Seeing as spring is finally returning, I think it’s fitting to repeat last years celebration, and look at another theory about Frozen. Think of it as a nice way to say farewell to winter.
So, what is the theory today, Dave?
Dave: The theory is that Frozen is a retelling of The Shining!
Hmm… Nope, that’s it. You’ve gone insane. That is the only explanation here. At long last, you have actually lost your mind.
Dave: No, wait! You haven’t heard the arguments!
I don’t think I need to hear them. But I AM actually curious about the background here. So against my better judgement, explain to me how you’ve arrived at this conclusion.
Dave: Ok, so there’s Elsa/Jack, the menacing main character, who is a danger to their family, and who isolates themselves in a big, building in the middle of a cold wasteland.
Dave: Anna is a proxy for Danny, who is prevented from entering a particular room, and have to play by themselves. And they are both injured by the main character. Kristoff is a stand-in for Halloran, Olaf is Wendy and Hans is Grady!
Oh sweet mother of god, this is stupid… The only blessing is that you had the wherewithal to divide the theory in segments. That at least makes dissecting it easier. Let’s begin.
You suggest Elsa is a parallel to Jack Torrance. But their personalities and their struggles are radically different. The smallest issue is probably that unlike Jack, Elsa is never portrayed as menacing or threatening.
But more importantly, Elsa’s struggle is founded in the double nature of her powers. The powers aren’t, in themselves, evil, but can be harmful if not properly controlled. She has been brought up to fear her powers and to believe that they are a curse, rather than a gift. This fear of herself and the pressure it has put on her throughout her life is the focus of her character.
Jack’s struggle, meanwhile, is the pressure from his job, along with frustration and isolation. This, coupled with him struggling with alcoholism and the fact that the PLACE HE IS IN IS HAUNTED, slowly drives him insane.
Elsa’s isolation in the castle as she’s growing up, while not exactly healthy, doesn’t drive her insane, and her later self-imposed exile does the complete opposite! Instead of becoming murderous, she allows herself to actually explore those powers. That entire song “Let It Go” is all about how now, the pressure is GONE! She is free to test those powers, for the first time in YEARS!
And it turns out that, when she doesn’t have to suppress the powers and keep them hidden, she can do amazing things. Like building an enormous palace of clear ice in less than forty seconds!
Dave: Ah, but they both hurt a family member.
Yes, but again, the circumstances are completely different! Elsa accidentally hit Anna in the head with an ice blast when they were playing. Jack broke his sons arm in a DRUNKEN RAGE! Again, Elsas powers aren’t inherently a bad thing, only an ability that requires control. Alcoholism and being able to use magic are pretty fucking different, don’t you think?
And perhaps most importantly, Elsa doesn’t try to MURDER PEOPLE! At no point does she threaten people or run around and break through doors, or slam axes through peoples chests! Whatever harm she causes is either accidental or, in the case of her facing the guards, self-defense. Freezing Annas heart or plunging Arendelle into a magical winter were not intentional acts. She was faced with a fear she has been struggling with for most of her life: losing control and hurting people. She wasn’t overcome with alcoholic anger or homicidal madness!
Then there’s Danny and Anna. It’s true that both are forbidden to enter a particular room, and are seen playing on their own. But again, that is ignoring all the many, many ways their characters differ. Anna is desperate for affection and company, first being separated from her sister, and then the death of their parents. This loneliness is what draws her to Hans, which sets off the central plot.
Danny doesn’t follow that character arc, nor does he fill the same role in the plot. As soon as Anna grew up, which I remind you was in the first 11 minutes of the movie, the similarities between the two characters ended!
But even ignoring that, there’s something missing from Anna, I feel. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is… What was it Danny had in “The Shining” again…
Oh, right. He had the powers, the whole reason it’s called The Shining in the first place! Telepathy, seeing ghosts, having a vision of an elevator flowing with blood…
Remind me, what supernatural powers did Anna have?
I’ll tell you what magic powers Anna has. None!
Nada, zilch, absolutely fuck all!
Kind of strange for a parallel, isn’t it?
Now, explain how Kristoff is supposed to be Halloran?
Dave: Well, both have a supernatural connection to Anna/Danny. Kristoff was raised by the same trolls that saved Anna, and Halloran has the same psychic powers as Danny.
Right, but that connection between Anna and Kristoff isn’t brought up to Anna in the movie. And that is, yet again, a very vague parallel to draw. That’s just one step above “Halloran spoke to Danny, and Kristoff spoke to Anna”. Kristoff and Anna’s relationship isn’t based on their “supernatural” connection, but the fact that Kristoff helps Anna, and over time the relationship grows between them.
Dave: But Halloran brings the snowcat to save Wendy and Danny from danger, and Kristoff brings Sven to save Olaf and Anna from danger.
What the fuck are you talking about!? When did Kristoff “bring Sven to save Olaf and Anna from danger”!? He rode on Sven, getting back to the castle to save Anna. Not only is that not the same thing, but you are demoting Svens character to be on par with a LIFELESS OBJECT!
Hallorans and Kristoffs occupation, motivations, roles in terms of story and their FATES are all completely different! At no point was there a scene with Kristoff being killed by Elsa, and Olaf and Anna escaping on Sven.
Which brings us to Olaf and Wendy. Explain.
Dave: Well, they’re both goofy supporting characters that-
I’m sorry, what did you just say? You’re saying they’re both goofy characters? Ignoring the “supporting” part, in what fucking universe would you consider Wendy Torrance “goofy”!? I’m sorry, but I must have forgotten what a fucking laugh riot it was when Jack slowly approached her on the stairs, talking about how he was going to… what was it again… Oh right!
I’m just going to bash your brains in. I’m gonna bash them right the fuck in!
Oh, and who can forget that milestone of comedy, on par with Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First” routine, watching Wendy cry and shiver in terror, as her insane husband was smashing through the bathroom door with a fucking axe!
Seriously, you’re taking that, and don’t see a single issue with equating that with the snowman who doesn’t know that happens to snow in summer!? If you’re not crazy, you’re either dumber than I thought, or you have some deep fucking issues regarding women that you need to sort out right fucking sharpish! This is almost offensively stupid at this point!
And Hans being a proxy for Grady doesn’t work either, simply because their actions and motivations are complete opposites. Hans wants to keep Elsa from using her powers, so that he can eventually kill both her and her sister, and seize the throne. Grady wants to encourage Jack to murder Wendy and Danny, the same way he murdered his family. Both are evil, but Grady is an agent of whatever inherent malice resides in the hotel, whereas Hans is the initiator of his own malice.
Dave: Ok, but there’s a scene in Frozen where Olaf opens a window and Anna slides down on the snow outside. There’s a similar scene in The Shining, where Wendy opens a window and Danny slides down the snow.
Oh, of course! Because both Danny and Anna climbed out a window, that means these two movies are identical! I understand now. I take it all back, Dave.
Of course not, you fucking dipstick!
So, are those all the arguments?
Dave: No, there’s one last detail, regarding the ending.
Oh, happy day…
Dave: The movie ends with someone being frozen solid.
Yes, but in The Shining, that was Jack, and in Frozen, it was Anna. Also, call me pedantic, but there’s a pretty massive difference between freezing to death and literally becoming ice!
So that parallel doesn’t really work at all. Oh, and there’s also the pretty crucial detail that Jack FUCKING DIED, whereas Anna, in case you forgot, didn’t!
Dave: Of course not! This isn’t The Shining.
Thank you! That’s what I’ve been trying to say.
Dave: This is Disney’s The Shining!
Dave: They disneyfied it, giving the story a happy ending! Instead of Elsa freezing to death, Anna froze, giving her life to save Elsa. This showed Elsa that love could help her conquer her wintry outbursts and-
Shut up, Dave.
Stop talking. Stop talking right fucking now, or I will hurt you in ways you cannot imagine.
Did you actually listen to what you just said, Dave? This is why it’s too simple to just call you an idiot, because this transcends ordinary stupidity. It seems pretty clear that something, at some point, snapped in your brain, and you have gone insane.
Honestly, I was kind of enjoying this on a strange level up until now. But here, you’ve gone from playfully annoying to actually distressing. You bring a theory that is almost nothing but generalizing and cherrypicking details about these two movies, bending over backwards trying to twist things to fit it… and then, you bring an argument that is blatantly contradicting all the rules presented up until that point…
And you actually try to argue that the fact that they are not alike, that the parallel doesn’t work… is SUPPORTING the theory!? By extension, you’re trying to say that “Of course there are differences. This is DISNEYS take on the story”!
This is what I mean when I say you’ve snapped! You’ve gone fucking delusional!
This is one of the most frustrating theories I have ever read! It is nothing but cherry-picking, willfully ignoring crucial details about characters and events and completely missing the point of both movies.
The Shining is a psychological horror story, with supernatural elements, about a man slowly going insane and trying to murder his family, in a setting of isolation and paranoia. Frozen is a family movie about the relationship between two sisters, and the dangers both of prejudice and suppressing emotions.
The two have virtually NOTHING IN COMMON, except for the presence of SNOW! The entire thing just stinks of desperation! So you know what? That’s it.
WTFAW is hereby suspended!
Dave: You… you mean you’re ending it? You’re ending “Why The Fans Are Wrong”?
No, but I’m putting it on hiatus, because you’ve clearly suffered some kind of mental breakdown from overexposure to idiotic fan theories.
See, I can stand you being naïve, enthusiastic and with an open mind, but you are no use to me at all when you’re so open-minded, your brain falls out! So I am sending you on vacation until you’re back to simply being stupid.
Dave: But… for how long?
Considering you looked at a theory that suggested Frozen is a retelling of The Shining and thought “Yes, this makes sense to me”?
I suggest you pack a big bag, because you’re gonna be gone a long fucking time…