November 10, 2013 was an emblematic date for the House of the Mouse. That day saw the addition of two more princesses, Anna and Elsa, to Disney’s growing portfolio, in addition to a movie that was on fire! At one point, Frozen was the fifth highest-grossing film of all time (per Variety), with an estimated $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office. The film was a success.
The music, characters, and story have all created a perfect storm for kids everywhere, and before you know it, Frozen parties were a thing, and kids everywhere performed their own renditions of “Let it go” and helped sell Tylenol for adults who had to endure it 24/7. Disney, once again, had a hit – all-too-familiar territory for the media company. However, there is only one problem that tarnishes an otherwise perfect story: Prince Hans.
The Story of Frozen
For those of you who’ve lived under a rock, or those of you who just need a refresher, here’s the skinny on Hans. Hans, voiced by the very talented Santino Fontana, is 13th in line to his throne on the Southern Isles. Essentially, he has a better chance of winning Powerball than becoming a prince. Alas, a foreign land opens its doors to celebrate the coronation of their new queen, Elsa, voiced by the very talented Idina Menzel. Hans concocts a plan using his dapper looks and charming personality to enact a rather confusing plan to woo Elsa’s younger sister, Anna, Voice of the bubbly Kristen Bell. This kicks off a chain of events that are just plain bizarre and have certainly been criticized more than this article will criticize.
Why Prince Hans Doesn’t Make Sense
Hans’ worst enemy is himself: essentially wanting to become the king of Arendelle, he has several “What’s going on in the…?” moments throughout Frozen. First, there’s the meet-cute. He has no idea who Anna is until he meets her near the docks, and once she introduces herself, the already extremely polite prince immediately bows and exclaims, “My Lady.” . Here’s the thing, though: if he really is as dumb as he’s made out to be, why be polite to the first impression of a seemingly random woman not paying much attention to anything? A lot of princes in Disney movies are stuck up and full of themselves for their own wicked ways – why should Hans be any different?
When he finally gets knocked down in the fjord, no one is looking at him, but he clearly has a smitten look on his face. It does not mean anything. Fast forward to the ballroom scene, shortly after the two get “engaged”. Elsa scolds his sisterand, being realistic, forbids the idea and ends the party, telling his servants to close the palace before fleeing the castle in a fit of anxiety at his sister.
Later in Frozen, after his twist, Hans explains that he would have just waited for the perfect moment to plan an accident that would happen to the queen after he marries Anna, which would make him king by marriage to the new queen, Anna. Well, here’s the thing with that: he’s lucky enough to see Elsa get knocked down when the King of Weazletown’s henchmen raise his crossbow and have it in his Ice Palace sights. All Hans had to do was watch him pull the trigger and the queen was gone – and there’s no blood on her hands!
It could be argued that Hans kept Else alive to try and reverse the eternal winter she inadvertently caused, but if the least intelligent person in the film knew that killing Elsa would end it, Hans certainly should have. know. At the time, Hans is also unaware of Anna’s frozen heart that will eventually consume her, but he has an easy path to becoming king here. As the 13th in line to his own throne, Hans would certainly know something of the rules of succession, and with Elsa being left out, a quick marriage to an ailing Anna would surely end with him as king. But none of that happened because Hans doesn’t really belong in the movie.
What should have happened
The simple truth is that just like Indiana Jones himself in The Last Crusadeall the events of Frozen could very easily have happened without Hans’ involvement. The film even helped solve a decades-long mystery easier than including Hans with minimal ease. Picture this: A scared young woman named queen on her 18th birthday has been locked away in a grand castle with a bubbly sister who doesn’t understand personal space and has become very introverted. The castle opens its doors for the first time in literal years, and she has a panic attack, overwhelmed by the people, and an overbearing sister who wants nothing more than to keep the doors open. Elsa accidentally exposes her own secret and runs away, forcing Anna to chase after her, where she meets her true love, Kristoff.
In fact, the only reason Hans is remotely relevant is because he’s saving Elsa from Duke Weazleton’s man with the crossbow, which, by the way, is completely counterproductive to what Hans try to do first. Besides, FrozenNor does the story require Hans for Anna to fall in love with Kristoff. Their romance could very well have been like the stuff of many romance movies, where two people spend a lot of time together and fall in love. He rushes to save the princess after she tries to calm her sister down and fails.
Seriously, close your eyes and just erase Hans because he’s not needed. It’s not that Hans is a bad character – because he isn’t – his charm is refreshing, and you can sense his problem with his family, realizing that he will never own the throne. The real problem with Hans is that his villainous arc comes out of nowhere and is kind of forced and poorly thought out, as he ultimately chooses to be a villain in a story that really doesn’t require one.