The Art Of Frozen, by Charles Solomon, Preface by John Lasseter, Foreword by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
I must admit that Frozen is not a particular favorite of Disney films for me, and not only because of its insufferable theme song. The film certainly has a strong pedigree with it being based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson, noted Danish collector of fairy tale stories (also responsible for The Little Mermaid). Yet for me, at least, something is missing in the story. The desire of Disney to promote sisterly unity, and quite a bit of subtext about showing oneself who who one is that can be taken in a variety of ways conflicts with the essential situation that the film is set in, and that is the way that the survival of a monarchy depends on marriage and the raising of one’s children after you, and that is something that this film seems to struggle against. While this film certainly spends a lot of time talking about the color palette of the sisters and their clothes and about the various Scandinavian cultures that they have appropriated for this film, that uneasy divide between the ambitions of the film and the reality of the film’s context is not really bridged so much as ignored.
This particular book is a bit more than 150 pages long and begins with a preface and forward. After that the introduction shows how the Snow Queen was transformed into the world of Frozen. A prologue covers the family relationships of the film, particularly the bond between the two sisters, and then the rest of the book contains four chapters that follow the plot of the film. The first chapter discusses the Coronation where the magical powers of the new queen become evident, leading her to abandon her kingdom and seek privacy. After that the film discusses the wilderness where the queen has gone to hide and where her sister and others seek to rescue her. Then the Ice Palace provides opportunities to focus on the Saami culture as well. Finally, the book ends with a return to Arendelle, which is based on Norway, where there is a coup being threatened by someone who had appeared previously as a courtier. The whole danger, of course, is that a queen who cannot perform her public functions, including marriage and raising children, is going to be replaced by someone else, just as what happened to Elizabeth I and others. Somehow the film doesn’t recognize it, though. After that the book ends with a bibliography and acknowledgments.