Panorama of the crowd at an outdoor showing of FROZEN

Seeing FROZEN again for the first time

Published 2014-08-24

Friday night Orion, Iris and I went to the free Frozen singalong in Laurelhurst Park. I knew it would be busy so we arrived really early — about 5:30 — and set up a blanket about 100 feet from the screen. We met a friend and former coworker — not a parent — and I ran into about 4 other people (all parents, natch) that I knew.

A passably good funk band called Manimalhouse played from 6:30 until about 8:00 when the movie proper started. 8:00 is waaaay past my kids’ bedtime BTW.

By showtime it got really crowded.

Anyway all good fun and the kids loved it obvs despite this being the dozenth or so time they’ve seen it. I’ve seen Frozen well into the double digits by now and it has no power to surprise me. And yet, because this was the first time watching with a crowd of people, I found myself laughing at jokes. There were a few people nearby who clearly hadn’t seen it — (SPOILERS) as evidenced by the collective gasp around us during the big villain reveal in Act 3.

Which got me to thinking, how did Jenny and I react to the twists in Frozen? I kind of wish I could see it again for the first time to find out for sure but for posterity’s sake here’s what I remember:


When Hans proposed to Anna at the end of “Love is an Open Door” we both were like, “geez that was fast, huh?”

When Anna entrusted Arendelle to Hans’ care I recall thinking “hmm, you just met the guy…marriage, OK, but the whole kingdom?” Hans says something like “do you think you can trust her?” and Jenny made a kind of “hrrrrmmm…” noise. Whether that was about Elsa or Hans I dunno; I personally thought something like “Elsa’s not the one I’m worried about, I worry more about the n00b who’s running the kingdom while the heirs are out in the snow.” But then Hans has a bunch of nice-guy moments later (like handing out cloaks to the people of Arendelle or telling the guards “no harm must come to the queen”), and I found myself basically trusting what the script was telling me. And after “Let it Go” I thought Elsa would emerge as the villain, until she was hauled back to Arendelle in chains (and even after that I still had my doubts).

Then when Kristoff calls Anna on getting engaged to someone she just met Jenny made the same doubting noise: “uh, huh.”

I remember feeling the Troll song was a real Big Lipped Alligator Moment, the faux-wedding doubly so. At that point I’m pretty sure I still thought Hans was Anna’s likely “true love.”

I don’t remember anything about my own reaction to Hans’ villain reveal. Jenny said something like “Ha! I knew it!” I don’t know if she really saw this coming or just felt the doubts the filmmakers laid down.

At that point, and I remember this pretty clearly, I thought “ah, Anna’s true love is Elsa.” I thought Kristoff might somehow save her with a kiss or something, but I knew the real climax, however it happened, would be all about Anna saving Elsa or vice versa.

I was a little let down with Kristoff and Anna’s epilogic kiss. It wasn’t necessary. It provided a little emotional closure and was handled well, but was just kind of poorly telegraphed.