Olaf is 'fully character' and 'fully symbol' from the moment that Anna, Christoph, and Sven hear his voice. Elsa's dormant playfulness is awake -- and much more. The preceding animation features panoramic, crystalline winter beauty -- frozen waterfalls, glitter encrusted willows -- causing Anna to declare "I never knew that winter could be so beautiful." Olaf enters with vivid color suggestions; his antics are rife with comic relief, gags only a snowman could complete, and his song about summer seems to be part of the fun. "I don't know why," says Olaf, "but I've always loved the idea of SUMMER and SUN and all things HOT--" Theatrical improvisers relish 'games' like this one: his character- deal is to obtain something fatal to only him! We're treated to some quality comedy as Olaf's solo absorbs us into a jump-cut-montage of warm environs where snowmen would perish; hilarious! Though it would be an excellent throwaway sequence, Olaf's role in the rest of the movie leads me to believe that his summer-time aspirations are thematically key.
Like many of us, Anna thought she could break her lonesome "spell" with a romance, unaware of the antecedent spell in her family. Elsa was correct: "You can't marry a man you just met." Yet I want to defend Anna's initiative: she was outside the gate. Hans didn't come 'calling', she found him while in town, exploring. Unfairly, their parents died unexpectedly and Elsa's reticence took away opportunities for sisterly mentoring. Anna committed a mistake but at least she wasn't paralyzed. Throughout the entire film, Anna takes action: she is on the heroine arc! Anna is the one who seizes Elsa's glove, precipitating the advent of Elsa's full power and an instant winter. The results are terrible, terrifying, and ultimately terrific (see that?). Falling for Hans is part of Anna's heroine arc and key to plot development-- heroines commit blunders, whereas inert princesses are perfect... ly helpless. Anna is our beloved heroine because she is one of us blunderers!
"This is it," I whispered as my 2005 Pontiac Sunfire lost traction, sledding past the edge of the sloping curve, down a snow-swamped bank, and into an inescapable pocket next to a stump. My luck made itself known immediately: an officer from the county jail found me and let my chat with him in his… Continue reading Red Car versus Cold Blues
He left when he heard I was graduating. I wanted to follow him into the hallway and plead that I could drop my capstone class and hang around for another year but too many pieces of me were invested in matriculating. I wished him a good day and listened to the door shut behind him.… Continue reading Smashed Pear (entry fragment)
Though it contains true facts, this is a piece of magical realism. Read it in its entirety before becoming alarmed... I considered the option of suicide in a bathtub, four years ago. I dreamed of luxurious, hot, morbid release as I read the warning label on a bottle of drain-cleaner in my Grand Rapids, MI… Continue reading The Meaning of Life & Suicide in a Bathtub
I start building a wall over my common-sense in the next paragraph, brick-by-brick using the ideas of 'Faith' gleaned from those toxic books she wanted me to read. That Faith was made from inertia and introspection, which explains my over-correction a year later: I built a Faith on perpetual activism.
I wear an anchor pendant. Unhoused neighbors, in uncanny encounters, recognize it as a sign of faith, at times, and indicate it when they ask for donations. There is a subtle lift to being recognized for what I am despite not being sure what composes me, or how to express it — the nebulous, shifting… Continue reading Wrestling the Anchor: Nautical Impressions