Tag Archives: Hans Christian Anderson

Frozen “For the First Time in Forever” (2013)

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After Elsa accidentally injured Anna with her ice powers when they were both small children, their parents made the decision to close the castle up and raise the two girls away from the outside world. So for the next 10-15 years (I’m not sure how old Elsa is at the start of the film), the pair are raised in near isolation, which only increases when their parents die. But now it’s the day of Elsa’s coronation as Queen of Arendelle and the castle gates are finally going to be opened! Of course Anna is completely excited about the prospect of meeting new people (any new people) and possibly encountering true love. This is the set up for “For the First Time in Forever”:

The window is open, so’s that door
I didn’t know they did that anymore
Who knew we owned eight thousand salad plates?

For years I’ve roamed these empty halls
Why have a ballroom with no balls?
Finally, they’re opening up the gates

There’ll be actual real live people
It’ll be totally strange
Wow, am I so ready for this change?

‘Cause for the first time in forever
There’ll be music, there’ll be light
For the first time in forever
I’ll be dancing through the night

Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy
But I’m somewhere in that zone
‘Cause for the first time in forever
I won’t be alone

I can’t wait to meet everyone! (Gasps) What if I meet the one?

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I’ve said it before but it bears repeating, Anna at the start of the film is the stereotypical Disney princess. She wants to meet her Prince Charming, she wants the fairy tale romance, etc. And she’s even envisioned the perfect way for it to happen:

Tonight, imagine me gown and all
Fetchingly draped against the wall
The picture of sophisticated grace

I suddenly see him standing there
A beautiful stranger, tall and fair
I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face

But then we laugh and talk all evening
Which is totally bizarre
Nothing like the life I’ve led so far

For the first time in forever
There’ll be magic, there’ll be fun
For the first time in forever
I could be noticed by someone

And I know it is totally crazy
To dream I’d find romance
But for the first time in forever
At least I’ve got a chance

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The fatal flaw in Anna’s plan is visible from the start: she’s dreaming about meeting “a beautiful stranger” and falling in love like that. But we all know, you don’t fall in love with strangers and it takes more than a fun evening to really get to know someone. To be sure, you can start getting to know someone in a single night, but enough to propose marriage? Nope, not a chance. Now, contrast Anna’s optimism with how Elsa feels about today. Unlike her sister, who’s mostly retained her optimism, Elsa has lived in increasing fear and depression about keeping her ice powers hidden and under control. The worst part? She can’t even tell her own sister about what’s bothering her:

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, put on a show
Make one wrong move and everyone will know

But it’s only for today
(It’s only for today)
It’s agony to wait
(It’s agony to wait)
Tell the guards to open up the gate…
(The gate…)

For the first time in forever
(Don’t let them in, don’t let them see)
I’m getting what I’m dreaming of
(Be the good girl you always have to be)
A chance to change my lonely world
(Conceal)
A chance to find true love
(Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know)

I know it all ends tomorrow
So it has to be today
‘Cause for the first time in forever
For the first time in forever
Nothing’s in my way…

Basically, Elsa and Anna have opposite perspectives on today: Elsa is only opening the gates because her duty requires it, she just wants to get through the day with her secret intact. Anna, meanwhile, is ecstatic and wants the day to never end. With opposing mindsets like this, it was only inevitable that things would end badly (and boy did it ever!) I really like “For the First Time in Forever,” it’s Disney musical at its finest (and I’m so glad Disney brought this style of music back).

Time for some trivia! Eugene and Rapunzel from Tangled make a blink and you’ll miss it cameo when Anna comes running out of the gates. Also, the painting of the lady on a swing that Anna jumps in front of is another Tangled reference, as the real life painting served as a visual inspiration for the animation style of that film. I’ve also read that the bust that ends up in a cake bears some resemblance to the statue of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid. I sort of see it (and it makes sense since Hans Christian Anderson also wrote The Little Mermaid) but it wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind.

Let me know what you think about “For the First Time in Forever” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Frozen “Frozen Heart” (2013)

Frozen “Love is an Open Door” (2013)

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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My Thoughts on: Frozen (2013)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Six years after the fact, I finally managed to watch Disney’s Frozen, loosely based on The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. And, this should surprise nobody, I loved it. The story is set in the kingdom of Arendelle and follows the two princesses Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna. Elsa (for reasons never explained) is born with ice powers that she fights to control as she grows up. It’s very sad to watch Elsa go from loving her powers as a young child to being terrified of them as she gets older, refusing to let anyone in to help her.

Another part of what makes Frozen so great is the way it completely subverts the traditional Disney princess story. Anna, at the start of the film, is in so many ways the traditional princess we’ve grown up with: she believes in love at first sight, she’s perpetually optimistic, and she’s incredibly naive. Enter Prince Hans and after Elsa is crowned queen we have the typical courting/romantic song between Hans and Anna that quickly leads to a marriage proposal (that Anna immediately accepts). It feels perfect…until Elsa actually reminds her sister that “you can’t marry someone you just met.” It feels like a slap in the face but Elsa is absolutely right. That’s been the critical flaw in the classic Disney films (and even in the Disney Renaissance; think about how long Ariel knew Eric, or how long Belle actually stayed with the Beast). And I love that Disney finally put this out there in one of their films, the truth that real love doesn’t work that way!

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Another interesting part of Frozen is how Elsa is unintentionally setting herself up as the villain (at first). For example, when her ice powers are revealed at the party after the coronation, everyone’s reacting as if she’s doing it on purpose. People are screaming and running as if Elsa is trying to hurt people but she’s not. We can see that she’s actually just scared and acting on instinct. And speaking of villains, I love how transparent the Duke of Weselton (“Weaseltown”) is about wanting to take over and/or exploit Arendelle. It’s perfect for keeping us distracted from the true villain of the film…Hans!! Seriously, the revelation that Hans has been using Anna all this time is one of the best villain reveals that Disney has ever done. It genuinely made me gasp because I did not see it coming.

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Now that I’ve finally seen Frozen, I’m very excited to see Frozen 2 later this year. I’m still hoping that we’ll get an explanation as to where Elsa’s ice powers come from, since the film’s only explanation is that Elsa was born with them. But there has to be more to it than that, ice powers don’t just arrive out of the blue.

Frozen is definitely one of the best Disney films to be released in the past decade and I’m glad I finally watched it. Let me know what you think about Frozen in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

Frozen “Let it Go” (2013)

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook