Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Do you wanna build a snowman? ("Frozen" spoiler alert)
Olaf the snowman. Even the name says: "Oh, laugh!"
We first meet him when Elsa and Anna are little, and Elsa speaks for him with a stereotyped voice, "I'm Olaf, and I love warm hugs!" -- he is the focus of Anna's yearning for the lost closeness with Elsa as they grow up.
We almost miss it when Elsa creates him again, among her flurries on the way up North Mountain as she "lets it go". (at 1:06) Even she doesn't realize what she has created, and abandons him, in favor of the grandness of her Ice Palace....
We are not quite sure what to make of him when we meet him again, still wandering aimlessly in the snow, just in the right time and place to lead Anna and Kristoff to Elsa's palace, the only creature who knows exactly where it is.
He is the snowman who loves warm hugs so much, he dreams of summer.
He is goofy, funny-looking, plump, and doesn't quite get it. But he loves fully and carelessly ("Some people are worth melting for.") And when it comes right down to it, he actually DOES get it, where it really matters. Am I the only one who sees Olaf as having Down syndrome?
And instead of melting when summer does finally return to Arendelle, he is saved by Elsa, who creates for him his own personal flurry. The very powers which were so frightening are exactly what she uses to sustain Olaf. And she does it in a way that manifests inclusion at its best. She truly understands being isolated by difference, and knows exactly how to give him the support he needs. Olaf is actually able to enjoy summertime just as he had dreamed, with the protective flurry that allows him to participate without losing his identity. He doesn't just love warm hugs, he loves flowers, and dancing, and sharing the fullness of life with his friends.
So..... Do you wanna build a snowman?