Friday, April 11, 2014

"Frozen" (Sub)Fandoms Transform Elsa Into The New "Girl On Fire"

Fan made poster by nickart
Note: Yes, I was going to include this in my list of back-up articles but realized I'd referred to this in my previous post on Frozen and thought it deserved it's own slot, considering the amount of information and the linkage I wanted to include. As such, though, the first line links to the main article that has a really nice summary of the meme and it's popularity.
Frozen fan art and sequel speculation leads to trend of portraying Elsa as a fiery or Phoenix-like queen and the new 'Girl On Fire'.

It was inevitable that someone would head down this path but it's proven to be a "hotter trend' (groan) than expected. 

I'm sure the popularity of Katniss in her flame dress (from Hunger GamesCatching Fire) and Daenerys, Mother of Dragons (from Game of Thrones) have helped the idea along but there's no doubt people just love this idea. 

I like the speculations of the phoenix-like character (who has a lot of similarities to Cinderella if you read them) and the This Could Have Been Frozen POC Tumblr crowd are loving this too, showing ethnic, asian and desert-homed version of Elsa. Some of it is silly and fun. Some of it seriously works.
Over the last few weeks, fans have spontaneously evolved a thriving sub-fandom around an alternate universe (AU) version of Elsa, the tormented snow queen, in which she has the ability to control the element of fire instead of ice. Replacing her austere blue and white color palette for every possible shade of red, the fandom has churned out fanart, song lyrics, GIF sets, and fanfiction devoted to the fiery queen. 
Do a Tumblr search for "Frozen fire" or "Elsa fire" and you'll be amazed at just how much there is on this theme. People have redone Let It Go as Let 'Em Burn, complete with altered animation & animated fire footage... (it's very well done from lyrics to animation but the singing is a bit hard on the ears, so consider yourself warned). There's even a nouveau-style fire queen t-shirt.

I find it really interesting that it's my home country, Australia, that has really cottoned on to this meme. While we do get snow in a few places, many Aussies haven't experienced snow and ice on the sort of scale Frozen shows but we're extremely familiar with sunburn and fire.. 

From a dedicated Aussie Tumblr:
“Mimis are fairy-like beings of Arnhem Land in the folklore of the Indigenous Australians of northern Australia.
They are described as having extremely thin and elongated bodies, so thin as to be in danger of breaking in case of a high wind. To avoid this, they usually spend most of their time living in rock crevices. They are said to have taught the Aborigines of Australia how to hunt, prepare kangaroo meat and use fire. They are like humans but they live in a different dimension.”

— also because Mimis. They’re the closest thing this country has to the trolls in Frozen.

I must admit, ever since seeing the amazing animation of the flame-Esmerelda in Hunchback of Notre Dame, I have really loved the idea of a fire elemental or phoenix-like character. 
There's so much potential to play with art on such a theme: lava castles, phoenix birds, dragons, all those scary-but-real fire phenomenons of nature...
Fantasia 2000 did a jaw-dropping job of transforming Mt. St. Helen's into a Firebird but it's not quite the same as a character with a story arc, conflict and various motivations. 

What do you think? Would you like to see a fairy tale fire heroine (or hero)? 

1 comment:

  1. The comic Gunnerkrigg Court -- -- has a human-fire elemental character as its main protagonist, and also includes many folklore and mythology aspects. It might be of interest to fairy tale fans who want to see a fire elemental heroine. I certainly like it. :-)