My Favorite Characters: Princess Anna

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As many of you know, the Disney film Frozen has two main characters who are princesses. One is more shy and introverted. The other is more open and outgoing. One happens to have amazing powers and the other does not. As you might have noticed, the one with powers is much more popular than the one without them. And that's not surprising to me in the slightest. Elsa's abilities are incredible to watch, and the way they perfectly tie into her personality and character make her appeal very high. But what many people fail to recognize is that her little sister is a fantastic character in her own right. Elsa's inner conflicts may lead to a more interesting character dilemma, but if I had to choose which one of the two sisters is more enjoyable to watch on screen, I would choose Princess Anna.

Disney princesses have many things in common. They're all generally nice and polite and have dreams that motivate their actions. However, many of them have run into the problem of being generally uninteresting. Characters like Snow White and Aurora of Sleeping Beauty are nice and all, but that is one of the only aspects of their characterization. Princess Anna, on the other hand, is much more of a joy to watch. She's quirky, she's bubbly, she's weird, she's awkward, and above all else, she has so much passion deep down inside her. Whenever she feels like she has to do something either for herself or for the people she cares about, she goes out and does it, no questions asked. Anna is a fighter. She's willing to fight for what she believes in. She's also allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. Due to her having little contact with the outside world, she ends up falling for the first guy that notices her. However, she notices her mistakes, learns her lesson to not to be too trusting of random people, and gives Hans a sucker punch to the face on top of it. I don't think any other Disney princess (outside of Mulan; she's badass) would ever DREAM of doing that. In many ways, I consider Anna to be the Anti-Disney Princess Disney Princess. She goes above just being sweet and nice, and can be viewed as someone who can actually be looked upon for inspiration. She doesn't get rescued. She rescues people. She doesn't ask people to go out and save the day. She goes out and saves the day herself. And its that passion and determination that really appeal to me

Elsa is the person who I am most similar to now. Anna, in many respects, is the person I wish I could be like. She is a tad awkward in social situations due to her not having much contact with the outside world. Despite this, she's willing to take the world in with open arms. And if she makes a few missteps along the way, it's perfectly fine cause she's an individual who is constantly working to make herself a better person. What makes Anna different from a lot of other Disney heroines is just how funny she is. Technically, Olaf is Frozen's comic relief character, but in my eyes, the majority of the characters in the movie manage to make me laugh. Anna's quirky and awkward way of doing things is very fun to watch. The way she does things and Kristen Bell's line delivery never fail to make me feel good inside. Her presence on screen always manages to make me smile every time I watch the movie. Having a Disney princess who is allowed to be odd, undignified, and tough is such a breath of fresh air. It's Anna's passion and love that she has for her sister that make her impossible for me not to root for. She wants Elsa back in her life, and the two of them hold such an inseparable bond that gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Anna can go from cute to weird to feisty to melancholy to sweet and never miss a beat. That has all the fixings of just a phenomenal character.

Much of the enjoyment I get from Anna is rooted in Kristen Bell's portrayal of her. With a less talented actress, this character could have easily come off as too girly, bland, and predictable. Just your average, run-of-the-mill Disney princess with little to no character intrigue. Bell put in so much heart and effort to make sure that Anna felt like a real, authentic individual to the point where the two of them are practically the same person. If you were to look up interviews of Kristen Bell, she talks and acts almost exactly like Princess Anna. She had wanted to be in a Disney film ever since she was a little girl, so getting the lead in Frozen was a lifelong dream for her. Here's a long quote taken from an interview of Kristen explaining the importance that Anna and Frozen as a whole have to her:

"I'm really excited to show it to people. I became a part of the kind of movie I wanted to see as a kid. I always loved Disney animation, but there was something about the females that was unattainable to me. Their posture was too good and they were too well-spoken, and I feel like I really made this girl much more relatable and weirder and scrappier and more excitable and awkward. I think I'll be the most proud of this character for a long time. There was so much of me that was put into this character. There was a lot of collaboration, and not just in the fact of, here is the character, and here is what I want to bring, and here is what you want to bring. I really wanted to infuse her with who I am. I wanted the heart behind it to be that things didn’t come to her; the birds didn't come and braid her hair. She went out and fought for things. I'm really proud that little girls will be able to see that, because that’s what I wanted. So I will be thinking about her for a while."

Kristen Bell is my favorite actress, and one of my favorite celebrities in general. She's a real, authentic person despite being a famous Hollywood actress who's starred in a countless number of movies, TV shows, and stage plays during her career. Her performance as Anna is what really caused me to take notice of her. And that's another reason why I'm happy for Frozen' existence. It's so amazing to see actors put so much passion and effort into their work. While she definitely got paid for her performance, the way Kristen talks about Frozen makes it seem like she would have taken the job regardless if she was paid for it. The way I see it, if everybody on Earth was a little more like Kristen Bell, the world would be a much better place to live.

Both Elsa and Anna are characters that I would teach my children to look up to. They have flaws. They've made their fair share of mistakes in their lives. But they are always working to become better people and have themselves with each other for their entire journeys. Their different personalities play off of each other beautifully. Elsa's shy nature mixes perfectly with Anna's social nature. The two of them have been through so much hardship in their life, and it's great to see them find peace and happiness with one another. These two truly love each other and relish in each other's company. Anna and Elsa's relationship is one my all time favorite character relationships in fiction. It's powerful and is 110% genuine.

I can completely understand someone not liking Frozen. It's a movie that has been impossible to ignore and has been oversaturated in our society for quite some time now. But whenever I watch this movie, it blows me away with how likable its characters are. And nowhere is that more abundant than its two sister leads. Anna's passion, love, and determination never fail to make me smile from ear to ear. Elsa's relatability and sympathetic nature never fail to make me take an introspective look at myself. And these two different yet similar characters give me a feeling of warmth and coziness that few other characters have managed to give me. Queen Elsa and Princess Anna of Arendelle are two of the greatest animated movie characters I have ever seen, and they are two individuals who any person, young and old, can be inspired by.

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