Monday, 10 November 2014


Frankenstein's Elsa
"Let it go, let it go, can't hold it back any more..."

What is it with four-year-olds and Frozen? Sod loombands (though note that Elsa has loomband lips in the photograph above), we are in the grip of a terrifying obsession. And Disney is making a lot of our money.

I don't even know why the four year olds like it. Is it the big eyes? The ice skating? The human need to throw off your chains? The Broadway belter songs? The 8,000 salad plates? The cute snowman?

The film is actually rather frightening in parts, and contains concepts which our daughter has never had to grasp, like romance, death and why princes feel the need to arm themselves with crossbows. Bad, bad Mummy for letting her child see such things (especially the romance!).

To be honest, it never occurred to me when ordering Frozen from our DVD rental service that a film with a reputation for being adored by toddlers would contain anything other than fluffiness. Oh, the trust I have gained from too much CBeebies. (There is fluffiness too of course. Fluffy trolls that aren't on Twitter.) And, looking back, I suppose Disney films have always been a bit scary.

We were late on the Frozen bandwagon, but now our house has become a Frozen shrine. The CD is on a continuous karaoke loop in our car. The film is not allowed outside of the DVD player (we had to buy it from the rental people). Our daughter knows all the words. She pronounces "Ah-na" like the true Scandinavian she isn't, but insists the snowman is called Olive. She is picking up an American accent when wanting to build a snowman. She claims (slightly incongruously) that she is going to "say goodbye to the pain of the past" when the only pain she has known is when she falls off her scooter or I try and get a brush through her hair. We have an Elsa dress (the cheapskate Matalan version). We have an Elsa plait. We have an Elsa and Anna handbag. My daughter is also allowed to wear my wedding tiara with the Elsa dress, on strict instructions that SHE DOESN'T BREAK IT. I don't know quite why I am so possessive about it, since it cost less than the official Elsa one does in the Disney store and I am unlikely to wear it again.

But the Frozen takeover will only get worse. Because, like everyone else, apparently we can't stop selling out and ruining our children. At Christmas there will be jigsaws, sticker books, cups and dolls. We are shameful Disney whores. At least for her next birthday, everything I need to know about hosting a Frozen-themed party can be found here.

What our daughter mustn't ever find out about is the "Frozen on Ice" show at Leeds Arena next May, which is around £45 a ticket for a seat she would be able to see something from. Surely she will have grown out of her obsession by then? Right? And Thomas the Tank Engine will come back to his rightful place instead.
The world she was born into

"The cold never bothered me anyway" holds true for our daughter. When she was still in a pushchair, the pavements were littered with her discarded hats and gloves. She insists she is always warm enough, and never needs that extra cardigan in my hands. She won't let me dry the cold water off her in the swimming pool changing rooms. Maybe it's because her parents met in Newcastle, where the locals never wear coats. Or maybe it's because York had the biggest snowfall in recent history when she was just a few weeks old, and the river was iced over for weeks. Our house is always cold. Even my dad feels cold in it, and he lives in the middle of the Lake District in a house where I used to scrape ice off the inside of the windows as a child. But our daughter never complains about it.

But we have never really tested her. Last year, it didn't snow once, although an Arctic winter is forecast for 2014 which will no doubt make up for that. Our daughter may be indulged by the cheaper end of Disney, but owing to our decimated finances there will be no family skiing holidays or stays in the Ice Hotel in Sweden or trips to Lapland to see Santa. Our daughter hates Santa anyway. Well, she very much likes the concept of him coming into our house to leave presents, as long as he stops short of her bedroom door. She flatly refuses to sit on the knee of a complete stranger wearing an itchy false beard and a silly red suit. And when you put it like that, you can't help but think she is a sensible child. With bad taste in films.

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