The 2013 Disney animated film, Frozen, became a block buster hit as the 53rd Walt Disney Pictures movie. Telling the story of two sisters, Elsa and Anna, the animated film was far different than any other Disney classic. Rather than a romance being front and center of the plot, the relationship and bond between the two orphaned sisters was the main focus. Despite being told to conceal her icy powers, Elsa unintentionally sets her kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Determined to help her sister, Anna sets out on an adventure that highlights the significance of family.
Nearly four years since the film’s release, the musical fantasy continues to be a pop-culture phenomenon among Disney fans of all ages. While the infamous corporation is known for its pleasant family-friendly atmosphere, there has been many instances over the course of its existence where the studio has been known to push the bar on what’s appropriate. The film’s intention may be to elicit a fun and entertaining story of a magical princess, but the film has its fair share of dark elements.
Whether straight-forward or subtle, the wicked aspects of the film have been brought into question on more than one occasion by theorists and devoted Disney cult fans. These 15 dark facts about Disney’s Frozen will most definitely have you seeing the film in a new light. There are just some things that you simply can’t let go of.
15. A Villain And A Princess Duet
Gasp! Say it isn’t so. While Disney is infamous for their musical numbers that are intertwined throughout the story to drive the plot, a duet between a villain and a princess is extremely uncommon. When the audience was first introduced to Hans, his charm overshadowed his twisted behavior and just like Anna, we were all blindsided by his later betrayal. The insta-love between Disney characters is a component that evidently never goes out of style. Rather than focusing on Anna’s quick agreement of marriage to Hans, the fact that a protagonist sang a duet with a conniving villain is much more shocking. The hit songs from Frozen are arguably catchy, but Disney takes it one step further when they proceeded to mix bad with good. Apparently to Disney, love is an open door for deranged men who will stop at nothing, including murder, to wear a crown and rule a kingdom.
14. The Film Was Inspired By Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”
The story of Frozen was never a random idea brought to life through animation, it was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The Snow Queen. Ever since the early 1940s, Walt Disney has been adamant about developing Andersen’s story into a project for his studio. Andersen’s story has many similarities that are reflected in the story of Elsa and Anna. The 1845 fairy tale told the story an evil witch who sets out to destroy a kingdom with a never-ending winter. Sound familiar? Seeing as the original plan of the Disney flick called for Elsa to be the villain, it’s clear the studio was strongly pulling inspiration from the fantasy tale. Despite an early ambitious attempt to start the animation, the concept was put on ice until it began to thaw out in 2010 when it was once again announced that Disney would finally be executing the project for a 2013 release. After seven decades of attempts, the Andersen-inspired film would be brought to life in true Disney fashion.
13. The Death Of Elsa’s And Anna’s Parents
Fan theories for any successful film or franchise are not uncommon and since Frozen’s release, there have been many connections that fans have been making. Since the cameo of Tangled characters Rapunzel and Flynn at Elsa’s coronation, Disney fanatics have been tying up loose ends as to the death of Elsa’s and Anna’s parents. But in order to complete their theory, they brought in another Disney film and another princess into the mix, Ariel. Seeing as Germany, Norway, and the coast of Denmark are the location settings for the three animated films, Mickey Mouse conspiracists have pieced together an interweaving theory that binds the trio together. Many believe that Elsa and Anna are related to Rapunzel and that their parents were on their way to the celebration of Rapunzel’s return when their ship sank. Which would mean that the ship Ariel sees in The Little Mermaid is the ruins of their boat. Whether it’s far-fetched or not, it certainly gets the wheels in the head turning.
12. Kristoff’s Coat Is Made Of Sven’s Mother
Disney may have a reputation for being family orientated, but that doesn’t mean they hesitate to include hidden dark and inappropriate messages within their films— and this one is probably one of the worst. Kristoff’s outfit is made entirely of reindeer pelt. Now, this may not seem so bad at first glance, but there’s more. Prepare yourself. The skin is apparently from Sven’s mom. In order to make a thick new coat for the winter season, Sven’s mom was sacrificed in order to provide the ice harvester with a warm pelt to wear. This new development could be a further explanation as to why Sven and his owner are so close. Sven may be able to still smell his mother on Kristoff’s jacket. Knowing that Sven is an orphan, it would explain their close relationship as they both are connected through the death of a parent.
11. The Illuminati References
If the other theories and supernatural references in Frozen weren’t enough, there is another reference that has fans believing the true intentions of Disney. In the film, there are several images of triangles, which is an important shape in the world of witchcraft and a symbol of the Illuminati. Which would make sense considering Elsa’s powers and spells. The Illuminati element with the triangles is heightened as it appears throughout the film and is used in spells. The triangle shape is additionally used in magic in order to transfer spirits over from the other side, which was documented when Olaf was brought to life thanks to Elsa. Another Illuminati reference occurs during Elsa’s coronation ritual that resembles Freemasonry. This notion may be completely unintended by the studio, but many who follow supernatural aspects believe that it’s quite obvious what the animation intends to communicate.
10. The Death Of Elsa’s And Anna’s Parents – Take 2
As word spread regarding the theory surrounding the connection of three Disney animation films, it eventually was presented to Frozen directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. When asked where Elsa’s and Anna’s parents were going on the ship in an interview with Reddit AMA, the directors completely debunked the fan created idea. While Lee states they were heading to a wedding, Buck insists that they didn’t die on the ship, “They got washed up on a shore in a jungle island. The queen gave birth to a baby boy. They build a treehouse. They get eaten by a leopard…” Did you catch that? Jungle island. Baby boy. Death. Sounds a lot like the story of another Disney animation film, Tarzan. Does this mean that Tarzan is Elsa’s and Anna’s brother and that their parents’ death was a result of a leopard attack? Should be interesting to see if Tarzan makes a cameo in Frozen 2.
9. Elsa Was Originally A Villain
After many years of Disney trying to adapt Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen into an animated film, the studio was finally to able to pinpoint the element of the story that would be a catalyst for launching the film’s success. Early production plans called for Queen Elsa to be an evil ice queen instead. In place of her now signature long, icy blonde locks, Elsa formally had spiky blue hair to match her light blue skin. However, it was Elsa’s catchy anthem, Let It Go, that inspired the film’s director and screenwriter, Jennifer Lee, to rewrite the script in order to showcase Elsa’s change in character. From there, the Snow Queen persona melted away as the film was reworked to accommodate the trials and tribulations Elsa personally felt during her isolation as her abilities continued to grow. The team later discovered that Elsa’s powers didn’t make her a villain despite making bad choices while being in a challenging situation.
8. The Story Mirrors Carrie
Based on Stephen King’s popular 1974 novel, the film Carrie tells the story of a high school girl who has the power of telekinesis who is forced to keep her abilities hidden, despite them making an appearance during heightened emotional times. Which is actually the case for Elsa. When experiencing fear, anxiety, and sadness, Elsa’s hands would shoot ice to express the feelings she was unable to conceal, which was the same for Carrie. Another similarity between the two exists in the supernatural components. Many fans believe that there were several Illuminati undertones in Frozen that gave way to several anti-religious notions. As for Carrie, her mother was fanatically religious and believed that her daughter’s entrance into womanhood was the result of sinful ideas. During her time of puberty, Carrie was exposed to her supernatural abilities, just like Elsa was when she discovered the cold her hands could create.
7. The Hexagram Snowflakes
Many have captured the images of hexagrams throughout the film that are illustrated in the snowflakes and ice that Elsa creates. The hexagram, also referred to as the Seal of Solomon, is used to control demons and spirits. Another element that would tie into Elsa’s power. Combining two triangles with the Star of David and Seal of Solomon, the sigil becomes magical to control supernatural elements and summon spirits. Which is another explanation as to how Olaf was brought to life. While many of the hexagrams are difficult to locate in many of the snow falls and flying ice particles from Elsa’s fingers, many fans have been able to capture intertwined triangles that are used to represent further supernatural aspects that are apparently shown throughout the entire Disney animation.
6. Elsa Was Almost Based On Amy Winehouse…
But production said, “no, no, no.”
In the early stages of constructing the character of Elsa, the original plan was to make her much less appealing than she appeared in the film. Her powers made her haunted as she had the ability to harm, whether she liked it or not. Wanting to play on that element, Frozen designers began painting Elsa in a different light. One artist, Claire Keane released drawings from the early stages of the Disney film’s development. Releasing her illustrations that were drawn in 2011, Keane explained her inspiration for the iconic character. Imagining that Elsa would have dramatic mood swings and a deep voice with a soulful flare, she began creating the ice queen with Amy Winehouse in mind. From the pictures, it’s evident to see that Elsa would have been sporting the late Winehouse’s infamous up-do and physical characteristics. However, in the end, Disney’s production team went in another direction that contrasted the original soulful creation.
5. The Inspiration For The Trolls
Remember the friendly trolls from the popular Disney animation? Well they weren’t always cute and gregarious. In Andersen’s The Snow Queen, the trolls had a completely different look that would not be pleasant for children. Or adults for that matter. In Frozen, the group of trolls appear to have very outgoing and loving dispositions. Their apparent family-oriented beliefs were illustrated in their attempts to try and help cure Elsa from her magical powers and their warm welcome towards Anna, Kristoff, and Sven. Despite their positive characteristics, the trolls did experience moments of crudeness. Perhaps that was an element of Andersen’s fairy tale that translated over to the Disney animation. Based on the picture above illustrating the storybook trolls, it’s clear that much like Elsa, the trolls were given a makeover to be less scary and more likeable in order to appeal to young viewers.
4. Anna Was Locked Away For Years
While some fans were being highly entertained by Anna’s Do You Want to Build a Snowman number, the song was actually revealing a hidden message. The musical element was illustrating the attempts Anna made to connect with her older sister, Elsa, throughout the years. Beginning after Anna’s accident, Elsa was shunned away to her room where she had no interaction with her sister. Through song, Anna sings of the pain and loneliness she feels not being able to play with Elsa. While the blonde was located behind closed doors like a prisoner, Anna was treated like one as well. She may not have been locked behind her bedroom door, but the doors to the castle were closed. The large palace became her jail. Within the song, Anna showcases her loner activities that consisted of starring at the clock and watching time tick by. She even resorted to having conversations with the paintings on the wall. Even after their parents’ death, the two sisters were still separated, only to be reconnected at Elsa’s coronation. Which was another reason why Anna was so exuberant on that day; it was the day she would experience freedom.
3. The Murderous Undertones
It seems that Disney follows the same formula for their animated princess films; dead parents, insta-love, and murder. Almost every flick from the studio is comprised of a villain looking to inflict harm on the protagonist. In Snow White it was Queen Grimhilde and the poison apple, and then there’s Gaston singing about his deadly intentions for the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. In Frozen, it was Hans when he drew his sword on Elsa in an attempt to take over as King of Arendelle. He even attempted killing Anna by furthering her worsening frozen condition by shutting the blinds and putting out the fire in the library, where she would eventually die while he went out and killed Elsa. His plans backfired of course, but his evil intentions of murder still continued to linger long after the credits rolled. Even in the early moments of the film, Elsa almost killed Anna with her powers while the two young sisters were playing together. While the film focused heavily on the importance of family and a strong sisterly alliance, the undertones of murder were difficult to ignore.
2. Elsa’s Creepy Snow Creatures
During the moment of empowerment Elsa experienced when she created her new frozen palace where she would be able to truly be herself, the icy blonde proceeded to create Marshmallow. Now, by the name it would be assumed that the creature was as sweet as the sugary treat, but that was far from the truth. The enchanted snowman is responsible for protecting the newly crowned Snow Queen and her new home of the North Mountain. The white beast is menacing with his sharp blue fangs and spikes that adorn his body. While there was only one aggressive monster, the original plan called for two creatures to accompany the evil persona Elsa was first drafted to be. Despite being Elsa’s sister, Marshmallow showed no remorse for Anna as she attempted to speak with her sister at her new kingdom and he proceeded to chase her down the mountain with the threat of death. Seeing as the white behemoth represents the darker side of Elsa with her emotions and her wish to be alone, does that mean that deep down Elsa wants Anna dead? It would make sense as Marshmallow showed no signs of slowing down when running off his master’s younger sister.
1. The Threat Of Hypothermia
Prior to Elsa’s inevitable meltdown, the kingdom of Arendelle was once a bright and cheerful town. Despite the dead king and queen and their two daughters being locked away in the castle. However, once Elsa unleashed her frozen abilities during her outburst, the kingdom was left in devastating conditions. While Elsa was sticking it to the man by letting go of her powerful abilities to build herself an ice castle, her former home was beginning to look identical to her fortress. The large amounts of ice and snow encasing Arendelle was putting all citizens at risk of hypothermia. At the hands of the new queen, her people were on the edge of experiencing a frightening end. Young audience members may not have caught on to the conditions of the kingdom, but the threat was still there. As Elsa pranced around her new digs wearing her new gown and hairdo, the concern for Arendelle escalated.