• Matt Keyser

My daughter's fantastical fascination with Frozen

It started innocently enough.


It was mid-March, the beginning of coronavirus quarantine in Houston, and unsure what to expect in the weeks to come, my wife and I kept our 3-year-old daughter home. It was a change for us both. She was used to going to school for most of the day while we both worked. But now I found myself working from home, and I needed help occupying her until Elissa returned.


I’d heard about Frozen but never understood the appeal. To me, it was just another Disney movie, like Toy Story or Pocahantas when I was growing up. I knew Emery had watched it at school, and she had been burned out on watching Coco an impossible amount in recent weeks. So, I bought Frozen.


I regret it.


So. Effing. Much.



Emery immediately fell in love.


Not only has she watched it at least 100 times in the weeks that followed, but there's now Frozen paraphernalia littering my house. And her addiction is being fed more and more and more with gifts by friends and family who are a bunch of enablers.


Frozen pajamas. Frozen coloring books. Frozen flip flops. Frozen gloves and a wand and a braid that matches Elsa’s. A Frozen night light. A Frozen doll. Another Frozen doll that sings “Let It Go” in three different languages. Seriously, that fucking this is the worst.


Soon, my little girl was no longer Emery.


“Emery, time for bed,” I called out to her one night.


“I’m not Emery! I’m Elsa!” she called back, only willing to come after I agreed to call her by her new name.

She now calls Elsa and Anna her sisters. And any time either of them is in trouble, she stands in front of the TV and yells, “OH NO, MY SISTER!”

Now, Elissa has set up Spotify Kids for her so when she's not watching Frozen, we can listen to the soundtrack in the car. Elissa has taught her to shop in the Amazon app for a blue dress like Elsa, which Emery—er, Elsa—proudly tells everyone will be in any day now. (Secret: We haven’t bought it ... yet.)


I can't even pick up the TV remote without Emery saying, "I want Frozen, Daddy."


I still struggle to see what the hype is.

The original Frozen lacks any real plot that keeps this dad engaged. Did Elsa and Anna never see each other after that one mishap? Was Anna not allowed to have any other friends or leave the castle at all? And with Elsa's powers getting stronger, did her parents choose to do nothing even though they had the help of those cool trolls? W-T-F. Also, it took a frozen apocalypse for Elsa to realize she could control her magic with love? Has she never watched a Disney movie in her life? Okay, okay, whatever, I get it: it’s a kid’s movie. And yeah, sure, I’ll admit, Frozen II is a much better movie than the first (real plot, action, things happening). I only know this because a grandma bought it for Emery for her third birthday. Speaking of which, she celebrated by watching an absurd amount of both movies with an Elsa-themed cake and a life-size Olaf balloon.


Maybe I'm looking at this all the wrong way.


I should let Emery be happy with her love for all things Frozen.


As for me and my disgust, well, y'know, just let it go.

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