10 Random Thoughts From A Dad on Frozen

I’ve watched Frozen many times. Probably more than I’ve watched any animated movie in my lifetime. Check that – probably more than I’ve watched any movie in my lifetime, and having a 3-year old daughter is the main reason for that. Whenever you do something over and over again, random thoughts enter your mind and it is no different with me. Here are my thoughts:

Editor’s Note: I have to put this disclaimer in here. There are some spoilers in this post. If you haven’t watched this movie and you plan to in the future, read my first point and nothing else. 

No, it's not snowing. It's just Frozen on the TV.

No, it’s not snowing. It’s just Frozen on the TV.

#1 – There are actually parents with kids under the age of 10 who haven’t seen this movie yet: This fact absolutely blows my mind. How is this possible? It’s one of the top 10 grossing movies in the history of the universe. I can’t determine if these parents are living under a rock or if they’re the smartest people on the planet not to expose their kids to the crack cocaine-like addictive nature of Frozen. Either way, they’re winning.

#2 – I want to know how Elsa got her powers: We know Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider. We know Superman is an alien from outer space with powers that are fueled by the sun. I want to know how this girl can shoot ice out of her hands, dammit! Was she born this way? Was she a part of some crazy lab experiment? Was she bitten by radioactive frost? Is she a mutant? Will I see her in the new X-Men movie coming out? Inquiring minds want to know.

I demand a prequel.

Editor’s Note: My wife just informed me she was born with those powers. Obviously I missed that part, but my question remains unanswered. Which parent had the power? Was he/she born with them too? And why didn’t it get passed down to Anna? Again, I demand a prequel.

#3 – I’ve watched the movie more times than I can count and it took me until the fourth or fifth viewing for me to realize that their parents had their ship wrecked in the ocean: Maybe I was multitasking while watching it or I simply glazed over it, but it totally went over my head. You gotta admit, it happens really quickly. That’s probably why I hated the movie so much after watching it the first few times because I thought the sisters were just human versions of Max & Ruby. I kept asking, “Where the hell are your parents??”

#4 – Not digging the dad’s philosophy on how to deal with Elsa: “Our kid is different. Let’s close the gates and keep her away from everyone.” Really, pops? Yes, she’s different but that’s what makes her special. It would’ve been nice if the dad said, “You know what, Elsa? You’re different and that’s great. Show the world how amazing you are. Own it, baby girl!” I just think building confidence in kids who are seen as “different” would’ve sent a wonderful message – and besides, I wouldn’t worry about her getting bullied on the proverbial playground, would you? Yes, I’m aware that the movie would’ve gone in a completely different direction if that happened – but I don’t think unnecessarily locking a kid up in isolation for ten years is a good look, that’s all.

Clearly I’ve given this way more thought than it deserves. Let’s move on, shall we?

#5 – I saw right through the “love at first sight” thing between Anna and Hans during my first viewing: I remember watching it unfold with my wife and daughter during the “Love Is An Open Door” song and said, “Yeah…that ain’t gonna work out.” And I was right. Either I should change my nickname to “Negrodamus” because I can predict the future or maybe it was just that obvious. Who knows?

#6 – Stop with the “Brozen” nonsense: Everywhere I turn there are dudes thinking that they need to come up with a clever nickname because they watched this movie. Hence the birth of “Brozen,” otherwise known as bros who watch Frozen. To me, it’s not clever. It’s just dumb. Adding a category for men is basically saying that men shouldn’t like a movie like this. I like the movie, but I don’t want to be put in a silly group because of it. I’m just a dad who watched the movie with my daughter multiple times because it makes her happy – which in turn, makes me happy. It’s no different than when people see stay-at-home dads and call them “Mr. Moms” or “Mannies.” Why can’t they just be…you know…dads? I’m not a stay-at-home dad, but I know terms like that would bother the hell out of me if I was one. Stop that shit. Just own the fact that you’re a guy who enjoys Frozen and be done with it.

#7 – If I had to choose a character from an animated movie to be friends with my daughters, I’d take Merida from Brave over the sisters from Frozen: Before you ask, “What about <insert a character from an animated movie here>, DDW?”, let me state that I have NOT watched every animated movie out there (and I have no desire to), so my sample size is extremely limited. I like Frozen. I really do. I just think Merida in Brave is one kick-ass little girl and I loved her from start to finish of that film. She’s spunky, she’s cute, and she’s tough – and she’s the kind of kid that I’d love for my daughters to be friends with. Anna and Elsa? They’re not bad kids by any means, and I don’t dislike them. I just like Merida better, that’s all.

Well, I’d happily invite Elsa over when it gets to be 105 degrees in the summertime to keep my air conditioning costs low and stay green. Hey, today is Earth Day and I’m all about thinking of creative ways to save the environment. You’re welcome.

Merida > Everyone else.

#8 – Olaf stole the show: Why couldn’t Olaf be nominated for best supporting actor during the Oscars? He would’ve gotten my vote. The lovable little snowman was easily my favorite character in the movie.

  • “I’m not sure if this solves the problem, but there are stairs leading right to where we need to go.”
  •  “I’m Olaf, and I like to give warm hugs.”
  • “I got impaled.”
  • “Winter’s a good time to stay in and cuddle, but put me in summer and I’ll be a (sees a puddle) a happy snowman!”

I thank you, Olaf. Without you, the movie would be a whole lot less enjoyable.

#9 – The big snowman creature scared the ever living crap out of my daughter: I now have to fast-forward past the part when Anna throws the snowball at the creature, which subsequently caused him to growl angrily, light up his eyes, and chase them through the woods. Thank goodness we live in a warm climate because I don’t think my daughter’s first experience with snow will be a pleasant one because of that scene. Whatever. We probably won’t see snow for a very long time. Brutal east coast winters are the main reason why I moved to California in the first place eleven years ago.

The cold always bothered me, anyway.

#10 – The sisterly love at the end made my eyeballs sweaty: My daughters are young (3 years old and 9 months old, respectively). Right now they are completely in love with each other and spend a lot of time laughing and giggling together. Unfortunately, I always come across *that parent* either online or in real life who says, “Just wait until they become teenagers! They’ll hate each other!” Really? Why do people say stuff like that? Call me crazy, but maybe they’ll love each other more than they do right now. Frozen definitely has its minor flaws in its plot, characters, and message – but it absolutely hit a home run with its ending. Anna demonstrating true love by protecting her sister from harm instead of getting kissed by some guy was perfect. Just perfect. I hope my daughters are that tight with each other as they grow older.


In closing, I enjoyed Frozen. Is it my personal favorite animated movie of all-time? No. Not even close. That award goes to Wreck-It Ralph (I’m a sucker for old-school video game references).

Does it achieve WIWIA status? WIWIA stands for “Would I Watch It Alone?”, meaning if I stumbled upon an On Demand or cable movie while I’m home by myself without being influenced by my wife and/or kids, would I watch it? When it comes to Frozen, the answer for me is no.  Keep in mind, my WIWIA list is pretty long, but the only animated movies on it are Wreck-It Ralph, Brave, and The Incredibles.

With that said, it doesn’t change the fact that Frozen is already an all-time classic. Similar to how we watch old classics with our kids today that our parents watched with us (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) it’s strange to imagine that the tiny humans we’re raising will watch Frozen with their children someday too.

However, there will be problems if asking my future grandchildren to build a snowman results in them saying, “Good idea, Grandpa. Let’s watch Frozen!”

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  1. Brian says

    When the snow monster came the first time my daughter watched the movie we thought she was going to be scared to. It was easily fixed by telling her that the snow man was silly. Now every time that part comes on she screams “Daddy, here comes the silly snow man” Don’t know if that will work for your girls though. We have to fast forward the Ursula scene in “The little mermaid” at the end every time because that scares my daughter.

    • Amanda says

      It may also help that the snowman’s name is Marshmallow. My daughter gets a huge kick out of that.

  2. jen says

    If Elsa wasn’t isolated and was taught to use her powers early on, we wouldn’t have had frozen. That was a huge point in the movie. She runs off and creates the ice castle (let it go) which is when she comes out of her shell because she was isolated for so long. That causes Anna to find her and fall in love with hans and get away from the prince at the beginning. It’s such an important part in the movie that never would’ve happened had she been taught to embrace her powers.

    • says

      I once asked my mom why Disney gave little girls dead mothers, evil stepmothers, and bumbling or absent dads. She said, “If those girls had had good, loving mothers and fathers, there’d have been no stories in the first place.” LOL I don’t think she meant to imply that good mothers lead to boring lives…

      My son pointed out to me that there was ONE Disney movie that gave the kids good parents and they still had a scary adventure – 101 Dalmations.

      I still haven’t seen Frozen. :( My youngest is 18, and we saw The Lego Movie, instead. When does Frozen come out on video??
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  3. says

    I watched Frozen–only because I wanted to know what all the hype was about. My daughter is still a bit too young to understand what’s going on. But I wasn’t terribly impressed. I thought it was good, but Brave was SO MUCH BETTER! Merida is smart, spunky, and she overcomes and makes peace with herself and her family (something everyone can relate to on some level). She’s a much more inspiring heroine than either of the girls in Frozen (can’t even remember their names).

  4. says

    I agree that the parents made some poor choices, but then I think about God, and Jesus coming to be our Savior.

    God could have chosen to shield the world from sin, forcing all of His creation to be close to Him. But I believe He wants us to choose to be in relationship with Him.

    Now to draw the parallel.

    The bad things sometimes need to happen so that people know the difference, and can choose to make the right choices for their lives.
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  5. Kuulei says

    What is up with that Let it Go song. I mean every 3-7 who has ever seen that movie is in love with that song. My 5 year old will stand with her “brush microphone” in front of the mirror and sing that song word for word over and over again. My DDW calls her mariah Carey in training. Its cute but after hearing that song a thousand and one times, Im justa tad over it! (And its just my own personal opinion, but it was just an ‘OK’ disney song for me.)

  6. Kirt says

    Similar to my thoughts although I haven’t seen BRAVE or WRECK IT RALPH. My daughter lives with her mom and I haven’t watched it with my baby girl either but I did watch it cuz it was a good movie. My GF and I enjoyed it a lot. Very different from what I was expecting.

    Also, DDW, love the blog. Been following for about 1 year now. Seen good advise and fun adventures come your way. Keep it up!!

  7. Kim says

    I watched Frozen the first time while waiting on my 16 yr old son who was having a root canal done. I enjoyed the movie and watched it again with my 19 yr. old one Friday night. My oldest is 20 and he absolutely loves the movie. We have watched many animated movies in my house….probably every one ever made. We watched Rapunzel while in Austin this weekend….which prompted my 20 yr old to comment that his friends believe that Rapunzel’s real mother is the sister of Anna and Elsa’s dad….apparently they see some resemblance in the characters. (I think these college kids are spending too much time analyzing Disney movies, but that’s me.) I have to say that I would probably watch this movie alone, again, because I like it enough to do so.

    As for siblings not liking each other when they are teenagers….my kids went through that for a short time. This past week I realized how much my youngest really likes his older brother when he was upset that he might not be able to go to his recital in Austin. It was a very important day and he didn’t want to miss it. I was so happy to see that he really loves his brother and wants to support him….then I watched him make origami swans during the recital. Brought me back down to earth.

  8. says

    honestly, i didn’t even know this movie existed until the memes started floating around the social sites. maybe i was watching the wrong channels?

  9. Beck says

    I really enjoyed seeing frozen with my 4.5 year old daughter we both loved it. Whatever you do don’t watch Beauty and the Beast with your daughters, I watched it recently and was horrified that beast has a massive temper and is awful to Belle but “he is saved by her love”. Not a theme I’m keen on encouraging with my kids!

  10. Susan Chappelear says

    You all need to google “how frozen should have ended” its hilarious and true. There is a whole you tube channel of videos done by a group called how it should have ended. Or HISHE. Check it out.

  11. Jonathan says

    I have two daughters (age 6 and 4) who have been singing karaoke with this movie from YouTube for the last six weeks. There is something special about kids who are tone-deaf shout-singing their favorite song. But I agree that of all the Disney/Pixar heroines, Merida has to the be the favorite of any parent with girls.

    While we allow our children to watch them, we have a general dislike for most Disney movies for the very reason that you detailed. Almost all of them show the same dysfunctional family situations. Rarely do you see princess with both parents intact. Think about it:

    Jasmine – only shows her father, the Sultan
    Ariel – no mention of a mother at all, only Triton, her father
    Belle – no mention of her mother, and her father is portrayed as crazy
    Cinderella – an orphan, with a mean step-mother
    Snow White – orphaned and left with a mean step-mother
    Pocahontas – the daughter of the chief, but no mention of a mother

    What does Disney have against families with both parents intact?

    We were so glad to see that not only are Merida’s parents both alive, but they show what appears to be a loving relationship between them. By far, the best example of a role model princess, in my opinion.

    • Cherie says

      I have a theory about not just Disney, but all animated film companies, hate Moms. It’s a long list of Momless movies.

  12. Violeta says

    I cant wrap my mind around why those parents weren’t listening! They were more concerned with healing Anna and less concerned with Elsa’s future… they chose to conceal instead of embrace the powers, feeding Elsa’s fears and making things worse!

    Also, I just saw this movie for the first time about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I only rented it to see what all the hype was about… now my kid is addicted.

  13. Alexis says

    My kids and I love the movie, but we also didn’t realize until about the 3rd time watching it that their parents died at sea. I was thinking, how the heck did Elsa be come Queen?

  14. Mikayla says

    My 8, 7 and 4 year old all adore this film ( two girls and a boy ) as do I! I think I am as addicted to it as they are. Think the story is great and the story of sisterly love is fantastic. Mine have all seen Beauty and the Beast and understand that by falling in love with Belle, the beast learns how to love and be a better person. I think Frozen is definitely at the top of our film list!

  15. Sara says

    #10 – When I was growing-up, my stepmom, was wonderful at encouraging me and my siblings to love each other and take care of each other. Sometimes it was me taking care of the younger ones, but sometimes it was them helping me.
    She never showed favoritism, we were all her children and we were all treated equally there was never any rivalry because there was no need for it. That is the best gift my stepmom ever gave me because now I can model it for my children.

  16. says

    Elsa becomes Frost in X-men, DUH! Honestly with this movie, me and the kid (son) were bribing each other to finish it. Frozen was not our cup of tea. And I get that they were trying to tell girls that they don’t need a man to save the day (Go Disney!) but it was still a musical, still telling kids its not okay to be different, but hey! If you wreck enough damage then you WILL overcome your differences and everyone will love you in the end.
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  17. says

    Regarding the last point: my sister and I have been great friends since we were little, through our teenage years and even now (both over 30), even though we are different. I hate it when people say “oh wait, til they’re a teenager and they hate you!” I never hated my parents and neither did my sister. We have always enjoyed spending time together, and even when I didn’t like their decision, it was always fair consistent and predictable, and I knew it was from a place of love. Of my girl friends, the only ones with truly bad relationships with their parents were the ones whose parents did not treat them with respect. So don’t let people tell you that! You’re raising them well and they will be fine.

  18. Maryeah says

    Wreck it Ralph is my favorite, too. Frozen is good, but it actually gets on my nerves a little. Fortunately my three year old son prefers Ralph, too.

  19. tequila says

    There is quite a few things that I like/dislike about frozen. But I see a ton of references here to the beauty and the beast movie. Has anyone stopped to realize he was only a child when the witch turned him into the beast?? The rose will wilt and die on his 21st birthday and the castle has been under the spell at least 10 years. What child is going to act rationally??? He was what? 12 years old when he opened the door to find some crazy old lady wanting in and when he turned her away (as a child should do) she turned him into the beast, and what about his parents? Was he also an orphan left to fend for himself? If that’s the case I can certainly understand his behavior. Also, the last time a woman showed up at his doorstep, she turned him into an animal that was hated and hunted by the locals, and he’s supposed to grant her a warm welcome??

    Anyways, I too love murika in brave. I feel sorry for both Elsa and Anna, and the sisterly bond is amazing, no matter how unrealistic. I’m not saying that teenage sisters can’t have a bond (dear me no, I have girls too I can only hope they won’t hate each other) but Anna has not even seen Elsa in a decade. Even being in the same castle together, the vague memory of building a few snowmen together when they were very very young would not have fostered a bond like that. Sure Anna would know she had a sister, and that Elsa was that sister, but the bond reqq
    Hired to choose to risk her own life or even respect her sister’s rule would not have happened.

    Just my two cents

  20. Annie says

    If you enjoyed Merida, you absolutely must watch Mulan! (assuming you haven’t already)

    Wreck-It-Ralph is still zee best though.

  21. says

    I watched this three times with my 3yy granddaughter last weekend ( who has watched it numerous times with her daddy). She knows “Let it Go” word for word including animations (like others, I love the words but the tune just doesn’t catch me) but the biggest reason she loves it is because it’s about SISTERS. That’s what she tells everyone who asks, what it’s about…sisters. She loves and adores her older sister who is 10. I love that the girls had both parents, Like Brave, but it took me the second time to figure out what happened to the parents, although that seems to fly over my granddaughter’s thoughts for now. The animation was spectacular!

  22. says

    Merida is also my favourite! For all of her good qualities, but also for her curls! Even I felt uplifted by seeing a Disney Princess with curly hair, and I’m happy my daughter’s will have her in their childhood. Sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference:)
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  23. says

    “#3 – I’ve watched the movie more times than I can count and it took me until the fourth or fifth viewing for me to realize that their parents had their ship wrecked in the ocean”

    I’m sure the original scene on how the ship sank / how their parents died was a lot longer but they decided to cut it out during editing – either because they had too much material and something just had to go, or they felt it would put too much of a downer on things. The cut from the ship in the storm to the drawing of the curtains over their photo was just too sudden.

  24. Tom says

    In response to #2. I’ve seen it a few times myself and I also wondered the same thing you did. I tell my wife that, that little girl needs a definitive origin story. “She was born that way” is such a boring deus ex machina way to telling the story, I am sure they could come up with something better.

  25. Om Saleh says

    Ya…its on roughly 2x a day in our home. So, never thought Id be an “expert” on any movie, and really not a cartoon, Elsa was born with her powers, but they weren’t inherited. I guess like some are born gifted? Its in the scene where her parents take her to the elder troll as a child and to get help for Anna after she fell from a snow drift Elsa made in their ballroom. hahahaha, I cant even believe I am saying this! I also cant believe I didnt use this method for studying in univ, just repeat, repeat, repeat!

  26. Jeselle says

    You are amazing. I love anything Frozen related, and this post had me laughing from all of your witty jokes. I officially became a fan of “Negrodamus.”

  27. says

    Thanks for this post, Doyin!

    I confess that we’ve never EVER watched “Frozen” with our girls (ages 4.5 and 1.5). The closest I’ve come to seeing it, alone or with them, was while comforting our youngest on a long flight and walking past passengers watching it on the flight. I believe it’s more that we’ve thought about it quite a bit, and not that we live in a cave :)

    I recently started a blog that deals with parenting and manhood, among other themes, and here’s a recent post http://xycultr.com/2014/07/31/why-we-camp-poems/ about why we limit our kids’ exposure to digital devices. It was definitely easier to *start out parenting with not showing the kids too many films and the like, and we were motivated from having read neuroscience summarized in books like, “Bright from the Start” http://amzn.to/1laxVyr. Briefly, the findings were that kids age zero to two can’t tell the difference between ads and content (on TV) and that interacting with objects in 3D (aka, reality) is better for their little brains than processing 2D representations of 3D. Not to mention, good doses of Mom or Dad interacting with them and making eye contact is way better than plopping them in front of a screen for a few hours, in terms of how their emotional self develops, and all the things that result from a healthy emotional kid (self-confidence, curiosity, feeling loved, etc.).

    My final thought, which is supported by research on children and unstructured play, is that it’s very limiting for a kid to watch a movie where everything is figured out and you just sit there and absorb it. Much more fun to play with your friends and imagine a story of your own, with your own characters, and play it out! Or have a grownup read a book over and over again and imagine yourself what the scenes must be like!

    I share all this and confess I come from a conservative, white middle class background, and it was more my curiosity that led us to minimize the use of screens for young children at home, rather than any extreme ideological or “hippy Bay Area” perspective :) (which is where we do live now).

    Thanks again for the down-to-earth writing and helping many other fathers feel more comfortable about their changing interests and roles at home!

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