Moviefan12: Hello & welcome back to Power of The Princesses and today, we enter the home stretch as we look at the first of the final two princesses as we start with Queen Elsa. I know, it’s a little weird that I’m looking at her but Disney marketing added her to the princess line up. Joining me today because the cold never bothered him anyway is Fusionater. Per usual, we will be looking at Original Voice Actress, Personality, Favorite Moment, Later Appearances, and finally, Is Elsa A Good Character? Fusionater, are you ready to Let It Go?
Fusionater: Funnily enough, the cold never actually did bother me anyway…I think I must have a skin condition, not even joking. And no Moviefan, I’m not prepared to Let it Go, I’ll never forgive you for what you…oh…ha ha…reference…ha…let’s begin!
Moviefan12: Hey, that’s my line. Anyways, let’s begin.
Original Voice Actress
Moviefan12: Squee, sorry but I’ve been a fan of Idina Menzel long before Frozen. She was in two of my favorite Broadway musicals, RENT and Wicked. She had a recurring role on Glee, one of my favorite TV shows and was in the film adaption of RENT and before Elsa, she played two other Disney characters. She was Nancy in Enchanted, the less said about that movie, the better (I can’t believe, it’s getting a sequel) and if you go all the way back to Hercules: The Animated Series, she had a one off role in an episode playing the character of Circe. I’ve never seen this episode but I may have to track it down because she’s in it.
When I heard that Indina Menzel was going to be voicing a character in a Disney movie, I was ecstatic because one of Broadway’s greatest stars working with one of the best animation studios felt like a dream come true and the way, she plays Elsa is just fantastic. I don’t know what more I could say about her work as Elsa, I did an entire Frozen Week. In one regard as a fan of Indina Menzel, I can see why Disney cast her as Elsa because Elsa is similar to her greatest role of Elphaba Thropp from Wicked.
They are both outcasts that have powers, who only want to do good but the people around them have declared them a monster or wicked. Honestly, listen to Defying Gravity, and that should make you understand why I say that Frozen is Disney’s Wicked. That song and Let It Go share a lot in common of the ladies singing them, setting a new path in life and putting their past behind them.
Fusionater: You didn’t like Enchanted? Awww man, that movie was hilarious!
The voice actress is definitely a spot where you have a 1-up on me, I don’t know much about Idina Menzel’s work, I do know that she was in an episode of the Wonderpets (I Like that show!) Which I remember, but aside from that, there’s not much to say from my end.
Moviefan12: Yes well, it’s now time to move onto First Appearance. IE, when we first see the character both as a child and in their adult form.
we first see Elsa and her little sister as little girls, when the adorableness that is Anna uses kid logic in saying that because the sky’s awake, she’s awake and they have to play.
At first, Elsa objects but Anna being a kid knows the right things to say and asks her sister, if she wants to build a snowman and boom, that works. And we get the tragic events that lead to Anna’s memory being wiped and “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” gives us a montage of the girls growing up but also growing apart. We first see Elsa as an adult at 21 years of age during “For The First Time In Forever”.
And right here, with that face you can see that all the years of keeping her powers bottled up and a secret has affected her and made her cold and distant. Now, if you had purchased the Deluxe Edition soundtrack for Frozen (I highly recommend) it, you would get to hear the song that was originally meant to introduce us to Elsa and Anna in the film with “We Know Better”. This is actually the first song that the Lopezes wrote for Frozen and I really like it but I can see why, it was cut.
Fusionater: When I watch movies, I have this nervous tick for whenever something seems to be going to well for the characters, it comes from experience watching these kind of cutesy scenes, I get morbid in the face and just end up thinking “Something bads happening, soon”. That’s how I felt watching the scene with them as kids, and I was right to feel that way, pretty Intense stuff.
Fusionater: When Anna and Elsa are full grown, it’s not only the power being bottled up, but any form of human contact becoming more and more difficult for her, not only with her sister, but she seems to have difficulty with the rest of the world as well, she just seems very short with people (The Duke of Weselton, and Hans being chief examples), I think it’s a great start for the character.
Moviefan12: I think the best way to describe Elsa at the beginning of the film is being cold and distant. But she was distant because she was trying to protect her little sister but sadly, that caused a drift. Now, Elsa never stopped loving Elsa. While she is reserved, she does finally open up at the end and allows herself to show Anna, the love that she hadn’t been showing shown her all those years. This can be tied back to the line.
Conceal, Don’t Feel
For all of Elsa’s life, she was told not to show her true emotions because her parents while they meant well, didn’t give their daughter the best advice. The death of the girls’ mother and father only caused the drift to grow even larger. By the end of the movie, Elsa was able to show her fun side and that she can be a bit silly and enjoy time with her sister.
Now, there is another important aspect that needs to be brought up, Elsa is a subversion of the trope of Queens being the bad guy. Something Disney is known for but that almost wasn’t the case. You see in the original draft of Frozen, Elsa was the villain.
However, this was changed due to the song that everyone loves from this movie. You see, after Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck heard Let It Go, they decided that they had to rework the film, so that Elsa could be one of the protagonists. And in my opinion, that worked out for the better but you can find the deleted Evil Elsa scene on YouTube. Here’s a link to it.
Fusionater: From early on, you can tell how hard Elsa is struggling to follow the advice her parents had given her and how much she has had to put up with. Her parents death(Hooray Disney families!), is what I believe to be the final catalyst for Elsa’s complete detachment from others. When coronation day arrives, she is clearly trying to keep a brave face on but the anticipation is getting to her.
After she is crowned queen, as the movie might say “for the first time in forever”, she was relaxed, something had gone right for her, she was talking to her sister, and being cheerful, all was well. But reality begins crushing her once again when Anna says,
“I wish it could be like this all the time”
and Elsa replies,
“Me to…But it can’t”
In that moment, the anxiety and sadness that she has always felt starts creeping back into her…not helped by her sister being a bit of a dumb dumb love wise soon after.
Speaking of, there’s Hans(SPOILER!!!)the villain of the movie, AKA the least well written and worst villain in Disney animated history, Alameda Slim all the way if this guys the only other option, seriously, just bad.
And that’s one point where I do have to disagree with you Moviefan, I believe that Elsa should have been the villain of the movie, not an evil villain or anything like that, but maybe more like a “This movie has no villains” type deal. I believe that Hans and the Duke of Weselton could have been almost entirely cut out to give more time for us to understand Elsa’s character(1 or 2 more scenes for her in place of all the extra Anna and Kristoff got would have helped), and that would have made them coming together in the end all the more special.
Moviefan12: See, I don’t like Hans either and I do agree that this film would’ve been better if it had no villain but maybe it’s because I love this Elsa, I can’t fathom the idea of an evil Elsa. Now, I guess it could have worked but as we see from the clip, an evil Elsa wouldn’t have been the same as Elsa dealing with her scared emotions.
Fusionater: Not evil…just…not perfect, throw a little bit of redemption story in there to make it work maybe.
Moviefan12: The movie does do what you suggest until… that stupid third act reveal. If that reveal had not been part of the film, this movie would’ve been in my top 3 but that kept it back. Anyways, let’s move onto Favorite Moment.
Moviefan12: This was easy to pick, my favorite Elsa moment is….
Moviefan12: Yeah, who didn’t see this one coming? I love this song, this to me is what a Disney song is all about. It just gives you a “YEAH” moment. Also, this song like so many things subverts classic Disney tropes. Typically in Disney films, you have a character who sings an “I Want” song and don’t misunderstand me, we still get with Anna and “For The First Time In Forever” but with Elsa and “Let It Go”, we get a song with a powerful message of don’t listen to what others say, own who you are and be proud of it. In other words, Let It Go and if they don’t like it, that’s their problem. This song is a grade A example of why Elsa is one of the greatest role models for people of all ages. Also, the ice palace is really cool.
Seriously though, there’s a reason that this song has a billion covers on YouTube. It’s just that good and it has resonated with people all over the world. I mean, I can constantly listen to this song and I have found myself listening to 10 times in a row on the same day. While The Nostalgia Critic may be sick of Let It Go, I’ll never tire of this song.
Fusionater: Now uh…I…uh…I don’t think Let it Go is that great.
Now don’t get me wrong! It’s a good song and all and it’s got the emotional impact that it tries to get across…but I just don’t get it man…Sure the message of the song is unique…but the song itself is meh compared to many other great Disney songs. so ah…big controversial thing out of the way…
My Favorite Moment
I have 3 great moments with Elsa to choose from, the part of the movie where Elsa learns that Erendale has frozen over and can’t keep her thoughts straight, the part where she save Anna from icy doom with true love and all that, but the one I like to go with is first rendition of for the first time in forever, where, as I said before, Elsa is putting on her brave face and prepares to live up to all of the peoples expectations about her. and her rationalization that’s it’s only for today is great foreshadowing and works well with the character.
Moviefan12: Now let’s move onto Later Appearances. However, seeing as this film is still relatively new, not everything that’ll be discussed here has been confirmed as of yet. Let’s begin.
Moviefan12: The big one to get out of the way right now is that is a rumor of planned stage adaption for Frozen. Nothing has been seen for this as of yet. I’m wary on reporting it because we do not have the full details but I do find that it’s worth mentioning. Now Elsa and her sis had a cameo in It’s A Small World: The Animated Series.
Elsa is also in the game, Disney Infinity
You can also see the sisters at the parks. They were originally at EPCOT for Disney World and I had heard reports that lines to meet Anna and Elsa could be up to five hours long. They have been added to the Festival of Fantasy parade.
You can also see Elsa in World of Color at Disney California Adventure
And right at now, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they are doing an event called Frozen Summer. This’ll be going until September
A podcast, I listen to WDW News Today had some audio from the event, it includes a Frozen Sing-Along that ends with Elsa coming out and singing a reprise of “Let It Go” with the audience, there’s a Frozen fireworks show, where at the end, Elsa has to put Olaf back together because the fireworks have caused him to melt. There’s an ice rink and snow area to play in, with Oaken’s shop for all your Frozen merch. There’s a Frozen parade.
When I first learned about Frozen Summer, my first thought was “Man, I wish I was at Disney World for this”. and my second thought was “Please make this annual event like Star Wars Weekend”. because I’d rather go to a Frozen event than a Star Wars event. Speaking of which, there have also been reports that there be a Frozen attraction in development. Last I heard, it’s most likely going to go in EPCOT. Now, it’s not just the parks as Disney On Ice has announced that their next show is Disney On Ice Presents Frozen.
Okay, I have to say something about the special guests for this show, I get the princesses and I get Mickey and Minnie as they host the Ice shows but what connection does The Lion King Toy Story, and Finding Nemo have to Frozen. Those seem like really odd characters to have at a Frozen ice show.
Fusionater: Hm, do you think the ride they are working on will involve the scene in the sled? I think that would be nice, sort of like a haunted hayride type thing.
Well…uh…the Toys pretend to be “Frozen” I suppose…but I think Finding Nemo and Lion King are sort of anti-frozen characters…fish die and the Lino King characters live in Africa for god sakes.
Now let’s move onto one that had me super excited…
Elsa On Once Upon A Time
Moviefan12: In the last minutes of the season 3 finale, Elsa made her Once debut. I remember clearly, when watching this scene.
That I wasn’t sure that it was Elsa. Bare in mind, it was almost midnight, when I was watching this but then I saw this and knew it was her.
Now from what I can gather, Elsa may appear to have a score to settle with Rumpelstiltskin as Emma Swan and Hook found an urn in his vault of magic that he didn’t understand and that said urn had Elsa trapped in it. I am curious to see what they do with Elsa. It has been confirmed that the Frozen storyline for Once is set after the movie and that we will see Arendelle on the show. The only thing from Frozen that won’t be on Once will be Olaf. Boo! And yes, Elsa has officially been cast and she will be played by Georgina Haig and some pictures of Elsa on the set of Once have already been released.
Not too shabby, I totally see Elsa there. And Once could you please avoid making her related to anyone else on the show. You have already cast Anna and that’s the only family member, Elsa needs. Please avoid that pitfall. The family tree on this show is confusing enough. Fus, seeing as you are also a Once fan. What are your thoughts on Elsa being in the next season of Once Upon A Time?
Fusionater: I think the release of Frozen was a blessing for Once, I think they were running low on characters to introduce, and I agree on your assessment of the family tree…
Personally, I worry that it’s to soon after the release of the movie, and that because of that, the Once writers will be hesitant to change as much as they change every other character from the source material. If done right, this could add an interesting new layer to things.
Moviefan12: As much as I am looking forward to seeing what show does with Frozen, I too am a bit hesitant on this for the same reason. By bringing Elsa, the show will be bringing in Frozen fans that may otherwise have never watched Once Upon A Time before and if Once’s Elsa strays too far from the one in Frozen, well there are going to be a lot of unhappy Frozen fans that won’t let it go. To many people, Elsa is more than just a character. She’s something special. Now, it’s time to move onto the final part…
Is Elsa A Good Character?
Moviefan12: Honestly , yes she is. Elsa is a unique character for Disney. She is one of the bravest, most intelligent and complex characters to come from Disney in their entire canon of films. While Elsa isn’t in the top of my princess list, ( my Top 3 go Rapunzel, Ariel, Anna.), she is an important character to the company who breaks the mold and shows that queens in Disney movies don’t always have to be evil and her internal struggle with her powers is quite interesting to watch. You feel for her as she tries to keep her powers under control. This again goes back to ideology of “Conceal, Don’t Feel”. but Elsa through her act of true love of saving her younger sister finally opens up. Elsa may start the film out as a tragic figure but as Let It Go rolls around, she becomes a strong female. Now, she still has her moments of worry and being scared such as the reprise of For The First Time In Forever, where she doesn’t know how to fix the snow or when she is chained up in the dungeon and has a look on her face of what have I done?
That’s the thing being a strong character doesn’t mean not showing emotions. Some of the best Disney characters are quite vulnerable and show emotion, and Elsa is no exception. Think back to this line from “Let It Go”.
You’ll Never See Me Cry
Here Elsa is putting on a brave face because she finally feels free but when she sees what has happened to Anna at the end of the film with her sister frozen, she finally relents and lets all of her emotions out that she has kept bottled up for all those years.
This to me shows how Elsa grows throughout the film as she is opening up and this contributes to her in my opinion being one of the best characters to come along in a long time from Disney.
Fusionater: To me, one of the things that makes Elsa such an excellent character is how much you believe her torment, and how much you want to see her pull through. Metaphors aside, she has the complete and total power to rain destruction on her entire kingdom by accident. That’s gotta get to you sometimes, this worry is further fueled by her having almost Frozen her sister when she was just a little kid. Her parents tried their best, albeit making poor decisions, but I don’t think anyone could teach someone to get past that.
Moviefan12: Fusionater, thank you for joining me for this rather extensive look at Elsa.
Fusionater: I look forward to working with you sometime again in the future, for now, take care.