Posts Tagged ‘Snow Queen’

Inspired-by only, I'm afraid--plus I may turn this into a pic unrelated to the movie later...

Inspired-by only, I’m afraid–plus I may turn this into a pic unrelated to the movie later…

OK, I’m really short on time, so I’m really just giving a shout out to the latest Disney movie, which, with its snowy-theme, is great Winter-Break viewing. Also, a couple Scandinavian connections here–1) The movie as a whole is inspired by HC Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” (but inspired is the right word–not at all an adaptation, as there really is no connection at all plot-wise, apart from a shard of ice getting stuck in someone’s body and causing trouble–and let’s be honest, the original is way too trippy to adapt to film [oh wait, isn’t there a classic Russian animated film…]), and 2) A friend of mine who teaches Old Norse at UCLA (and who is responsible for this glorious saga-version of Star Wars) advised them on the runes and the Old Norse they (very briefly) used in the film. (Update: if you want to decode the runes, Dr. Crawford [newly minted, incidentally] has put up some tips on his own blog. Also, don’t believe Yahoo UK when they claim the runes in the movie were inspired by Tolkien’s in The Hobbit and LOTR–Tolkien was inspired by Norse and Anglo-Saxon runes [seeing as he was an Old Norse and Old English philologist], and Crawford of course used actual Norse runes.)

The Scandinavian-inspired context is fairly loose, but it’s a fun variation on the usual princess/enchanted world theme, from the northern location to the architectural and linguistic references, to the trolls. I personally felt like the icy-superpowers and the whole “Barbie sings pop songs” deal was a bit too heavy-handed, but my nieces loved it–and you know, there were some nice twists, as well as some really good, quality messages–like being cautious (but still open) with your heart, as well as learning to open up about your pain, rather than keeping it in. That said, the way the “love solves everything” lesson was so blatantly spelled out by one of the leads at the very end was a bit much…  Oh, but OK, I was really happy to see a movie where the “evil superpowered queen” wasn’t really a straight up villain, but a complex lead character in her own right–and thank God for movies about the hard work of healing and redemption, however cheesy and Barbified it gets at times. [Late additional comments:] But let’s also keep in mind the fact that the “real” Snow Queen by HC Andersen at least included some “minority” figures (Saami and Gypsy, if I remember correctly–it’s been a while), even if they were pretty thoroughly exoticized. Well, OK, I hear Kristoff is also supposed to be Saami in this (I guess I didn’t pick up on the cues–reindeer, for instance), but from what I’ve seen online there is a lot of back and forth re: his representation. There is a lot of rich material out there, so I’ll leave you to it (while I have a PhD in Scandi studies, I feel like I have not specialized enough in Saami culture and all its colonial/postcolonia issues to offer any definitive statement), but this summary here has some good links you can check out, and the MedievalPOC blog has a post on it as well. I have many friends in my field who work specially on the Saami side of Norden, so if I run across anything here, I’ll post it!

OK, gotta run–Merry Christmas everyone! Don’t know if I will have a post for tomorrow or not, but we’ll see…

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