Film Theory: Disney’s FROZEN – Anna and Elsa Are NOT SISTERS?!


Take a break from building your snowman. Because for the first time in forever we’re doing a theory on Frozen! Hello Internet, welcome to Film Theory! You know the Frozen lore you thought you knew? Well prepare to ‘let it go’ because today’s theory will change everything you thought you knew about the adorkable Anna and the incomparable Adeledazeem. Now Disney Animation has picked up a fun little habit in the last few years of dropping hidden Easter eggs throughout their movies. Making it seem like some, or maybe even all, of them take place in a larger connected universe. And with Frozen being the biggest animated money maker in, well, ever they’ve connected Frozen with a whole bunch of other movies. There are plenty of other theories floating around about The Little Mermaid and Tarzan; but the connection I’m most interested in today is between Frozen and Tangled. And before you run away thinking you’ve heard this one because of course there’s stuff on the internet that connects Tangled and Frozen, hear me out. Because this is a brand new finding that I think is gonna change the way that you see these two movies. Yes, they’re movies about long lost magical Princesses, but the evidence across both points to a huge secret about the relation between Anna, Elsa, and Rapunzel. Specifically, that Anna and Elsa, aren’t the sisters in these movies. That’s right, Anna and Elsa: not sisters! I mean is that really hard to believe? Look at the family portrait. One of these things is not like the others. Someone looks a whole lot like the milkman. Nope! it’s not Anna and Elsa who are the sisters, but rather Elsa and Rapunzel. And sure! You may be shaking your head now, but the backing for this theory is real. From the movies lore, to Disney’s own information. And if you stick with me, I think you’re gonna agree. The first pieces of evidence we have come from Disney itself. Who’ve slipped bits and pieces of information about Frozen’s lore since the movie came out. First, Frozen writer and director Jennifer Lee confirmed a huge point in a Reddit AMA about King and Queen… uhh… King and Queen…What are their names? Agnarr and Iduna? Really? Scandanavia we need to talk about your naming conventions here. In any case, while Agnarr and Iduna are lost at sea, they’re not going off on any old 3 hour tour, they’re sailing for a wedding. It was also confirmed that this isn’t just any wedding they’re going to: it’s Rapunzel’s wedding from the end of Tangled. That’s huge right there! We already have a solid connection between the movies in two ways: Space and time. Looking at a map this makes total sense based on where these movies take place. It’s been pretty well established that Frozen’s location of Arendelle is a hybrid of Arednal and Bergen Norway It’s so well known in fact that the Norway zone of Epcot was completely overrun after the movie came out and Disney had special Frozen tours set up in Norway to handle all the crazy Elsa fans storming into the country. Probably the only time in Disney’s history that people actually were excited to go visit Epcot. Tangled is likely to take place around the corner just across the North Sea in modern Germany in a fictional city called Corona. This matches where the Rapunzel story was originally based since it was one of Grimm’s fairy tales. So they’re definitely close enough to bump into each other out on their royal yachts Or royal ice barges, I guess? I don’t know what you guys do that far north. We also know when they connect in time. Based on the hints Disney has already dropped, we know these movies are three years apart. Closer than any other Disney Princess timeline. We start with extra scenes at the end of Tangled. Where Rapunzel and Flinn get married and start their happily ever after. We know at this point that Agnarr and Iduna are supposed to be on their way to a wedding, Rapunzel’s wedding, but they never make it. When the main story of Frozen starts, we’re specifically told that it happens three years after the shipwreck. Which means exactly three years after Tangled’s wedding. What’s fascinating is that this timing plays out, both in the movie and in real life at the same time. In the movies releases themselves. Tangled’s release was November 24th, 2010 Frozen was released almost exactly 3 years later to the day on November 27th, 2013 and picks up exactly three years later as soon as you start the movie. The timelines follow each other both in the real world and in their own universe which is brilliant and also, not by accident. We know based on the Wikis that Rapunzel is 18 after her movie She gets married shortly after she shows up back at the castle despite the fact that Flinn says it took many years. “After years and years of asking” If you need proof for that, Rapunzel already says the he’s lying in that line: “Eugene” If the wedding were to take any longer than that Rapunzel’s hair would have grown out And sadly a delayed wedding would also mean that Pascal would not be in the wedding party… He’d be dead, based on the average lifespan for veiled chameleon’s. Sorry man it’s called the circle of life. *Blow’s raspberry* So Rapunzel is 18 at the wedding And when Frozen happens 3 years later. We know Elsa to be 21 In short some simple math tells us Elsa and Rapunzel are the same age. And I mean exactly the same age They were born at the same time They’re twins. Fraternal not identical obviously. But now I know you’re saying that that’s just ridiculous. Yes, the movies are connected and yes, they overlap and stuff but it’s impossible that the two are twins, right? Wrong! In fact it’s completely possible! to prove it i’ll start out with some good, old fashioned biology. Loyal theorists know that some of my favourite theories here, and on Game Theory, are backed by genetics and this one is no exception. One of the reasons people usually assume that Elsa HAS to be the daughter of Agnarr and Iduna is that her eyes are blue just like her mothers. Now the genetics around eye colour are slightly more complicated than we were taught in eighth grade science class but to roughly simplify, to prove the point, both blue eyes and green eyes are recessive so you must have two light eye alleles to get a blue eyed kid. When one parent has green eyes and the other has blue like you see in Frozen. The odds of Anna or Elsa individually having blue eyes is 50%. Yay for the recessive Scandinavian gene pool. but it’s just as genetically likely for Elsa to belong to the King and Queen in Tangled. Who, for the life of me, i couldn’t find their names turns out Agnarr and Iduna aren’t the only ones with blue and green eyes King and Queen Tangled are yet another blue and green eyed royal couple. Weird coincidence, right? Maybe.. Maybe not.. At the very least this means that genetically they have the same probability as the Frozen royal couple of ending up with a blue eyed baby like Elsa. But that’s not all! Beyond eyes, we can also tell they’re twins based on the fact that they’re both left-handed. 22% of twins are left-handed which is more than double the world average. For Elsa, we see her doing the important things in the movies as a lefty. Her primary ice-shooting hand is left. She creates Olaf with her left hand. Touches her face left. Unties her braid left. and even tries to save Anna with a crucial, left-handed ice attack. It’s a pretty similar story over on the Tangled side. Rapunzel is definitely more ambidextrous than Elsa is and she does things with both hands. However she shows a preference for her left hand in crucial activities. Especially ones where she has to act on instinct. She paints and brushes her hair both with left and right hands but in an emergency, she brandishes her frying pan with her left hand, or bats lefty with it. She naturally reaches out for her parents lantern with her left hand. Holds candles with her left. Holds Pascal left and throws left. And just so you don’t think i’m playing favourites other characters are distinctly right-handed. In Frozen, Anna always knocks right-handed and reaches out with her right hand. In Tangled, Eugene swings his sword right points right, and touches Rapunzels face right-handed. But all this left-handedness has to come from somewhere, right? or left? one of the two *ba-dum tiss* Luckily it happens that Mummy Tangled happens to be likely left-handed. We don’t get a lot of camera time with the Kings and Queens in general but Rapunzel’s mother is shown with a left-handed preference in most scenes she’s in. Holding Rapunzel left-handed. Gesturing left-handed and reaching out to touch Rapunzel left-handed after seeing her for the first time in 18 years. There isn’t enough evidence on the Frozen side to say whether Agnarr and Iduna are left-handed or not. But we know the genetics line up for Tangled. And finally we have hair. Honestly, none of these parents are likely to produce children with bright blonde hair like either Rapunzel or Elsa. But, as we learn in Tangled, Rapunzel’s blonde hair comes from the magic her mother absorbed from a bright yellow flower. If in fact these two are twins it would also explain Elsa’s unusually vibrant blonde hair. Which is surprisingly, more plausible than the slim genetic chance Iduna and Agnarr have of producing a toe-headed ice Princess. So at this point, the location of the movie, timing of the movie, and biology of the movie all support Rapunzel and Elsa being Disney’s true first magical Princess sisters. But what about the really exciting stuff? What about their actual magic? If these two are indeed twins like I’m saying they are they should have the same powers, right? I don’t know if you’ve seen these movies lately but ice blasting? Definitely not the same as ole healing hair over here. Well hang onto your anthropomorphic reindeer! Because there’s even more evidence to this theory. First of all, it’s really important to reiterate the fact that Elsa and Rapunzel are the only two Princesses to EVER have magical powers in a Disney movie. Seriously, the only two Princesses in the 80 year history of Disney films who can use magic! That’s pretty incredible if you think about it. And it’s not an accident. This doesn’t happen just because they’re cool Northern Europeans who share the same magical universe. It’s because they share the same magical mum. Like I said before, Rapunzel absorbs magic from a healing potion her mum drinks before she’s born. This is how we explain Rapunzel’s magic for the rest of the movie and for better or worst it kinda makes sense. The writers clearly took the time to build in a backstory that justifies her magic instead of it having to come out of nowhere. So, where’s the backstory in Frozen? Where’s our magical history lesson? Is it laziness? Well, no. This is an animation team who bothered to draw in Snow White and Sleeping Beauty in to Rapunzel’s book collection. If they left something out it’s because there’s another explanation. No one in the Frozen royal family has magic or was ever exposed to it. These are the muggley-ist Disney characters out there. Even when the royal family takes Elsa to the rock trolls Agnarr can’t answer right away whether Elsa was born with magic or cursed with it. “Born with the powers, or cursed?” “-uh.. Born.” What an oddly specific detail you’ve included there Disney. But THIS is the reason. When Agnarr stutters in front of the rock trolls, he’s showing a natural reaction. ‘Was she born with these powers?’ ‘Uh… y- yes?’ He doesn’t know because he wasn’t there when Elsa was born with magic. Ever wonder why Agnarr and Iduna never show any surprise about Elsa’s magical powers? Like, wouldn’t you just find it a little bit starting? Worth a trip to the paediatrician at least. We never see them doing normal things you’d expect parents to do in this situation. They don’t try to cure Elsa they don’t even seem to look for answers about where her powers came from. Don’t you think thats a little bit strange? Well it’s not if you consider that they already know where her powers come from. Her real mother. The same that gave Rapunzel her powers. But okay, enough beating around the bush let’s actually talk about that magic. One of Frozen’s biggest criticisms, leveled at it from Honest Trailers to Cinema Sins is that Elsa’s power set has always seemed a bit weird. “Meet Elsa, a manic depressive princess” “with a confusing set of powers” “like – creating life?” “you’re alive? / Uhm.. I think so?” “they kind of gloss over that one” Yeah she freezes stuff causes major destruction and blizzards builds ice castles, all that. But then she also brings things to life creating sentient creatures like Olaf and Marshmellow. Literally, it’s all over the place! At first it actually seems like Elsa and Rapunzel have opposite powers. With Elsa stopping everything from growing and Rapunzel making everything young and new again. A Yin and Yang sort of situation. But if you look closer their powers are actually more similar than you think. Let’s go through it: In the ending to both movies the Princesses save someone they love. In Frozen, it’s Anna In Tangled its Flynn, or Eugene or whatever his name is. To start both scenes the true love character saves the Princess. Eugene saves Rapunzel from Mother Gothel and Anna saves Elsa from Prince Hans. In doing so they both die in the process: Anna by freezing and Eugene with a stab wound. Anna exhales her last breath Eugene falls limp. These guys are gone. At this point each of our Power Princesses literally hugs the true love for an awkwardly long minute of sobbing and then suddenly discover a new power they never thought they had. The exact same power. Reviving the dead. Giving things life. In Tangled it’s giving Mother Gothel and Eugene life. In Frozen it’s giving snowmen and Anna life. Coincidence? Not a chance! It’s the exact same power executed the exact same way! Their powers aren’t opposite! In fact, they’re twins! Just like the Princesses themselves Elsa did inherit the power to revive things just like Rapunzel. She just, also ends up with some nice ice upgrades. In short, everything in these movies from the setting, the background the lore,
the genetics the magical powers even the structure of their own stories are direct parallels. So now I ask you, look at the evidence and look at the story one more time through a new lens. Once upon a time in Corona, a Kingdom in Northern Germany a sick Queen drinks a magical healing potion, made from a magical yellow flower right before giving birth. She has twin daughters. The girls are blonde, as both are infused with the magic of the flower. One daughter immediately demonstrates magical healing powers as you sing and the other one… doesn’t really seem to do all that much. Mother Gothel discovers that Baby 1 will keep her young forever, but she can’t just snip some hair so she has to take the whole baby. Which she does by kidnapping her and locking her up in a tower. King and Queen Tangled are heartbroken that Baby 1 is stolen and they realise that they can’t risk losing Baby 2 if she’s ever discovered to have magical powers. They know Corona isn’t safe and send Baby 2 on a trip across the North Sea to the neighbouring kingdom of Arendelle to live with Agnarr and Iduna far away from Mother Gothel. In Arendelle, the King and Queen eventually realise that Elsa does indeed have magical powers too. Unprepared to raise a magical child, they try to hide Elsa’s powers to protect her from being kidnapped like her sister, Rapunzel. Closing up the castle Limiting the staff Hiding Elsa indoors It’s to keep the word from getting out to Corona that there was another Princess born with magic. And to protect their own daughter Anna from accidentally spilling Elsa’s secret or becoming the target of a kidnapping herself they have her memory wiped. The bad rep Agnarr and Iduna get is all in the name of helping to keep Elsa safe until her sister Rapunzel reappears. And eventually the two find each other when Rapunzel ends up in Arendelle at the end of Frozen. So is that the TRUE origin story of Anna, Elsa and Rapunzel? I guess we’ll have to see what happens in Frozen 2. But Hey.. That’s just a theory.. A FILM THEORY aaannd.. CUT!

David Anderson

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