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you wouldn't understand by aquanut you wouldn't understand by aquanut
:bulletblue: tumblr :bulletblue:

don't let them in, don't let them see

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To me, Elsa's ice powers represent whatever troubles or anxieties or aspects of ourselves we keep hidden and are afraid to show to others for fear of hurting them or of being judged or rejected. Elsa shuts Anna out first and foremost because she doesn't want to hurt her again, but I think she also believes that no one would be able to understand or validate her issues because they're so far outside the norm that she'd simply be rejected and feared... and with the pressure of being a responsible older sister as well as future queen, she doesn't want to let down Anna's expectations and image of her. But by attempting to maintain this facade of "normalcy" and refusing to trust even when it's obvious to Anna that something's wrong, she hurts herself most of all.
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:iconscratstitch:
ScratStitch Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
Nice piece of art. But I think that Elsa always knew that Anna would accept her because she had before. The rest of the kingdom, yeah, she was afraid of what they'd think (and also afraid of accidentally hurting her subjects with her powers), but what do you expect to happen to a person when some dumbass old troll shows you an image of you being killed by an angry mob at age nine, and then says "By the way, don't be afraid"?
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Edited Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! I think Elsa was shutting Anna out primarily to protect her, so that she wouldn't be able to accidentally hurt her again, and it would have been very difficult for Elsa to explain that considering that nobody was supposed to know about her powers. Also, Anna may never have known about the destructive potential of Elsa's powers since as children they seem to have only used them in games, so Elsa may still have been concerned about Anna's reaction if she found out (whether or not she should have been); I think most people would feel nervous about revealing such a big secret about themselves to someone, because no matter how much they care about and support you, they may not know how to deal with it. Even if Elsa did know that Anna would accept her, she may still have been concerned that Anna would encourage her to use her powers like she had as a child, and since Elsa was putting all of her energy into suppressing them as she'd been instructed, she wouldn't have wanted that conflict of interests to distract her from doing what she felt was right.
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:iconscratstitch:
ScratStitch Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014
Very well thought out analysis. :) That's one of the many reasons I'm glad Life's Too Short WASN'T used in the film. It's very important for Anna to always accept Elsa for who she is, and to never want for her to put the gloves back on.
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A very good point! The key to the film was Elsa realizing that Anna loved her no matter what, and now that I see that I can accept that Life's Too Short didn't belong in the final work, as catchy as it may be.
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:iconuxv:
uxv Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful painting, both characters and the background are excellently done :D.

Also, when it comes to not hurting Anna, watch out for those fingers ^^;!
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:iconcrazed-monkey:
crazed-monkey Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014
The scenes from their childhood are just downright heartbreaking. I love this movie, but dear God, those scenes just feel like such a punch in the gut. Still, that is the mark of well told story, so I don't really mind.
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Edited Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I think the "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" sequence is one of the most emotionally powerful in the movie. There's a fanmade reprise that makes it even stronger IMO.

I think my favorite parts of the movie are the most heartbreaking ones, so I wouldn't have minded if there had been more... but then, I wanted the whole movie to be about Elsa's angst, so Disney's probably wise not to pander to me. :P
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:icontosotamashi:
TosoTamashi Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What a wonderful interpretation  Emoji31  

I can relate with it a lot.
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm happy to hear that, I'm glad you found it meaningful. =)
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:iconcanislupusdingo:
CanisLupusDingo Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014   General Artist
Another really nice analysis! I wish this theme had been focused on a bit more in the movie, because it's something a lot of people struggle with--I know a few people who would rather try to shut themselves away from the world out of fear of hurting someone or being hurt, even if it means pushing away their closet friends. These people tend to need a friend more than they realize (or would like to realize).

Also, don't  think I mentioned this before, but I really love your art style. It's very unique and gorgeous, especially the expressions and colours.
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! I completely agree, I wish the movie had focused more on this theme as well. That was the emotional core of the film to me and I thought it got lost in all the extraneous jokes and the romance subplot. And yeah... the hedgehog's dilemma is a very familiar one to me. I believe in the importance of relationships, but I also believe they should be mutually fulfilling and both people involved should feel validated and respected... I don't believe in trying to push relationships on people who are unreceptive to them, but in trying to make them comfortable enough that they feel safe opening up at their own pace. Regardless of what they "should" or "need to" do, there's usually little use in trying to convince people to change; that tends to just make them feel attacked and grow more stubborn.

Something I really liked in the Life's Too Short outtake song was the fact that Anna starts out complimenting Elsa's "work" and Elsa gets all pleased to be appreciated for her true self and finally starts warming to her sister, but then Anna starts making it clear that she expects Elsa to come back to the society Elsa wanted to escape and be one of them again, and Elsa immediately shuts down and starts pushing Anna out again. That dynamic felt so real and the reason Elsa got so upset was because Anna didn't validate what she wanted; Anna just assumed that the best thing for Elsa would be to go back to living like everyone else she knew. But not everyone is happy living the same way. Perhaps the lonely ice palace was the wrong solution, but I suspect Elsa will never really feel like she fits in with others in Arendelle either, though she'll stay out of love for her sister and duty to her people.

Also, thank you for commenting on the art, I'm happy you like the style, it's nice to hear that it's recognizable! =) I think expressions and colors are my favorite things to work with so I'm glad to hear that, thank you!
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:iconcanislupusdingo:
CanisLupusDingo Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014   General Artist
I don't think I could have worded your first paragraph more eloquently. Indeed, "Life's Too Short" was very interesting, and would have added a realistic dynamic to their relationship. Even though it was a light-hearted-sounding song, it pretty much reflected what arguments look like between people who have the potential to be close friends. And it would have made Elsa and Anna's reunion/reconciliation at the end of the movie much more powerful. Also, Elsa really speaks conceptually for the people who never quite feel like the fit in with society, but try to anyhow (or have to because not everyone can afford to be a recluse)--and Anna seems to speak conceptually for the people who try to drag all the "Elsas" into society, and/or are willing to befriend them.

And your welcome!
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, I'm glad it got the point across. I liked the rhythm of Life's Too Short, and I think the upbeat tone reinforced the passive-aggressive nature of the argument; I agree completely that it would have made the reconciliation at the end much more powerful (and I also very much like the fanmade reprise of Do You Want to Build a Snowman). And yes, you hit the nail on the head with what Elsa and Anna represent. Despite my usual leniency with Disney happy endings, I feel conflicted about how neatly the finale resolved things--Elsa instantly gaining control of her powers and using it for the good of the people, finally having a relationship with her sister, and living in the kingdom happily ever after. I couldn't help thinking that Anna had "won".

Of course I understand that within the context of the story, it was a true happily-ever-after ending and the best for everyone. But in real life, people who don't fit in with society are often pressured greatly to conform and if they don't, they may be looked down upon or pitied for not doing something "better" for them. The song Let It Go speaks to people who have spent their lives trying to conform and finally give up and decide to be themselves instead of what others want or expect them to be... but given that Elsa is lying to herself throughout the song, in the end, is the solution conformity after all?

It's not supposed to be, because Elsa's society now accepts and celebrates her powers and welcomes her into it, but I find myself wondering whether being a darling of the people is what she actually wanted. There's no way for me to say, because her character wasn't developed enough--and since she's queen, it doesn't really matter anyway; regardless of what she wants, she has to carry out her responsibility, so the best-case scenario really is that she has loving friends and family to support her as she performs her duty. So I have to accept that the ending is perfect for everyone because I've been give no reason to think otherwise, but I still feel vaguely uncomfortable and conflicted about it.
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:iconcanislupusdingo:
CanisLupusDingo Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014   General Artist
The fanmade reprise was just...wow. Brought a tear to my eye (which is kinda rare for me). I'm willing to let the eternally happy ending scheme of Disney movies slide--after all, kids love to watch Disney movies, and in this day and age having Hansel and Gretel devoured by the evil witch just isn't an acceptable ending. All things considered though, Disney movies are pretty dark--it was after watching Frozen that I thought, "Sheesh, how often do parents die in these movies?" But from a storyteller's point of view, the ending to Frozen does beg believability--and I think a "children's" story could benefit from having some of the things you mentioned. Especially when a sizeable percentage of people feel like they don't "fit in" with mainstream society. By having Anna "win", Disney is suggesting that people like Elsa ultimately have to conform to society (and unless a "social outcast" suddenly becomes famous, society does not accept/celebrate that person's strangeness). So ultimately, I agree that the ending to Frozen was conflicting--but then, I've come to appreciate endings that aren't as clean and "perfect" as Frozen's was. Perhaps this ending wasn't the one that fit Elsa best--but it is the ending of the movie, so we haven't much choice but to accept it (although it does make for a good discussion topic).
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:iconcortex-aire:
Cortex-Aire Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Wow I love how you analyse those scenes, it's interesting to think of all the hidden messages :heart: And the picture complements it beautifully of course, the cold colours really reflect the situation and perhaps what Elsa and Anna's relationship will eventually become... I love how you give your artwork so much meaning :love: 
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, I'm really glad to hear you find it meaningful and that the colors bring it out! =) There were actually a few different versions of this that I made before posting this one, with different expressions for Elsa. I had one where she looked angry and one where she seemed more agitated, but I finally settled on this because I think she primarily feels sad that Anna wouldn't understand--she wishes Anna would understand, but there's too great a risk that she wouldn't and it'd hurt them both a lot. (Plus Elsa was told not to tell her, even if she wanted to.)
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:iconjanus-006:
janus-006 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I wonder how many people are able to relate to this much better than they care to admit? I know I'll put my hand up and say I'm somewhat notorious for either freezing people out or just hiding everything that goes wrong behind a smile (admittedly, my ability to put on a convincing smile even when things are shot to hell make me pretty good at customer service; no-one can tell I'm using fake sincerity). It gets especially difficult for me, since the people who are closest to me actually don't make any attempts to understand what goes on. It stands to reason that I seem to have a bit of an affinity for ice-related things, although that does take a back seat to my affinity for machines and cybernetics (at least, as far as video games and TCGs go. Real life? I can't fathom technology).
Personal revelations aside... beautiful work on the outfit, and the building too. It really does look like it's frozen over, and the snowflakes drifting in add a nice touch to enhance just how cold the situation has become, metaphorically and perhaps literally.
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, that does seem like a good ability to have for customer service. In my case it's generally very easy to read my mood, but I keep to myself a lot. It usually has less to do with things going wrong so much as I don't trust most people to validate my perspective, and sharing something only to be met with confusion or people trying to change my mind is more unpleasant than keeping quiet in the first place. It sucks when people who are closest to you don't bother to try to understand you or take an interest in what goes on; sorry you're in that situation. It gets exhausting to maintain relationships that are one-sided but for one reason or another can't just be walked out of. (Or to deal with people who would like to know you, but just don't see from your point of view and expect you to be more like themselves, which... kinda seems like they don't care about knowing you at all, and just want you to give them some form of social satisfaction without anything in return.)

I have a bit of an affinity for ice-related things as well, as an extension of water, but weather-wise I think I handle heat better than cold (even though I find both extremes unpleasant). I mean, when it's warm I can go swimming, but snow is awful to travel in. (Then again I say this hesitantly because I have lived in a desert and I know how uncomfortable extreme heat is.)

And, thank you for your comments on the picture! I'm glad I managed to get that frozen look; I think the snowflakes add a lot, too.
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:iconjanus-006:
janus-006 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
It is a bit tough to deal with not being understood, but I do my best to get by and putting up that facade is pretty important. Admittedly, sometimes the stress makes me snap a bit, but I do severely regret it if I lose my cool. I guess someday I will find someone who does understand me completely. I have a few close friends who are able to provide some understanding, whereas my family just doesn't bother. It's rather annoying and it's why I want to save up as much as possible, as fast as possible, and move out to my own place. If I get the chance to do a few more things and meet more people, maybe I'll find a way to fit in, rather than pretty much having to hide what I do because no-one bothers to try and understand it.
As Eric Burdon, lead singer of The Animals, said, "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood".

I handle cold a lot better than heat, which is odd as I live in Australia and its summers are really fiery.
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:icondleagueman:
DLeagueman Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
aw that was so sad Elsa had a sad childhood :(
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:iconpokefan181:
Pokefan181 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Aww~<3
Your fanart of this movie is so cute. >w<
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks, I'm glad you like it!
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:iconpokefan181:
Pokefan181 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014
You're very welcome!:la:
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:iconrutana:
Rutana Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Student Writer
"Fun" fact: www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/s…
As far as I am aware, these metaphors were intended, to teach kids about it.
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hadn't heard that Disney intended the metaphor to be something specific, as the concept of accepting yourself and opening up to others can be applied to a lot of things, but I assumed that someone who worked on the movie probably drew on this type of experience to portray Elsa's character because her behavior's strikingly consistent with this interpretation.
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:iconblackeyes17:
BlackEyes17 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why is nobody talking about your analogy like yeah the artwork is awesome but it's always awesome but that LITTLE SPIEL WAS JUST BEAUTIFUL Squeal! 
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww thank you for this comment, I'm really glad it meant something to you. I'm happy you like the art too! =)
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:iconblackeyes17:
BlackEyes17 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Anytime, you talented little aquabutt you Lovely Shoujo (Heart for you) [V3] 
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:iconramonkun:
Ramonkun Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
simple and yet great capture! love this piece..
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much, I'm glad I was able to capture this dynamic between them!
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:iconredmadam:
redmadam Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Omg you are an amazing artist...
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, thank you. =) I'm glad you enjoy my work.
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:iconmiyunea:
Miyunea Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Oh, I loved that scene! Great job! I am a dummy! 
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:iconaquanut:
aquanut Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, I'm glad you like it! =)
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