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This University of Toronto professor says ‘Frozen’ is propaganda. Here’s why

POSTED March 13, 2018 8:29 a.m.
University of Toronto professor of psychology Jordan Peterson doesn’t like “Frozen.”

He recently told Time magazine that the 2013 hit Disney film falls flat in its attempt to craft a story around a moral message.

In fact, he said a movie like “Sleeping Beauty” does a better job at relaying a message to the audience.

“It attempted to write a modern fable that was a counter-narrative to a classic story like, let’s say, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ — but with no understanding whatsoever of the underlying archetypal dynamics,” Peterson said.

“You could say that 'Sleeping Beauty' was raised out of her unconsciousness via a delivering male,” he continued. “Another way of reading the story is that unconsciousness requires active consciousness as an antidote. And the unconsciousness is symbolized in that particular story by femininity and active consciousness by masculinity. I could hardly sit through ‘Frozen.’ There was an attempt to craft a moral message and to build the story around that, instead of building the story and letting the moral message emerge. It was the subjugation of art to propaganda, in my estimation.”

In fact, Peterson, who wrote about his thoughts on “Frozen” in his recent book “12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos,” said the Disney film creates a villain to suit the narrative and not one that is particularly powerful.

“The most propagandistic element of ‘Frozen’ was the transformation of the prince at the beginning of the story who was a perfectly good guy, into a villain with no character development whatsoever about three-quarters of the way to the ending.”

Peterson also explained to Time how other Disney films, like “The Little Mermaid,” succeed because they’re based on old folk tales. He also said that the film’s cost was a major problem because it didn't deliver an adequate story.

Read the full interview at Time.

The “Frozen” spinoff film “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” received heavy criticism in December of last year, according to the Deseret News.

Critics condemned the 21-minute short film, which debuted before Disney/Pixar’s “Coco,” for being too long and, well, not funny. Others criticized the work for possibly being a marketing ploy by Disney.

“Most anyone who’s seen a Pixar film knows they’ll see a short before the film — that’s not the problem,” wrote Alissa Wilkinson of Vox. “And if ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’ were, say, four and a half minutes long, even those who are sick to death of ‘Frozen’ would probably have forgotten about it by the time ‘Coco’ was over. But if you’re not prepared for that 21-minute runtime, ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’ feels interminable, as if it will never end.”

Disney and Pixar, who let fans know that the short was coming to theaters ahead of time, pulled the short film from all “Coco” showings back on Dec. 8.


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