In Defense of Mr. and Mrs. Arendelle (Elsa's Ma and Pa)

Hold God, with the Frozen stuff.  I mean, really.  Obviously, my 4 year old is, like all her cohorts, insanely obsessed with Disney's little flick about an emotionally repressed shut-in who has the power of ice (and also the power to create friggin life, but let's stick with ice for now because, like holy shite the implications of that, amiright?).  This whole winter it was all videos of cute kids scream-singing Frozen, and my own actual cute kid scream-singing Frozen, and this weird-ass video which starts out in Africa but ends up at the local rec center and features tiny Marie Antoinette and the bad guy from "The Princess and the Frog":

And then Travolta with Adele Dazeem and the feminists are debating whether Elsa and Anna are the greatest heroines since Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Gloria Steinem  or instead make girls into derpy princess-worshiping moron people and so much scream-singing and I'VE SEEN THIS MOVE 450 TIMES YOU GUYS.  So I think about it, like way more than I need to.  Let's begin from a place where I am aware none of the following matters and yet I'm blogging about it anyway because I have three kids under age 5 and don't sleep/get out much and this is the deepest stuff I have the capacity to think about right now, k?

One of the notions I've seen in commentary and blogs is how much Elsa and Anna's parents suck, having reacted to their daughter's incredible powers by locking her up in a room for all her formative years with a mandate to repress her emotions in order to control those powers, complete with cutesy rhyming pneumonic device to help her remember to hide her true nature and shove her feelings down into the place where ulcers are born. Like, essentially they've groomed her for her role as a basket-case barely keeping her shit together, who predictably breaks at the first test of her control and pretty much ruins everything (how many deaths are attributed to the freeze? In New York City, half a dozen people die every time it snows and we have plumbing and heat and Dominoes pizza delivery).  So yeah, her parents suck.  OR DO THEY?

Let's just break this thing down, from a parental POV.  You're asleep in your giant royal bed.  You are a head of state and you deal with heavy kingdom-ruling crap all day and besides, you've got two kids, so you really love sleeping, in a fervent, almost religious kind of way.  You are awakened from this sleep by one of your beloved daughters screaming for you.  You go hauling ass to the ball(?) room only to find the whole goddamn place is frosted over, your one kid is almost dead, and your other is apparently the cause of all of this. Really, it's very The Good Son:
  So you go visit the local trolls (ok- pause- can we all agree the troll thing is just....not very well thought out? Like, they don't fit, I'm sorry.  We are all in Norway or wherever and then we are just plunked down in Fraggle Rock a mere brisk gallop from the magic-phobic city? Feels a little shimmed in there, right? Anywho.)  So the troll wizard/patriarch guy does the VAGUEST DESCRIPTION EVER of what's going on w/ Elsa and her powers.  Like, he knows enough to be able to craft a Power Point presentation in the sky about the future, but not enough to simply say "Think happy thoughts, and you won't kill your whole family with your ice powers"? No, essentially what he does is say "DON'T BE AFRAID- OH, HERE'S A GLIMPSE OF YOUR ADULT SELF BEING CONSUMED BY RED FEAR-DEMONS! BWA HA HA!!" And then Mom and Dad come up with the great reduce-the-staff/ separate-the-sisters Rochester's wife plan, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE TROLL.  And does the troll say, "Naw, dog, just use love to counteract her powers!"? Nope.  He just sends them on their way and presumably bills their insurance for the ice-removal from Anna's head.

So at this point, I'm thinking the parents are just doing the best they can with the information they have.  Because A.  They have to protect their youngest child.  B. They must know that the reaction of most of their subjects to uncontrolled freakish ice-powers will be similar to this guy's:
C. They love Elsa and want to help her but literally have no tools whatsoever to do so thanks to Vaguest Troll.  

I feel the Arendelles.  The Arendelles, they are like 1980s parents.  Confronted with the Gordian knot, they hack right on through.  Daughter has dangerous ice-powers and can hurt people with them? Lock that ish down, teach daughter self-control, set it free and hope it all works out.  Kids come home from school at 3 and you can't afford a sitter? Buy them some snacks,  and tell them to put on She-ra, Princess of Power and lock the front door.  You do what you gotta do and hope for the best, 80s style, like Don Johnson. And yeah, maybe your kids end up a little....wonky....but hey. They are alive. 

Look, I'm not saying it was a perfect solution, but really, what were they supposed to do?  "Conceal, don't feel" isn't going to sell any bumper stickers, but you know what, it kept her from killing anyone.  It's the available remedy to an unresolvable situation, one that was destined to come to fruition no matter what they did to prevent it, because really, Elsa needed to break bad, so she could choose what sort of life she ultimately wanted to have.  And also because if she didn't the movie would be called "Mild with Slight Chance of Showers" and be vastly less interesting.  

And really, they could have just abandoned her.  Instead they halted their WHOLE LIVES to attend to her special needs in the only way they saw possible. They named her their heir.  They loved her through the whole nightmare, despite being afraid both for and presumably of her. And despite their tireless work to keep both their kids and their kingdom safe, while all the time not thinking of their own personal safety as they continue to visit and instruct their daughter, when she went bonkers the first instinct the whole viewing audience had was to blame the parents.  Aint that just the way?

And plus *spoiler* they die in a freaking shipwreck.  So I think they've suffered enough. 

I think those stones say, "Here's Lies the Arendelles. They did their best."
PS: Just kidding, they do kind of suck. Gloves, Dad? Really? That's your plan?

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