It might be because I’ve seen Frozen a million times but I’ve fallen a little bit in love with Kristoff – and I hope my little girls have too.
It’s not even about the blond hair and the leather, it’s the modern, respectful and happy relationship between him and Anna that makes me swoon. Together, Anna and Kristoff set a rare healthy example for our children.
Traditionally Disney’s male romantic leads can be more than a bit creepy by modern standards. In Beauty And The Beast, it’s hard to condone the Beast taking Belle hostage, while Cinderella’s Prince Charming forgets her name AND face and stalks her with her shoe. Aladdin essentially catfishes Jasmine with a fake identity and it’s best not to think about Snow White and Sleeping Beauty’s princes’ and their attempts to wake them from their comas with ‘magic’ kisses. I could go on.
Kristoff might be A Bit Of A Fixer-Upper, but he’d never dream of trying it on with someone while they were unconscious. Rather, when he kisses Anna for the first time, he seeks her consent saying, “I could kiss you, I could, I mean I’d like to, may I, may we?” Ah, those trolls raised him right.
Not only is he respectful, he’s also supportive. Many men (RIP Prince Philip) would have a hard time accepting their wife becoming queen. But when Anna takes the crown, Kristoff is nothing but supportive. He even surprises her by dressing up in a matching coronation outfit with Olaf.
He might be supportive, but he’s still his own man and doesn’t give up his ice business even after he pulls a Princess. He’s passionate about his work (remember his awe at Elsa’s ice palace), lacquers his own sleigh and loves his reindeer Sven.
Troublesome family members are a deal breaker for many but Kristoff fully accepts Anna’s love for her magic snowman Olaf and devotion to supernatural sister Elsa. He understands their bond cannot be broken, even when Elsa repeatedly puts them, herself and her people in mortal danger. He even joins in at charades.
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In their joint quest to do The Next Right Thing, Kristoff and Anna prove they are an equal partnership, supporting each other without question. In Frozen II Kristoff saves Anna from a giant, and entirely shelving his own agenda, simply says: “I’m here, what do you need?” When she asks him to destroy the dam, he trusts her judgement despite having told her earlier that the dam could release a tidal wave that would destroy Arendelle.
Bravery is one of our romantic hero’s best qualities. He takes on wolves, he jumps off mountains and he enters enchanted forests without flinching. It’s not just his physical bravery that’s to be admired, Kristoff’s emotionally brave too. When he‘s Lost In The Woods (what a power ballad that is) he plots a beautiful and romantic marriage proposal for Ann. When she isn’t there to see it, he isn’t even cross.
He replies with my favourite line in the whole film: “It’s OK. My love is not fragile.”
Later, when she apologises for abandoning him, he replies with my favourite line in the whole film: “It’s OK. My love is not fragile.” He is her rock. Relationship goals right there.
It’s a modern partnership. Unlike the Disney films of yore, Anna and Kristoff do not rush to the altar. Early in film one Kristoff openly mocks Anna for wanting to marry a man she has just met. He is proved right when Prince Hans of the Southern Isles turns out to be a treacherous villain. Instead, our lovers spend time getting to know one another and it’s only by the end of the second film they are ready to get married.
By this stage they really know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Even though Kristoff owns his flaw, it’s a turnoff when he admits to picking his nose an eating it. But nobody’s perfect, and that’s not a bad lesson for our children to learn either.
Of course, I don’t really want my children to fall in love with a cartoon character. But when they do meet someone they hope to spend the rest of their life with, I hope it’s someone a little more like Kristoff, and a little less like Prince Charming.
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