The Dangers of a Beautiful Stranger
Whenever I watch the scene where Kristoff asks Anna questions on just how much she knows about Hans, since she claimed “Hans is not a stranger,” it is hard for me not to laugh a little or roll my eyes because of the answers she gives.
When Anna says that Hans is not a stranger, she says it because after having grown up reading fairy tales, a prince who looks and acts like one right out of a fairy tale has come to reality. She falls for him because he does everything she had wanted to do with a prince, such as flirting, dancing, taking a moonlit walk, and singing a romantic duet with him. During their entire “date,” Hans and Anna act so much like one another, including saying to each other that they are meant to be. And of course, Anna considers marriage to be the purest and strongest form of love, since it means that the man and woman will live happily ever after. So when Hans finally proposes, of course she says yes!
To Anna, her definition of love (and even that of Hans) is doing all of these things, and the fact that the attraction between her and Hans seems mutual also proves her point. In summary, because Anna has done everything with Hans that she had hoped to do with a man, it is why she believes they have true love.
But here is the kicker: all of those things happened very quickly and easily and were fun to do because Anna was acting on a crazy romantic whim. She does not consider the fact that more serious matters can come into play into the relationship, including how well she knows Hans, especially since they just met only that day. Even though they had talked some, Hans and Anna did not communicate enough to get to know each other very well.
Referring back to when I mentioned that she says he is not a stranger because he is a prince right out of a fairy tale, a crucial flaw in Anna’s relationship with Hans is that she assumes things about him. So then when Kristoff asks her how well she really knows Hans, her poor answers represent how little she communicated with Hans and assumes these things; she does not know truly know about him. For every individual answer she provides Kristoff, here are my interpretations:
- Last Name: This answer intrigues me especially in how Anna responds. I have an impression that she is trying to cover for herself in order to convince Kristoff that Hans is her true love. Notice that when Anna answers, first she scoffs, then rolls her eyes when she says, “Of-the-Southern Isles.” Also, the way she says it sounds a little bit slow, like she’s taking a moment to hesitate, but also trying not to delay it too long. I have doubts that she believes that it is actually his last name, but she improvises it on the spot to sound convincing to Kristoff. Of course, the Southern Isles are just where his home kingdom is located.
- Favorite Food: Now with this question, she answers more quickly and even gives a little bit of a grin, indicating that she is confident in her response. But I think that this is another on-spot improvisation. We never see Hans tells Anna his favorite food, but when she improvises “Sandwiches!”, Hans responds, “That’s what I was gonna say!” It was this exchange that made Anna believe his favorite food are sandwiches, and it was the first word that came to Anna’s mind, so it’s why she gives it as answer.
- Best Friend’s Name: As Anna answers, she looks at Kristoff with another bit of an eye roll while raising her eyebrows. Like the first answer, this may indicate this she is still trying to cover for herself and convince Kristoff otherwise. Now of course, the fact that she says “probably” is one of her assumptions, showing that she does not know at all. As said in the novelization, “Anna replied, reflecting that lots of people were named John. So maybe Hans’s best friend would be, too.” BTW, Hans is actually the Danish variant of John (see this post), so this could be an inside-joke.
- Eye Color: Now when she answers to this, Anna moves her eyes to look up and brings her hands up to her chest, looking like she is in a lovesick daze. She even sounds like she is in the way she responds “Dreamy.” Now this indicates that Hans’s looks were the first thing she noticed about him, but because she is fixated on just how handsome and charismatic he is, she did not take time to notice the smallest details about him. That includes his eyes, which are green.
- Foot Size: Anna answers the last question by starting still looking dazed, then she shifts her eyes in Kristoff’s direction. It’s subtle, but it could be because she is a little bit annoyed that Kristoff would think such details about someone would be so important. That, along with the fact that she has no official answer for this, is why she says, “Foot size doesn’t matter.”
Kristoff continues after this by asking Anna what if there were things about Hans that she hated, even asking if he would pick his nose. Again, Anna makes an assumption about Hans when she says, “Excuse me, sir. He is a prince,” meaning that she thinks Hans would never do that just because he is a charming prince.
Despite Kristoff’s inquisition, Anna firmly argues that she and Hans have true love. But again, she only believes this because they had done everything that she considers romantic, especially since they all happened so quickly and easily. Her idea of love has blurred her vision between reality and fantasy, so she does not act practical about this relationship.
And when Hans finally reveals his true colors, Anna gets a harsh reality check. Realizing just how well Hans had deceived her, she understands that she did not know him at all and that their engagement was a foolish mistake.
Though Frozen is a fairy tale, it delivers a good message about people. Even when you are all grown up, never rush into relationships, and never judge people by their appearances. Even the most handsome stranger can be the most dangerous foe.