Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Thaw

I think things are getting better for me, because I've started writing a little bit again.  I've definitely been down in the dumps, but I have hope that the year can be salvaged yet.

For example, when I read that Disney was making Frozen 2, I decided to write my own sequel.  (NOTE TO DISNEY: I am willing to negotiate a deal on this.  Why won't you guys return my calls?)

Here's my idea for how it should go down:


Anna and Christof are in a relationship but Elsa has her doubts. She is protective of her little sister and fears that Christof isn't good enough for Anna. After all, he's not even royalty! But after Anna is kidnapped by the Duke of Weaselton, who plans to ransom her to force Elsa to re-instate trade between Weaselton and Arendelle, Elsa and Christof are forced to team up to save her. They discover that the Duke has an older brother who was locked away due to his powers, just like Elsa was a child. Can Elsa, Christof, Sven, and Olaf free the rightful ruler of Weaselton and rescue Anna? In this sequel, Elsa learns to let loose and have fun from Christof, and Christof learns a thing or two about refinement from Elsa.

Why it would work
  • Elsa gets more screentime.
  • It examines a male-female relationship that is not romantic.
  • It resolves the trade dispute between Arendelle and Weaselton.
  • Sven meets a female reindeer.
  • Olaf lets Sven take his carrot nose to give to the girl reindeer. He spends the rest of the movie trying out various new noses.
  • When Sigvard, the rightful heir to Weaselton, is coronated and the Duke is locked away, they resume trade with Arendelle. Their main export? Carrots!
Scene 1: In which Elsa expresses her concerns.

ANNA: Isn't he wonderful, Elsa?
[Elsa glances at Christof. He is cleaning out his ear with a pinkie. He removes his finger from his ear and examines it.]
ELSA: ...I don't know, Anna. He's a bit... rough.
ANNA: Elsa, what is your problem with Christof? He's a great guy, and he's perfect for me! Don't you see that?
[Elsa glances at Christof again. Now he's aggressively scratching his head like a dog.]
ELSA: ...I just feel like he's... a bit... well, he's not like us, Anna. I mean, he's the ice delivery guy, and we don't even need ice. He didn't grow up in a castle. He doesn't understand.
ANNA: He understands me. Isn't that what really matters?
ELSA: I just want what's best for you.
ANNA: And that's Christof! Please, Elsa. Trust me.
[Elsa looks at Christof. He is examining a fancy vase. He pokes it, and it wobbles. He awkwardly tries to right it.]
ELSA: ...okay. Just... think about it, Anna. You're a princess, and that comes with a lot of responsibility.
[Off-screen, there's a shattering noise. The girls turn to Christof, who whistles innocently and shoves the pieces of the vase behind the vase's stand with his foot.]

SCENE 2: In which Anna is captured.

ANNA (in a cell): My sister will find me! You'll never get away with this!
DUKE (outside the cell): I already have!
[He laughs evilly. The camera pans out to show the ship they're on, gliding silently away from Arendelle on still water beneath a full moon.]

Scene 3: In which Christof and Elsa scale the tower.

ELSA, hopelessly: There's no way to the top!
CHRISTOF: There's got to be.
[He thinks.]
CHRISTOF (snapping his fingers through a mitten): An ice ladder! Make an ice ladder, Elsa!
ELSA: An ice ladder?! Christof, that would never work. I can't make an ice ladder. And how did you snap your fingers through that mitten?
CHRISTOF (grabbing her shoulders): There's no time to explain! If you can make a castle, you can make an ice ladder. You can do it, Elsa! Do it for your sister!
[Elsa looks hesitant, but the music swells and she knows she can do it. CUT TO: Elsa is climbing a ladder of ice.]
ELSA (gleefully): This was a great idea!
[The camera pans sharply down. Christof is shivering ferociously and trying to rub his hands together for warmth.]
CHRISTOF: T-t-this was a t-t-terrible idea.

Scene 4: In which Elsa, Anna, and Christof convince Sigvard to come out of his tower.

ANNA: He's the Duke's brother. He's the rightful heir to the throne.
[In the shadows, an older man sits hunched.]
ELSA: this true?
SIGVARD (voice quavering): It's true that I am the first-born, and was the next in line for the throne. But I cannot be king. I... I am... a monster.
[The chair he sits in begins to grow frost.]
ELSA (shocked): He's... he's like me.
CHRISTOF: You're not a monster! You're just... different. And so's Elsa, and she's a great ruler!
[Elsa looks touched.]
SIGVARD: No. No... I... I cannot take the throne. The people of Weaselton deserve better.
ANNA: Better like the Duke? Sigvard, it's a mess out there! Ever since he seized control, he's been taxing them more than they can bear, and destroying all your trade relations! Your kingdom needs you!
[She approaches him, but is blown back by an icy wind.]
SIGVARD: Stay back! Please! I... I don't want to hurt you!
[Elsa steps forward.]
ELSA (quietly): You can't hurt me.
[Elsa goes to him and takes his hand. Both their hands are quickly enveloped in frost.]
ELSA: I used to be scared too. I used to hide too. But I learned to control my powers. Sigvard, we can help you.
[Sigvard looks up at her, not quite daring to hope.]
SIGVARD: But what if I hurt someone?
ANNA (touching the white lock in her hair): You just have to trust yourself, Sigvard. It'll be okay. We'll help.

Scene 5: Olaf's new nose.

ANNA: that an old boot?
OLAF (adjusting his boot): It sure is!
CHRISTOF: Does it work?
OLAF: It smells!

 I posted my idea on Reddit, where I was quickly informed that it was the worst possible plot for a sequel and that I should go suck mega shitdicks in hell forever.  They're not entirely wrong, of course.  Disney would have to be very, very careful with Sigvard. His role is purely as a plot device... he is not meant to be a character we actually care about. The screentime should be all Elsa's (and the others), and the focus is really on Elsa and Christof's relationship. Sigvard is only a secondary protagonist.  But I think his existence is necessary.
  • Sigvard having powers justifies the Duke's over-reaction to Elsa's powers in Frozen 1. The Duke is the only one with such an intense, negative reaction when Elsa starts freezing stuff at her coronation, and it doesn't make sense for him to react badly at all if he's trying to maintain trade relations with Arendelle.
  • Having someone else take over Weaselton absolves Weaselton. When Elsa creates trade sanctions at the end of Frozen 1, she's not punishing the Duke, but the entire kingdom of Weaselton. This closes the loophole and gives the Duke more personal come-uppance.
  • Most importantly, Sigvard acts as a foil character for Elsa. In Frozen 1, she was frightened of her powers and hid them. In Frozen 2, she is now so in control and confident that she can act as a mentor to someone in her previous position. This highlights her personal growth.
As for "worst sequel," I took that as a challenge, and replied with my top 5 idea for "worst sequel:

Frozen 2: Elsa's Engagement
  • Plot: Elsa may have control of her powers consciously, but when she's asleep, all bets are off! During a dream, Elsa accidentally freezes herself into a block of ice, and it's up to Anna to fix things! Knowing that only True Love can melt a frozen heart, Anna calls on the 8 older brothers of Hans from the Southern Isles to come act as suitors to Elsa. May the best man win! What follows is a delightful romantic comedy in which Anna and Olaf drag Elsa the Ice Block on 8 different first dates in an attempt to lift her curse. Meanwhile, Hans is back and he's going to cause trouble! Hans attempts to sabotage Elsa's dates for some reason but is thwarted by Anna repeatedly in various slap-stick ways. At the end, Elsa chooses the quiet nice guy.
  • Why it doesn't work: Self-explanatory.
  • Horrible twist: Elsa wakes up at the end and discovers it was all a dream. Then she rolls over and she's sleeping next to the quiet nice guy. It wasn't a dream at all!
Frozen 2: Legend of the Moon Flower
  • Plot: During an important royal meeting, everyone expresses a lot of interest in Elsa's powers and Elsa becomes very self-conscious. She discovers that she can "cure" herself of her powers by making a potion of moon flowers and causing a lunar eclipse. But after she drinks the potion, she casts her kingdom into eternal darkness! Now Elsa has to make things right without her powers, and along the way, she learns to appreciate just how useful her powers were, as well as a thing or two about being herself!
  • Why it doesn't work: The magic makes no sense and it's completely inconsistent with the first movie.
  • Horrible twist: The directors can't get any of the original crew to agree to the sequel; Olaf is voiced by John Goodman.
Frozen 2: Heir to the Frone
  • Plot: Anna and Christof's son, Erik, is 10 years old and desperate to get powers like his Aunt Elsa's! He embarks on a journey to get ice powers with his pal, Sven Jr, and an overly-perky, trying-way-too-hard-to-be-quirky young witch named Ilsa, who has a sassy black cat named Jenner. Together, the foursome meet trolls, wizards, and elves, and learn that their true powers aren't ice... but friendship!
  • Why it doesn't work: The title is a tortured pun, the original cast gets no screen time, and all the new characters are shallow and one-dimensional.
  • Horrible twist: Sven Jr. can talk.
Frozen 2: The Prequel
  • Plot: Basically it's 120 minutes of "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?"
  • Why it doesn't work: There's just not that much to explore.
  • Horrible twist: The whole thing is narrated by the troll in Frozen 1 who says "And I don't see no ring!"
Frozen 2: Elsa's Palace Pony Party!!
  • Plot: Elsa's birthday is coming up, and Anna has a big surprise for her... a pony party with all of their princess friends! There's only one problem... Elsa doesn't know how to ride! Can Anna, along with her pony pals Sundance, Starskip, and Dreamdancer, teach Elsa how to ride before the big day??
  • Why it doesn't work: Cloying, girly, vomit-inducing.
  • Horrible twist: One of the princesses is a snobby "mean girl" who gets put in her place during the grand finale, which involves a dance competition.
 In the coming week, look for blog posts about my relationship with my mother-in-law (improving!) and turning down a job (satisfyingly validating!), as well as pictures from Valentine's Day.  (We went horseback riding!)