Elsa as a kid, before she had to hide her powers
There are going to be spoilers, of course, so I wouldn't read this if you haven't watched the movie yet! Anyway, I've written an article like this for Aurora, Snow, and Tiana, and thought it was only right to write one for my new second favorite princess, Elsa. I plan on making these for all of the princesses at some point, since I do love them all, but I was just really excited to write about Elsa ASAP. So without further ado, let's get started!
Going into Frozen, I had a feeling I was going to love Elsa. She's different from anything we've ever gotten before, and gives us a fresh point of view that I've never seen in the animated world. Elsa is very different from the past modern princesses. I agree with rhythmicmagic when we were starting to see a trend of "superhero" princesses, or princesses that seemed to be able to do anything. With Rapunzel we saw vulnerability, and doubt, but even she seemed to be a bit perfect. Although I love Anna and Rapunzel, the trend was starting to become apparent and worn-out, but then Elsa came about.
Elsa telling Hans that she can't stop the winter
At the beginning of the movie, we see a playful Elsa, though it's still apparent that she's not as outgoing as her sister. At the beginning, Anna is trying to get her to play, but she just wants to sleep, finally she gives in though. They have an amazing time, until Elsa strikes Anna in the head with her ice powers on accident. That's where Elsa's isolation begins. For the next ten or so years, Elsa keeps hidden, never leaving her room. In a heartbreaking scene, we see Elsa's father giving her the gloves, and telling her that she must suppress her powers. He's basically telling her not to feel anything; to remain a lifeless corpse, because her powers and directly linked with her emotions. Then, Elsa's father tries to hug her, but Elsa screams, "Get away from me!" She doesn't even dare touch her father, scared that she could hurt another loved one. Also, during "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" we get a shot of Elsa on the other side of the door, her ice sprawled all over the room, suspended in grief over her parents death. This childhood shapes Elsa into the person she is today, and is a great way to show Elsa's conflicted personality.
Elsa after just letting out her powers
Next, we fast forward to Coronation Day. We see Anna very happy, but Elsa on the other hand is dreading for it to be over. She can't be around all these people, she doesn't feel that she can be the leader they need, and she doesn't feel that she can replace her father. Her and Anna have nice moments, moments that they haven't had for nearly a decade, but Elsa knows it can't work. She tells Anna that this is a one time thing, and afterwards she must go back to isolation. After Anna falls in love with Hans, we see a tragic scene. (You'll see me use tragic about a hundred times in this, I mean it's Elsa we're talking about) Elsa won't let Anna marry a man she just met, which shows how logical Elsa really is. Then we see Anna say, "I know more about love than you!" It shows a shot of Elsa's face, and she's heart broken. I think then she only realizes that she has no one. Anna is gone, she is replacing her with Hans, her parents, everyone.
Elsa locked in chains
After her ice powers are revealed, we get the number "Let it Go". "Let it Go" is a huge turning point for Elsa. She no longer has to feel afraid, on edge, like something terrible is just waiting. She can finally be who she really is, and let it go. I love how the beginning of the songs shows her scared and afraid, but then she sees how beautiful her powers really are, and how she doesn't have to be afraid anymore, until. Until Anna comes and tells Elsa that she froze everything. This breaks Elsa, and snow starts forming everywhere, eventually hitting Anna in the heart. Elsa is heart broken, and forces them to leave. All Elsa wants is for Anna to be safe, if not, Elsa could've spent her life playing with Anna, not trying to suppress her powers. This shows how selfless Elsa really is, and how much she does love Anna, even if she can never show it. We cut to a short scene where we see Elsa in her castle trying to suppress her powers again, realizing that she'll never be free of this "curse" she has.
Elsa letting it go
Hans and co come next, and attack Elsa. This shows Elsa in a very scary place, a place that we never could've thought she'd go to. She almost kills two men, yes her life was in danger, but this shows how much anger and sadness really is inside her. This is not some joke to her, this is her life and she just wants to be in solitude. We then see the scene where Elsa is in shackles, and she says to Hans in a heart broken voice, "Don't you see, I can't!" The only thing Elsa wants is for everyone else to be safe, not even herself, everyone else, but she can't do that, and she's heart broken. Elsa then gets the news that Anna is dead, and is frozen in grief. Just like after her parents die, her power's suspended in air. She almost dies, but Anna sacrifices herself. Elsa is distraught. She messed everything up, and it's all her fault.
Elsa then unfreezes Anna, with the power of love, and she realizes the most important thing. Love can unfreeze Arendelle. I believe that the "love" they speak up, is acceptance of who she really is, and when she does that, everything unfreezes. Elsa finally realizes that this isn't some curse that she can never love, it's a tool that is beautiful, and that can be controlled. All in all, I really love Elsa. She goes back to the roots of the classics, and shows that a princess can still be liked and be selfless, regal, and not outgoing. I relate to Elsa a lot, because I keep to myself, and my emotions can control me at times. Elsa is an amazing character, one which I'm really glad Disney made.
Elsa on guard, letting her emotions get the best of her