Snow, White Savior Complex

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Snow, White Savior Complex

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Most people have been applauding the sequel to Disney’s blockbuster Frozen, but in many ways, it is far more dangerous than it appears. The not-so-subtle underpinning of the film is that the Kingdom of Arendelle, like most of the Eurocene, old or new, was built on the back of the native world. 

 

This plot line rises to the surface of the story through a nagging voice in Elsa’s mind, encouraging her to go into the forest and reckon with Arendelle’s history of settler colonialism abroad. So she and her usual cohorts set out to follow their white guilt into the forest. The plot line follows a famous Disney trope of whimsical monarchs interacting with nature as they search for purpose that they can’t find in their endless wealth and power. 

Eventually they appear which appears to be Frozen (pun intended) in time with antagonisms between the soldiers of Arendelle and native folks “at war with them”  also known as defending your property and your way of life, but I digress. The white monarchs decide that they are best equipped to solve the crisis.

 

By the end of the story, I ended up rooting for the tidal wave coming crashing down on Arendelle, as a way to cauterize the wound of oppression, murder, and abuse. If a children’s film seeks to deal with the sins of colonialism, they need to take make it serious. A snowman melting only to be rebuilt with magic snow is not enough to atone for the foremost evil in world history, the extractivism and exploitation of the “Maritime Empires.”

 

The story ended in a happy-ending and lacked any real plot dimensions or depth. If you want to make a movie about snowmen and songs, that’s a-ok. But these half-measures to raise a woke generation fall flat. Frozen II is not as good as Frozen. Frozen II is exactly like all the other sequels.