Pretty much as soon as Disney's Frozen hit cinemas back in 2013, it became a global phenomenon. Children and adults alike were captivated by the tale of royal sisters Elsa and Anna, the antics of their hilarious snowman friend Olaf, and the unexpected betrayal of the dashing Prince Hans. Of course, the fact that the movie's music is so catchy only added to its popularity! Pretty much everyone knows every single word to "Let It Go" by this point, whether they like it or not. Considering Frozen's sequel is due to be released next year and its Broadway adaptation is incredibly popular, we doubt that this franchise will be fading into the background any time soon.
Of course, even the most popular movies have their flaws. Plot holes, inexplicable plot twists, questionable decisions by characters, and frankly ridiculous endings are rife in children's films and grown-up movies alike. As much as the world may love Frozen, it's certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination! If you look past the cheerful songs, adorable characters, and classic Disney happy ending, there are plenty of flaws lurking below the surface of the film. While Frozen's legions of young fans might not pick up on them, all of us grown-ups are a bit less easily fooled! Many of us choose to gloss over all of the problematic elements of Frozen just so we can sit back and enjoy the film. However, perhaps it's time to take a closer look at the things wrong with Frozen that we've previously chosen to ignore...
25 Elsa's Childhood Issues
You can't watch Frozen and not feel more than a little bit bad for poor Elsa. To say she has a traumatic childhood is a bit of an understatement! In fact, considering everything she's been through, she's surprisingly well-adjusted as an adult. Being told to suppress a huge part of yourself, being essentially kept under house arrest for most of your childhood, and almost accidentally ending your sister must leave someone pretty traumatized. Did nobody think about getting poor Elsa some therapy?
24 "Conceal, Don't Feel"
Speaking of Elsa's childhood, can we just talk about how bad her father's advice was with regards to her magical ice powers?
"Conceal, don't feel"? Really?
That's basically setting your child up to become emotionally stunted, incredibly anxious, and generally unhappy. The king probably had Elsa's best interests at heart—he didn't want her to go through the pain of hurting others. However, the way he went about his parenting was just terrible. Surely it would have been better for everyone if he'd let Elsa learn how to control her powers, rather than shutting her away?
23 Who Was Running The Kingdom?
In the opening moments of Frozen, we learn that Anna and Elsa's parents tragically passed away in a shipwreck when the girls were teenagers. We pick up their story a few years later, directly before Elsa's coronation as the new Queen of Arendelle. Question is, who was running the kingdom in the time between the former king's passing and Elsa's coronation? It's never addressed! Surely Arendelle didn't just go without a ruler for years and years until Elsa came of age...
22 The Pointless Memory Erasure
Another revelation of the first few minutes of Frozen is that as a child, Anna had her memory magically wiped to erase any recollection of Elsa's ice powers. Presumably, her parents decided that this was for the best considering said powers had nearly cost Anna her life. However, this choice doesn't really make sense considering they also decided to lock Elsa away for the rest of her childhood. Surely it would have been easier to let Anna keep her memories? It would have led to way fewer awkward questions about where Elsa had gone!
21 What's In Those Gloves?
After the whole nearly-ending-Anna-with-ice-magic incident, Anna and Elsa's dad decides to present his elder daughter with a pair of gloves that apparently keep her magic contained.
To be honest, this raises a LOT of questions.
We see throughout the movie that Elsa's ice magic is pretty powerful—she uses it to create a whole castle at one point! How do some pretty ordinary-looking gloves manage to keep that magic contained? What on earth are they made of?! It must be a pretty strong material, that's for sure...
20 Elsa's Coronation
Speaking of Elsa's gloves, remember when the priest officiating her coronation forces her to take them off? What's that all about? Surely allowing the future queen to keep on a pair of gloves would be totally fine... Also, after Elsa takes off the gloves, ice pretty clearly starts to creep up the orb and scepter—but nobody notices. Clearly, nobody is actually paying attention to the ceremony at all, because the ice isn't exactly subtle! Basically, pretty much nothing about the coronation makes sense at all.
19 Arendelle's Lack Of Diversity
One of the most prominent criticisms of Frozen upon its release was the fact that the kingdom of Arendelle has no racial diversity whatsoever.
Literally every character is white.
Some viewers argued that a Scandinavian kingdom would have been predominantly white at the time the movie was set; others claimed that this was factually incorrect and that people of color did live in countries like Norway. Either way, the controversy didn't reflect well on Disney—especially since this wasn't the first time it faced accusations of doing this.
18 Prince Hans' "Punishment"
Spoiler alert: Prince Hans is the main baddie of Frozen. Not only does he trick Anna into believing he loves her, he also tries to end both Anna and Elsa and seize control of Arendelle. You'd think he'd receive a major punishment for his crimes, such as a lifelong jail sentence. However, in reality, he gets off with a punch in the face and is sent back to the Southern Isles. Let's be real: that "punishment" is nowhere near severe enough. Hans is a lucky guy!
17 The Effects Of Climate Change
After Elsa flees her own coronation ceremony and accidentally sets off an eternal winter in Arendelle, she holes herself up in her ice castle with seemingly no knowledge of the chaos she's triggered. Meanwhile, everyone else in Arendelle is trying to adjust to the fact that the climate has vastly changed in the blink of an eye. Thing is, the movie doesn't really address the implications of this. Surely all of the summer crops would have perished, and the animal life would struggle to adjust to the sudden change? Elsa's really messed up her local ecosystem!
16 The Most Boring Ice Castle Ever
Speaking of Elsa's ice castle, has anyone noticed how incredibly sparse and boring it is? Sure, the actual building itself is beautiful, but there's basically nothing in it. Like, there's not a single piece of furniture to be found, let alone ways for Elsa to entertain herself! All she can do is sit around all day in a giant hall with no chairs, no food, no books... Nothing! Something tells us Elsa didn't really think the whole "living in isolation" thing through...
15 What Exactly Are Elsa's Powers?
While most of Frozen's plot revolves around Elsa and her inability to control her ice powers, those powers are never explicitly defined. We see Elsa shoot ice out of her hands, build a castle, create life in the form of Olaf and Marshmallow, and conjure herself up a pretty new dress. What else can she do? What are the boundaries and limitations of her powers? It's never really made clear, and honestly, we're still confused. Also, can Elsa really not undo an eternal winter that she's caused? That seems like a bit of a magical oversight to us!
14 Where Did Those Powers Come From?
Another aspect of Elsa's powers that isn't addressed in Frozen is where exactly they came from. At the beginning of the film, we're simply told that Elsa has these powers—there's no explanation of how this came to be.
Did she inherit them from a magical branch of her family?
Was she born with them, or did some magical event in her young childhood trigger the powers? Does anyone have any idea why Elsa can manipulate snow and ice, but her sister can't? It's all a bit weird, to be honest. Maybe the all-knowing trolls have the answer...
13 Public Opinion In Arendelle
Has anyone else noticed that public opinion in Arendelle regarding Elsa's magical powers seems to shift very quickly during the events of Frozen? At Elsa's coronation, everyone seems generally spooked when their new queen starts to shoot ice at people. They remain spooked when she runs off and builds an ice castle, and when Anna goes after her. However, once Prince Hans is defeated, the people of Arendelle are suddenly no longer scared of Elsa's ice magic anymore. It seems like a bit of a quick turnaround in opinion!
12 Kristoff And The Trolls
To be honest, the creepy singing trolls are probably the worst thing about Frozen. Sure, they serve as a handy plot device whenever Elsa's ice magic goes wrong... But otherwise, they're pretty annoying. Plus, their connection with Kristoff is never really explained. We know that they're basically his adoptive family, but nobody ever addresses how or why that happened. A younger Kristoff is even seen ice farming with fellow humans at the start of the movie. When did he leave those people and go and live with the trolls? Nobody knows.
11 How Does Anna Remember Olaf?
So, you know how we mentioned the fact that Anna had all of her memories of Elsa's ice magic wiped at the very start of Frozen?
There's actually a pretty major plot hole that relates to this!
If Anna has had her memory erased, how is it that she manages to recognize Olaf when she first meets him as an adult? Surely all of her past memories of him disappeared along with all of her ice-and-snow-related recollections! Why would Anna have had everything erased, except her knowledge of Olaf?
10 Elsa's Powers And Humans
There are a lot of inconsistencies when it comes to Elsa and her magical powers. One of these is the exact effect that they can have on human beings. When Elsa's powers accidentally strike Anna on two separate occasions, poor Anna comes pretty close to death. However, when Elsa uses the ice magic on herself, it doesn't damage her at all: it just gives her a new dress and a newly sassy attitude. What's with that? Also, we refuse to believe that when Elsa's magic went a bit haywire at her coronation, nobody was harmed. Clearly, that stuff is dangerous.
9 Unrealistic Beauty Standards
Another major criticism that Frozen faced when it was first released related to the unrealistic beauty standards that Disney movies often portray. Not only were the two main female characters both white, they were also incredibly skinny and traditionally "beautiful." Neither Elsa or Anna has a little blemish on their cheek, a small birthmark, or the odd mole. Their facial features are perfectly proportioned, and they've got hourglass figures. Where are the realistic body types at for young girls to look up to? Not in Arendelle's royal family, apparently.
8 Love At First Sight... Again
One aspect of Frozen's plot that gained a lot of praise from fans was the fact that Anna and Hans' lightning-fast engagement was ultimately thwarted by Elsa. For once, a Disney film addressed the fact that falling in love with someone you've just met is a really bad idea... Or did it? Bear in mind that Anna and Kristoff, who do end up together at the end of the film, have only known each other for a few days at this point. Plus, the trolls try to force them into marriage earlier in the movie. Bit weird, guys.
7 Honesty Is The Best Policy
If there's one message that you should take from Frozen, it's that honesty is the best policy. Multiple characters have their lives made a lot more difficult thanks to secrecy and outright lies.
Take Elsa, for example.
Her life would have been so much better if her parents had come clean with everyone and told the world about her ice powers! Anna's childhood would also have been less miserable if she'd been told the truth about her sister's disappearance. She might even have been able to support Elsa! But no. Bad parenting strikes again.
6 The Inexplicable Ice Phobia
Now, don't get us wrong: suddenly seeing your summery home become suddenly engulfed by ice and snow would be totally spooky. However, you've got to wonder why the people of Arendelle got quite so worried about how they'd cope in this unnatural winter considering they live in a Scandinavian country. Places like Norway are famous for their cold weather! Wouldn't everyone just have a stash of snowshoes, warm clothes, and other winter items that they could whip out until the magical winter subsided?
5 Is Hypothermia Not A Thing?
Now, we're not saying that we'd want Princess Anna to have died of hypothermia at various points during Frozen... But if we're going to be scientifically and medically correct, she really should have. When she dashes off into the night wearing her not exactly winter-proof coronation dress, she's setting herself up for frostbite at the least. Then there's the moment when she plunges into a freezing cold river still wearing this thin dress. Hypothermia! That's a cause of hypothermia right there!
4 Kristoff And Sven's Relationship
Question: just how close are Kristoff and Sven? We know that reindeer are apparently better than people and that these two have been buddies since they were both young... But the song "Fixer Upper" implies some pretty disturbing things about their "friendship". We're specifically thinking of the line where the trolls talk about Kristoff's "thing with the reindeer that's a little outside of nature's laws." Sorry... What? Exactly how far outside of nature's laws are they talking here? Is Disney trying to traumatize us all?
3 Why Trust Prince Hans With Anything?
Now, we know that Anna is depicted as being pretty trusting to the point of naivety throughout Frozen, but that still doesn't explain why she was allowed to leave Prince Hans in charge when she went to search for Elsa. Sure, maybe Anna was lovestruck enough to make that choice, but doesn't Arendelle have any royal advisors who could have suggested a more reasonable plan of action? There must have been someone more qualified than Hans to step in and take charge.
2 Love Solves Everything... Again
To be honest, this is a criticism you could make of any Disney film, but hey—Frozen doesn't get a free pass here! It's yet another movie that uses the tired old "love conquers all" trope. Sure, this time it's the love between two sisters rather than romantic love... But the cliché still stands! Really, what should have saved the day was the two sisters joining forces to kick Hans' butt, and a different magical solution to Anna's predicament being found. Why does it always have to be love?
1 What Happens Next?
So, Prince Hans has been sent back to the Southern Isles, Kristoff and Anna are a couple, and Elsa is back to being a respected queen rather than a feared ice witch.
What happens now?
Sure, we'll get a direct answer to this in Frozen 2, but there are a lot of things that need addressing. Will Elsa make a good queen considering she's been isolated from humanity for years? Will there really be no further consequences for the evil Prince Hans? Is Olaf's mini-snow cloud really a sustainable solution to his melting issues? We'll have to wait and find out...