Disney’s Frozen and how it should have ended

A couple of weeks ago I finally got a chance to see Disney’s Frozen, and I have been meaning to write this review for some time.

The movie was okay but it did have some issues and in order to explain the issues, I’m going to have to reveal some of the stories. That is why I waited until now to write this review, hoping everyone has had a chance to see the movie. Of course, if you haven’t seen the movie, be warned this is a “spoilers alert”.

Before going to see this movie I really didn’t know what to expect. The only trailer I ever saw included the snowman and the moose and no real plot or scenes from the film.

The synopsis indicated that it was about two sisters Anna and Elsa. Elsa being having magical snow powers and Anna who must go to find her. Right away I started feeling like this make me a copy of the Tinkerbell movie “Secret of the Wings”. Thinking Anna would one day discovered that she has a long-lost sister who just happens to live in the frost Mountains and has magical powers.

Periwinkle and Elsa have some similarities in design.
Periwinkle and Elsa have some similarities in design.

Happy to report that was not the case. The opening of the movie showed the bond of two sisters. Elsa being the oldest and having magical snow powers. While the two sisters are very close, Elsa’s magic causes Anna to have an accident, which thereby forces the parents to separate the girls. Elsa feeling guilty for harming Anna, decides to limit all contact with her sister.

Elsa after accidentally hurting Anna with her magic.
Elsa after accidentally hurting Anna with her magic.

I really like the opening and how it shows the progression of time and the bond between the sisters, though frayed, is still there. The real meat of the film begins 10 years later, after the death of the parents and on Elsa’s coordination day.

While this opening sequence is fairly well-done let’s move on to the issues I have with this film. Starting with some minor issues and then into my biggest issue.

First, this film is a musical and in a musical the songs are meant to help tell the story especially the emotions and inner thoughts of the characters. While the songs, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, “For the First Time in Forever”, and “Let It Go”, do a good job at adding to the story, the rest of the songs are complete fillers.

The song "Bit of a Fixer Upper" fun, but doesn't move the story forward
The song “Bit of a Fixer Upper” fun, but doesn’t move the story forward

Don’t get me wrong many of the other songs are good, they just don’t help to tell the story. Most are just a little silly and almost forced like we had to have a song at this point in the film. Kind of the same problem I felt ‘The Frog Prince” had.

My next issue with the film is the character, Prince Hans. I mean who asks a girl they just met to marry them, This obviously meant that he was using her to get the throne, right. But then again he sang that cute song with Anna, bad guys can’t sing cute songs.

And there’s the fact that he was so generous and helping the people of Erindale after Anna left him in charge. He seemed genuinely concerned about what happened to Anna after she went missing and wanting to keep Elsa alive when they went looking for her.

Prince Hans, a bad guy, who you don't want to be bad.
Prince Hans, a bad guy, who you don’t want to be bad.

By midway, in the film, I felt there was no way he could be bad, or at least I didn’t want him to be, he seems so nice. However, my original feelings will be confirmed near the end of the film, where it seemed his personality completely changed and he was so willing to let Anna die and kill Elsa.

It didn’t make sense to make a character so likable and still be bad. The bad guy is supposed to be bad from the beginning. Even in Beauty and the Beast, Gaston, while not a typical bad guy, is identified right away in the opening by his vanity and jerkiness. as the bad guy. In Frozen, however, Hans sang that cute song, why must he be a bad guy?

Another issue I have with the film is time. While the opening sequence showed a progression of nearly 10 years, the entire rest of the story takes place in about 24 to 48 hours. Somehow I just don’t see an individual who has been sheltered from any other contact and is feeling guilty for almost killing her kid sister so many years ago, and who then freaks out, turning the entire kingdom into a frozen nightmare and then nearly killing her sister a second time, would suddenly be okay within 24-48 hours. This just makes no sense, she needs time. Time to feel free from the pressures of being queen. Times away from having to worry about Anna, time to be to accept her snow powers.

Elsa in her ice palace.
Elsa in her ice palace.

Okay, I can accept the extra songs in the movie. I can even except that Hans is a bad guy and that maybe for some reason Elsa overcame all her issues within 48 hours. The one thing I can’t accept is the act of true love.

When Anna comes to bring Elsa back, Elsa gets mad and pierces Anna’s heart with ice. Later it revealed that Anna will now turn into a frozen statue unless an act of true love breaks the spell. Immediately the characters assume that she must be kissed by her true love Hans, but of course, we know if I know that he’s a bad guy. But wait there’s Kristof and they had little connection, so maybe he’s her true love and should kiss her. However, what really happens is that Anna sacrifices herself to save Elsa, thereby breaking the spell.

Wait you can’t break a curse yourself. In what fairytale does this happen? Besides the act of true love, it should be done by some who so far hasn’t officially confessed their love. This is why Anna can’t break the spell. From the beginning Anna showed nothing but true love for her sister, wanting to play with her every day for the past 10 years, going after her after she left and cause such mayhem, and ensuring that everything was going to be okay if she just came back. I mean aren’t these all acts of true love, why must she complete another one in order to break the spell.

If anyone should show an act of true love to break the spell is Elsa herself. After all, she’s been so cold to Anna all these years, it would be nice for Anna to finally see that Elsa does care, and ultimately it was Elsa who cursed her, so why not have her break the curse and sacrifice herself in place of Anna.

Now that I’ve told you all the issues with the film let me move on to what I like to call:

Frozen How it Should have Ended

Okay, so the first half of the movie is pretty much the same. Elsa has the coronation, Anna tells her that she and Han’s want to get married. Elsa freaks out and freezes over the kingdom before running away. But Instead Anna doesn’t immediately go after her sister. It turns out the entire gates to the city are frozen shut and no one can get out, besides the royal court insist Anna take charge and help the people of Erindale.

The diplomats who are now stuck there are getting anxious to leave, especially the Duke of Weselton. Anna is still worried about Elsa, but Hans is by her side through all of this. However, Hans starting to get somewhat annoyed by some of Anna’s quirks, lets say by the way she grinds her teeth while she’s thinking or something.

Here's where Anna and Hans meet in the film
Here’s where Anna and Hans meet in the film

So, now it’s been a week or so since the frozen gates, and the progression of time can be established in dialog, someone saying “Princess Anna, it’s been a week since Elsa has left and there is still no sign of her”, then just as this comment is made then enters Kristof, who has returned to Erindale from being on an ice run the week before. He brought to Princess Anna, after making a comment in town that he had a hard time making it back into town after the freak snowstorm and an ice castle suddenly popped up in front of him in the mountains.

Once Anna hears about the ice castle she knows it must be Elsa, so she insists that Kristof guides her to the castle. Hans, of course, is worried about this decision and suggests he tag along, but instead, she leaves him in charge of the Kingdom.

Along the way Anna and Kristof meet olaf the snowman.
Along the way, Anna and Kristof meet Olaf the snowman.

So Kristof and Anna go on their little adventure, which is much like in the film. They have a bit of a love connection while she tries to explain why she’s in love with Hans, but can’t seem to find any real reasons. Then, of course, they meet up with Elsa and like in the current film Anna gets struck in the heart by Elsa’s ice.

The difference here is that after this Anna’s personality begins to change a bit. She no longer seems happy-go-lucky, instead, kind of bitter and noncaring. Almost like she has a frozen heart.

Meanwhile, in Erindale, Hans is completely overwhelmed by being in charged and just can’t stand everyone turning to him for answers. He is also somewhat concerned about Anna, if not just so she can take over. So, anyways, he decides she’s been gone long enough and should go after her. The royal court and diplomats disapprove of him wanting to go, especially the Duke of Weselton, whose constant nagging caused Hans in a moment of stress to leave him in charge while he goes to find Anna. After all, he seemed to insist on knowing what’s best for Erindale, right. However, this move was exactly what the Duke was wanting, and instructs his henchmen to assist Hans on his quest, and while everyone’s backs turned to make sure none of them return alive.

The Duke of Weselton
The Duke of Weselton

Since Hans doesn’t know where Anna is at this point they make their way to Elsa’s ice palace, where there is a battle, the Duke’s men try to kill Elsa, Hans stops them only for the castle to crumble and the next thing we see is Elsa and Hans trapped in a snow blocked cave, a mess of what’s left of the castle.

At this point, Anna’s heart is as cold as ice and she now has the blond hair like Elsa, and Kristof knows that something isn’t right. Anna insists on him returning her to Erindale where she will be queen since, after all, Elsa was no good anyways. After dropping her off in Erindale, the Duke mistakes Anna for Elsa and declares she must be imprisoned, after all he wants to be in charge. Also at this point Anna’s cold heart slowly begins to freeze her body. Kristof who now has feelings for Anna must find Elsa, for only she can reverse Anna’s fate.

Back in Elsa’s crushed palace where she’s trapped with Hans, they seem to do some bonding of their own. Hans explains that being the youngest of 12 brothers he just wanted to have something they didn’t. Every time they attended a royal ball or the like, one of his brothers walked away with the beautiful princess. He just for once wanted to beat them to it, and that is why he hastily proposed to Anna. He also sympathizes with Elsa and the duties that lay before her, he in no way feels like he’d be ready to take the throne at his age (which happens to be the same as Elsa’s), and suggests that Elsa would make a fine Queen.

Elsa and Hans
Elsa and Hans

At the same time, Elsa reveals to Hans her insecurities about being queen and a good sister. She also explains how she feels cursed by these powers. While Hans says something to the like “You don’t seem like a bad person, maybe you did put the entire kingdom of Erindale in an internal winter, but that could happen to anyone. After all, it’s not the powers that matter, it’s what you do with them that counts.”  It is by this comment that Elsa discovers that it’s not her magic that she should be afraid of, after all, it’s what she does with it. So, with that, she gathers all of her strength to finally get them out the trapped snow.

Just then Kristof finds Elsa and Hans and explains what has happened to Anna. In no time they rush back to Erindale. Back in town Olaf, the lovable snowman has helped Anna escape the prison which the Duke has put her in. Once the Duke discovers this, he decides to put an end to Anna himself, who he still is convinced is Elsa. When Elsa arrives with the guys they find the Duke chasing Anna, who can no longer get away because her body is becoming more frozen. Hans rushes to go to Anna, so he can kiss her and break the spell, but slips and falls on the ice. It is instead Elsa who makes her way just as the Duke is about to strike Anna with a sword that Elsa swoops in front and blocks the blade with a frozen shield and their by freezing the Duke.

Anna, whose body is nearly all encased in ice, looks at Elsa, and says” You saved me”. Elsa looks back at Anna and replies “That’s what big sisters are for”. But it is too late Anna is now fully encased in ice. Both Hans and Kristof run to meet the girls only to find Elsa crying at Anna’s side. Then Elsa wraps her arms around Anna’s body in a warm hug and whispers to her “Do you want to build a snowman”. Just then the ice encasing Anna melts away and Anna replays “Yes”.

Elsa and Anna
Elsa and Anna

The movie wraps up with Elsa returning to Erindale and bringing back summer. The diplomats are able to leave Erindale and one agrees to return the Duke of Weselton to the proper authorities for his actions. Later Anna thanks Kristof for his help by getting him a new sleigh, and there is obviously a love connection between the two. Then Hans lets Elsa know that he and Anna have decided to call off their marriage, but he doesn’t intend to return home right away. Elsa gives a smile to Hans, yes you guessed it they seem to have a love connection of their own going on. Then the film ends with Hans saying something by the like of ” Well I guess the evil Queen wasn’t really evil at all, in fact, you could say she was the hero of the day”.  “You could say that” Elsa responds and smiles again to Hans.

And that my good people are how the movie should have been! Both girls finding love, and the bond for each other being the true love that saves the day!

Okay, now it’s your turn what did you think of the movie? And what do you think of my alternate storyline?

Akram Taghavi-Burris

Akram Taghavi-Burris is an award winning designer, an educator with over 15 years of experience in graphic arts and web design. Akram has an M.Ed. with an emphasis on Design Education and has been awarded several prestigious awards for her work such as the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Award and, the Davinci Fellows Award for innovation in teaching. Currently, Akram teaches Computer Simulation and Gaming (Video Game Design) at the University of Tulsa. to life.

23 thoughts on “Disney’s Frozen and how it should have ended

  1. I have not seen the movie and probably never will but I did wiki it too see if I would want to. From what I read on the site and what you have written, I agree with your ending, it sounds far more plausible.

    I also agree with your view…I’m just not into what Disney is offering in todays story-line.

    1. For the past few years Disney hasn’t seem to produce really good stories. However Tangled was really and I absolutely love Wreck It Ralph, so I’m kind of disappointed that I had so many issues with Frozen, I really was hoping to like it more.

    2. Well first i think that tangled is a bit boring so i think there should be more movies of Tangled. People in my year at school and me think that Frozen is the best disney we personally think that Frozen is well and we do mean well better than Tangled xx so but you vote here if u think Frozen is better then Tangled or Tangled is better than Frozen …..
      . XX

      Emma XXX

  2. My girls, ages 13 and 15 are seeing this movie in 3D right now with friends. I haven’t seen it but when they get home I’m going to show them this post and see what they think.

    They really like the movie though. This is the second time they’re seeing it!


  3. I am surprised you missed the point of the “only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart”. The act of true love is really not just for Anna, but also for her sister Elsa. We already know how much she loves her sister. We also know how much Elsa loves her sister back because of the sacrifices she has made to keep her safe. Thus, Elsa also needs the act of true love to thaw a frozen heart due to fear. She is the only one that has the power to control the cold and ice, so it has to involve her. The main story is about the two sisters. Even the song “Fixer Upper” states this. Listen to the lyrics closely.

    “We’re not saying you can change her, ‘cause people don’t really change.
    We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange.
    People make bad choices if they’re mad, or scared, or stressed.
    Throw a little love their way and you’ll bring out their best.
    True love brings out their best!”

    and even foreshadows family as a source.

    “Everyone’s a bit of a fixer-upper, that’s what it’s all about!
    Father, sister, brother! We need each other to raise us up and round us out.
    Everyone’s a bit of a fixer-upper, but when push comes to shove.
    The only fixer-upper fixer that can fix up a fixer-upper is true, true, true, true, true, true, love…”

    That song does move the story forward. It is not just a foreshadow for the events that are going to take place but also helps to explain that people are not perfect and people make mistakes, and love can overcome that.

    It all boils down to Anna saving herself. She makes a choice picking her sister unknowing it will save over her own life. This act of true love saves not just her sister’s life, by showing her sister what true love is, but also it has a profound effect on Elsa that allow her to break through her cold fear and thus save Anna

    I applaud Disney for showing us something more than the traditional and somewhat simple “romantic” love. For frozen deep within romantic love is true love, where romance doesn’t have to exist.

    For me, this movie showed how true love is more like the complex real world. Sacrifice is a big part of true love. We don’t make the sacrifices because we are asked to, we do it because we love the person. It is refreshing to see Disney evolving to a point where they are showing that real world love is as magical as “happily ever after love.”

    1. You make some valid points, that perhaps I overlooked.

      I do applaud Disney in tackling a story that as you say “shows a real world love”. I do like the bond between two sisters and yes the choices that Anna made to save Elisa were commendable. Perhaps I didn’t really see a lot of the foreshadowing in the “Fixer Upper Song”, and I do see how Anna could be the one to melt the frozen heart of her sister. I just felt like Elsia needed something to show back to Anna that she loved her too, not that Anna needed it. But I feel it would have helped Elsia understand that her powers might be used for good as well. Also, I really just don’t think someone could get over something like this within about 48 hours, but I’m just being nit-picky about timing.

      To be honest I really did like the movie and want to see it again. I just thought it be nice to see Elis open up a bit more and to be able to use her powers to protect Anna, instead of hurting her. I also think the quote about an “evil queen” being the hero would have been humorous, since there is always an evil queen.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. To quote Olaf (from memory, with no guarantee that I’m getting it exactly right),”Love is putting somebody else’s needs before your own.” Going by that definition, throwing herself in front of Hans’ sword is really the first loving thing Anna does in the entire movie. She cared about others, certainly, but her actions were almost exclusively motivated by her desire to be loved, rather to love. I might even say, to feel loved, rather than to be loved. That’s why it was so easy for Hans to manipulate her.

    Anna’s development through this movie was learning how to give love. Elsa’s was learning to receive love. What makes Elsa’s story so tragic is that she tried so hard to take all the burden upon herself, but doing so caused the very catastrophe she was trying to prevent, first bringing an unnatural winter upon the kingdom, and then freezing Anna’s heart. After that, Anna’s personality begins to shift (oh so subtly!) toward bitterness and apathy. The fact that the act of true love is Anna making a sacrifice, rather than somebody else giving something to her, is what makes it so powerful, so beautiful; in the end, Anna is in control of her own heart, and her own destiny.

    I really like that the question “Do you wanna build a snowman?” remained as subtext after it’s introduction, especially given Olaf’s inclusion (It’s obvious that Elsa wants to build a snowman because, hey, she builds a snowman.) and the sheer irony of Elsa turning Anna to ice (Be careful what you wish for.). Other than swapping Elsa’s and Anna’s roles in the climax, that was the only part I didn’t like in your version. Passage of time, removing some unnecessary songs (Fixer Upper) and good guy Hans, I can support. (Although bad guy Hans is pretty good, too.) I also liked that you placed more emphasis on Anna’s character change post-heartfreezing.

    1. Alexis, I’ve had several people say that it was appropriate for Anna to be the one to sacrifice herself. While I can somehow see this, it does give Elsa the realization that she doesn’t have to always be looking out for Anna. In fact if Elsa needed to a shoulder to cry on, then Anna can be the one to turn to, as in this case, Anna is the one to save Elsa. While I can see the reasoning behind it, as an older sister, I still feel like Elsa needed to feel like she can do good, with her powers, my opinion though. Still don’t get me wrong, I did like the movie and the ending wasn’t bad.

  5. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

    Your idea of how it should have resolved was awesome! You hit all my problems with the movie as well (or maybe minus a few, idk..)
    I also think, though, they should have made it so we saw more of Elsa’s emotions. So, when Anna was at the door asking if Elsa wanted to build a snowman, we could see her frustration and sadness. That would’ve been cool 🙂

    I liked your thought that Elsa hugs Anna and asks her if she wants to build a snowman. Not to sound all sentimental, but that nearly had me at tears. (I adored how they started the movie, and I was touched by the sadness of the sisters being alone)

    I love your idea that the king of Weselton would be the bad guy, because, really, he’s the one constantly complaining and being greedy. Well called.

    Personally, I didn’t like Hans in the movie, how there were no hints to his betrayal, so it was nice that you didn’t put him an antagonist. I really didn’t see it.

    The way you envisioned the ice castle demolition, ensnaring Elsa and Hans so they could talk was good. It worked well. The way the two became attracted to each other, giving Elsa her much needed prince, I thought, worked greatly toward the greatest good. Especially through the developments you stated.

    I do have one question, though. Is this all you’re writing, or are you going to elaborate on this and make it a story somewhere?
    Since I saw the movie (which, due to its popularity, I already was already unsure would be good at all) all I’ve wanted is a better written book/story that I could read to better my view on this idea of the story.

    Thanks for sharing, at any rate, besides a few grammar mistakes, your thoughts seem very coherent. Great reasons. I loved it! ;D

    1. Lamb,
      Thanks! I’m glad you liked my alternate ending. Sorry about the mistakes, I wrote this rather quickly on my iPad and didn’t really get a chance to proof-read.
      I actually am a bit of an ammeter writer (obviously, that’s why I’m a blogger, heehee), I hadn’t planed on elaborating on this story, not sure if Disney would approve of that 😉
      While I loved the movie, I felt like it just could have been slightly better, that’s why I had to get this idea out of my head and written down.
      I’m glad you liked it.

  6. Thank you for this post, it wasn’t just me who thought of your numerous points.

    I was disappointed with how they made Han evil, since for the majority of the movie he had proven good. He only had one real scene that showed him as the bad guy and I felt like his good deeds overshadowed his bad ones (at least in length. Yes, it was horrible but I felt like that scene didn’t give me enough build up to hate him).

    I also thought that Ana was going to start getting a frozen heart that made her cruel. I was expecting a showdown between Ana and Elsa. Where Elsa tries to stop Ana, explain what is happening with Ana constantly brushing her off and saying things like “Since when do you care what happens to me? When have you ever cared? You never even tried to make sure I was okay after mother and fathers deaths! I wasn’t Elsa! I wasn’t okay!”
    This is where the true act of love unmasked itself as Elsa having to push Ana away for all these years (they never really point out to Ana WHY Elsa had to be so ‘cold’ (ha) to her and I felt like that was something important Ana needed to know. I was hoping that this admission was the act to melt Ana’s heart. I didn’t realize she was going to literally freeze (though an evil-version of her with icicles hanging off of her and snowflakes all over would have been a great visual.

    I also had a problem with the fact that at the beginning of the film they make a point of saying Ana’s memories need to be distorted in order to protect her from her head being frozen. However, when it is revealed that Elsa has powers, this does not effect Ana at all. I have seen my fair-share of shows and movies where something like this has happened and it always incapacitates the character. After all, if it was so important to hide these memories, why would re-learning them not give you the same undesirable effect?

    Thanks again for the post!

    1. Ashely,
      I’m glad you liked my post. I too had a hard time excepting Hans being the bad guy in the movie, as you can tell in my alternate ending.

      I also though that Anna was going to have a personality change when she was iced in the heart, but effect was a bit lack luster in the film.

      You make a good point about the return of the memories, which they don’t really mention nor the fact that the troll people having meet Anna before.

      Thanks for your comments, I enjoy hearing others perspectives on the film.

  7. I just finished watching the movie and I loved it awesome movie but I was really thinking Anna was gonna get powers because of her white hair at the end and because she got hit in the heart and when Elsa thawed her I thought she was gonna have something like ice just like Elsa or fire or heat but I was really bummed that that didn’t happen. 🙁

    1. Javier,
      I too felt that something more should have happened to Anna. It would have also been interesting if sat the end of the movie or something we find out Anna has summer powers.

      I if I recall correctly the original Snow Queen story, the queen had a sister who had summer powers.

  8. My only real problem with it was that she was so easily accepted back as queen after the people saw her as a monster i think it needed to be like 15 min longer to explain that.

    1. I don’t think it was that the people saw her as a monster so much as that she saw herself as a monster. The only other person who treated her badly was the Duke, and I don’t think he represents the general masses. Well, and Hans, but that was coldly calculated, not a reflection of what he actually thought.

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