A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the waiting room of my garage waiting for a tire to be replaced and rereading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I was at the part in the book where Elinor and Marianne are just beginning to learn what a terrible jerk Willoughby is when it occurred to me that the bare bones plot is very similar to a new favorite story of mine, Frozen.
Yes, there is magic, royalty, and a talking snowman in Frozen, elements not found in Austen’s novel. but the character traits of the main cast are quite similar. First you have the older sisters, Elinor and Elsa, both are cool, calm, and collected. (In Elsa’s case the cool part is literal). They both take great care to control and hide their feelings in order to act as rational as can be, though Elinor doesn’t have to worry about inflicting frostbite on her loved ones when she loses control.
Second, you have the younger sisters, Marianne and Anna, though Marianne is moodier than Anna, they both share a zest for life and an overly romantic view of the world that leads them to fall in love with the first handsome man that showers them with attention.
Third, we have the men who waltzed in and stole the younger sister’s hearts, Willoughby and Hans. Both are charming, attractive, and have no desire to further the relationship beyond their own desires. Though, Willoughby, at least, had no intentions of murdering the Dashwood sisters in order to steal their title, which they did not have, he and Hans both used the love of a young woman to achieve there means. Fortunately, both men were found out before any more harm was done.
Fourth, we have the men who helped the sisters recover, Colonel Christopher Brandon and Kristoff. Both are not as dashing as the other guys, but they fall in love with the spirited younger sisters and eventually prove their loyalty and gain the younger sister’s love in return.
Both sisters learn from each other that you must use your head and your heart in determining your path in life and that while finding a good man is wonderful, your family and finding yourself is also very wonderful as well.
It’s not a perfect analogy; Frozen has no Edward character and was inspired by the Snow Queen , but I still can’t help but wonder if a Jane Austen fan was among the creative team of the movie.
So, re read books and re watch movies; doing both will give you new insights on a story you thought you already knew.