Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Snow Queen vs Frozen

This week is Frozen week. I was not feeling so great on Tuesday (last week) so I stayed in bed all day and watched Once Upon A Time (damn the one who first introduced me to this TV show..) and Elsa, Anna and the Snow Queen finally came into the series for a brief period of time. What's funny about it though is that Elsa and the Snow Queen are not the same person. The Snow Queen is actually her aunt. As it turns out, Elsa's (and Anna's) mother had 2 older sisters. And to my annoyance, neither is Rapunzel's mother. But I will not be focusing on Once Upon A Time (this time). Instead I will just look at the original tale, by Hans Christian Andersen, and the Disney film Frozen (which, I hope, will never ever get a sequel). In the image above you can see Elsa and Jack Frost. I know they do not exist in the same universes but I just think it's such a cute ship, especially because both characters are so lonely. 

In the film we witness the story of Elsa, who is born with a gift. After accidentally hurting her little sister Anna one day, her parents decide to hide her away from everyone, scared that she would frighten them and that they would hurt her. She grows up hating her gift. After her parents death, during her coronation, people realise that she has this gift and they are indeed scared of her so she runs away. Anna loves her sister and goes after her. Then there's this guy who wants to become king, Hans, and he's a total ass. At the end of everything the sister's save each other through the love they have for each other and the rest of the Kingdom grows to love Elsa too. As a Disney fan I know that this was not the original idea for the film. Elsa was supposed to be the bad guy (the Snow Queen), but due to some disagreements they decided to add a different character. This is also why (in the beginning of the film) Elsa wears gloves. The theory is that characters in Disney films, who wear gloves, are either evil or have something to hide. And I'm not talking about 'dear god it's cold so I'm wearing gloves', but 'I wear fancy gloves inside'.

In my Snow Queen edition, the tale is 27 pages long and consists of seven parts. The first part "describes the looking-glass and the fragments". In this part we start with a wicked goblin called Old Nick. He made a mirror which would shrinks beautiful things and enlarged horrible things. He had his own school and the people that attended preached that the mirror was a good thing because now everybody could see the world for what it really was. After travelling the world with the mirror, they decided that they needed to go to heaven too. They eventually dropped the mirror and it feel to the earth where it shattered into pieces. After this it only brought more unhappiness to the world because some parts flew into people's eyes and they would forever see the world distorted. Some fragments are still around us. 

The Second part is about "A Little Boy and a Little Girl". They boy was named Kay and the girl was named Gerda. They were not siblings but they still loved each other. Their parents were neighbours. One day while they are outside, a piece of the mirror flies into Kay's heart and it would "soon become like a lump of ice" (so I guess that's where the idea of freezing Anna's heart came from). The flowers around their houses used to be beautiful to him, but now they are ugly. He changes and frightens Gerda with his behaviour. One day the Snow Queen comes to the town and she takes Kay. She puts him next to her in her sled and kisses his forehead. He thought she was perfect, even tough she frightened him before. They continue to travel together, to all kinds of places. 

The Third part is called "The Flower-Garden of the Sorceress". We start with Gerda who is worried about Kay because he did not return. She believes him to be dead, but the sunshine does not agree with her. So she decides to go after him. She ends up in the house of an old woman who does not want her to leave, so she gradually forgets about Kay. The woman had a beautiful flower-garden. However due to the flowers she one day remembers little Kay. The roses tell her that he's not dead. She goes on to ask all the other flowers about Kay but none are any help. She escapes the garden on her bare feet.

The fourth part of the story is called "The Prince and the Princess". Gerda comes across a crow who starts talking to her. She tells him about Kay. He tells her that Kay lives with the princess and may very well have forgotten about her by now. The crow tells her all about the princess, who was looking for a husband who would obey her. For some reason, Kay was among the suitors and he walked right up to the princess, and told her he only came for her wisdom. The crow gets his fiance and she takes Gerda to the castle. Once she was there she woke up next to a boy who greatly resembled Kay, but the prince was not him. She explains everything to the prince and princess and they promote the crows, after which they help Gerda on her way.

Part five is called "The Little Robber-Girl" and it starts with Gerda driving past an old robber woman, who wants to eat Gerda but luckily gets distracted before she can do so. Her daughter (as you might guess, referred to as the little robber-girl) wants to play with Gerda and so Gerda sits with her in the carriage (this Gerda is very easily distracted) to the robber castle. Gerda tells her everything. The robber girl tells her to sleep next to her and all her animals. Gerda asks the girl why she sleeps with a knife and the girl explains that you never know what may happen. The next day, the robber girls lets Gerda go to Lapland with a few wood-pigeons. 

The next part is called "The Lapland Woman and the Finland Woman". On her way, Gerda stopped at a hut because she was very cold. The woman of the hut to
ld her that she still had a long way to go because the Snow Queen lived in Finland. So they went on their way when she was warm again. The reindeer (who had been travelling with the girl, I guess that's where Sven came from) asked the next woman (in Finland) if she could make a potion for Gerda, so she could become as strong as 12 men in order to defeat the Snow Queen. She takes the reindeer apart and tells him that Kay does not want or need to be saved because he likes life with the Snow Queen. But Gerda and the reindeer go to the Snow Queen's castle anyways.

The last part is called "The Snow Queen's castle, and What Happened There in the End". The castle was made of, well you guessed it, snow and ice. At this point, little Kay was cold and almost black, but because the queen kissed him he no longer felt the cold. The Snow Queen told him to make figures, and if he succeeded she would give him the whole world and a new pair of ice-skates (yes, this all makes loads of sense). The Snow Queen went away to make the world colder. Gerda finds him almost frozen and he does not respond to her so she cries and her hot tears, which fall upon his chest. They warm him up and they "consumed the little splinter of glass". Kay started to cry too and the piece of mirror left his body through his tears. He wakes from the spell in utter confusion. Through the tears and love, they are able to form the figures the queen asked for. The took each other by the hand and left the castle. The went back the same way Gerda came, passed the finish lady and the robber-girl. They brought spring wherever they went and eventually returned home. They sat in the church while the grandmother read to them from the bible: "There they both sat, grown up and yet children - children in heart; and it was summer - warm, pleasant summer". 

This tale is obviously very different from the Disney film we all know. They have merged the Snow Queen and one of the 'siblings' for the purpose of the story. I don't get why they changed Kay into a girl though, it would have worked with a boy and a girl too. So Elsa is both Kay as the Snow Queen, but it's Anna who's waken by Elsa's tears. A lot of elements were used in the film. Like how spring came after the siblings were reunited and unfrozen. And how Elsa was taken to a castle build of snow and ice and how Anna was taken to her by a Reindeer. I'm quite surprised that even the cliche sappy parts were actually in the original tale. For those of you who don't believe me, you are welcome to read it. It turns out to be a very religious story. Nevertheless, Hans and Sven were not in the story, nor were the trolls or Olaf. So Disney still did what they do best. I hope you liked this blog post too. I don't know which tale I will talk about next week yet, but I'm sure it will be interesting too.


  1. That's really interesting how similar they are but also how the Disney producers decided to change the story. I think the reason they changed the genders is because they wanted a movie that wasn't all about a guy and a girl but about girl power (with the whole feminist movement and all) but that's just me. I still have to read The Snow Queen but hopefully I'll get to it soon!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Yeah but if Anna remained a girl, then it would still be girl power because the sister saves her brother? :P
      Enjoy :)

  2. No the film is not based on the snow queen if that was the case you would have found more similarities from the book , the film is based on a story the snow princes from a book New fairy tales It's still in court

    1. Actually I found several sources that said it is inspired by The Snow Queen. But you could be right, I mean I wasn't there when the wrote the script of the film. Nevertheless there are still similarities between Frozen and the snow queen.

    2. Also, its in the credits of the film. I didnt make it up or anything