in that book is Madame Defarge who knits her plans of revenge but it’s because of her past. These tragic villains make us realize that everyone is “bad” for a reason and to not judge