She always turned to her dad.
ARGH LET ME TELL YOU A THING.
I saw this little article about “10 Reasons Why Frozen is the most modern disney movie” or something blahblahblah, and reason number one was that Elsa’s parents were abusive.
noooooooooo. no no no no no.
FROLLO was abusive. MOTHER GOTHEL WAS ABUSIVE.
Elsa’s parents did their darn best to make sure none of their daughters got hurt. Her dad didn’t know how to handle ice powers! He didn’t have ice powers! Nobody else had ice powers! No! All he knew was that Elsa had to learn to control her powers, and he did his darn best to help her. Maybe he didn’t go about it correctly. Maybe he accidentally contributed to her anxiety issues. MAYBE HE MESSED HER UP.
But it wasn’t on purpose.
Look at this man. Look how much he cares for his daughter. He’s not afraid to touch her. He’s not afraid to hold her. He gave her the gloves FOR HER OWN PROTECTION, and Elsa turned them into a prison because she was afraid of herself.
This movie is fascinating, not because it showed abusive parents, but because it showed LOVING, WELL MEANING, ADORABLE parents trying to help their daughter in the best way they could. Even if they did it wrong. Even if they didn’t have all the answers. They TRIED.
And that’s the saddest part. Because sometimes, even when parents try their best, they can still mess their kids up. It’s reality. But I don’t think Elsa ever blamed him for trying.
Thank you! The blame that was being attributed to the parents was really bugging me! Throughout the beginning of the movie, they were nothing but supportive, and they only hid Elsa’s powers when it became apparent that she would need to learn to control them or risk hurting others around her. When she was a child, before she hurt Anna, she was still allowed to use them. And when the trolls asked her parents if her powers were given to her from birth or by a curse, they said birth, implying they had accepted it as a part of Elsa, not a burden or a curse, just something very powerful that needed to be controlled.
Yes, the method they used to try to control her powers was not effective, but there wasn’t exactly a “How to Teach Your Daughter to Control Magical Ice Powers in 5 Steps” book lying around. This was obviously a new phenomenon (recall how the guy from Wesselton called it sorcery and how the townspeople initially cowered, further implying this magic as a very unique, very strange thing) and the parents had to do the best they could to try to teach their daughter how to control her powers before things got worse, as foretold by the trolls.
They did their best and really tried to do everything they could to help Elsa. They actually were a form of stability for her. When they left to go to sea, she was obviously anxious at them leaving and obviously looked to them for comfort and help. She was afraid to hurt them, but they were still her parents, and they were the only ones she could really turn to when it came to her difficulties with her powers.
Also, while they technically did lock the doors and keep her and Anna inside for their childhood, it was not to be mean or for their own greed. Most narratives that involve locking someone away are for selfish reasons (Mother Gothel, anyone?), and this was always thought to be temporary, until Elsa could control her powers. Her parents were worried not only about their subjects, but the safety of Elsa, because the power, as explained by the trolls, could consume her and bring destruction. They did not say she would be prevented from inheriting the crown and they did not lock her away or play favorites between her and Anna. They closed the gates to protect Anna and Elsa and to give Elsa a chance to master her powers without the worries of the outside world.
In the end, it didn’t work of course, and Elsa had to realize on her own how to control her powers. Instead of showing an abusive parental relationship, Frozen depicted parents who meant well and tried their best and a daughter who had anxieties in spite of this (an important aspect, mind you, for those who suffer from such anxiety or mental issues) and eventually was able to overcome it, not just through the love of Anna, but the love of her parents who did their best to protect and care for her.