This story shape won’t leave you Frozen

Frozen by Disney
I haven’t had a lot of time to see any recent movies and I have a bad memory with details of them sometimes. However, I did just see Frozen and really loved it. So let me tell you about Frozen using Vonnegut’s shape.

Graphic showing the story shape of Frozen movie

Story Shape of Frozen

Still need a little more help? Let’s tell the story using a Story Spine to help get the main plot points across in a simple format. I will try to avoid a “Travolta” and miss up any names!

Once upon a time there were two sisters that were princesses named Elsa and Anna. Elsa was oldest possess the power to create and shape ice/snow. Anna was the youngest and had no powers.
Every day they would play and have the most amazing adventures together with her powers.
But, one day Elsa accidently injures her sister Anna with her powers while playing.
Because of that Elsa is never to show her powers in public again and must stay locked away in the castle. She never plays with Anna again and they grow apart. Until she is supposed become Queen and her powers are exposed fighting with Anna in public.
Because of that Elsa runs away but not before unleashing a deep freeze across all of the town of Arendelle. Elsa takes after her and meets Kristoff who ends up helping her reluctantly.
Until finally the story climaxes with an epic battle between Hans and Elsa but Anna is going to die unless an act of true love thaws her heart. That act was her sacrificing herself to save Elsa.
And, ever since then Hans is out of the picture, Kristoff and Anna end up together. Their sidekick snowman Olaf continues to live and everything is amazing and happy.
After thinking about this story I really thought it related a lot to rule # 16 because you really root for the characters and there are a lot of odds stacked against them!

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.


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5 responses to “This story shape won’t leave you Frozen”

  1. CogDog says :

    I can see good signs of digging into the story here- might the story have any more undulations, or is it pretty much down than back up? Would you say this is the most commons shape?

    There does some to be a factor of things the characters cannot control (Elsa was born with powers, Anna without) and the ones that come out of their own choices and actions.

    I might have liked to see a bot more explanation of the curve- and for example, Kristoff and Hans are mentioned but not seeing the story, I do not know who they are.

    And I am curious to know if this bit of thinking about the way the story is constructed gives you any more insight than just watching it for entertainment?

    • ctwilker says :

      I guess the big thing is now looking back there were almost two story plots happening and twisting together. One sister had her story and the other sister had her story which was together weaved for the larger story. But I guess you have to keep that in mind of the much larger story and not get caught up in sub plots. I will have to think on this!
      But yes giving it more thought and the construction does give more insight since you have to think through the plot points and what they mean.

  2. bcodelson says :

    Get ready for your least productive comment ever — I can’t read your post because I haven’t seen Frozen yet! But I’m dying to. I’ve been listening to all the songs and I love them. Can’t wait to come back and read your post after I watch the movie. Promising productive feedback then.

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