We’re not ashamed about how much we like to read deeply into Disney movies. We last examined Frozen by discussing foreshadowing in “Frozen Heart,” and now it’s time to talk about symbolism. Some of you have undoubtedly already realized this, but for everyone else—did you know that the gloves in Frozen are super symbolic? They are.
Critical analysis time! Gather ‘round, children.
The first time we see gloves, it’s when Elsa’s father puts them on her (and on her left hand first; keep in mind that she’s left handed). He tells her, “The gloves will help. See? Conceal it …” This is the moment Elsa first learns to hide her true nature. The gloves are supposed to physically contain her ice powers, but they come to represent the emotional side of concealing them as well.
Then we flash forward and Prince Hans shows up. And what are on his hands, but gloves! Hiding something perhaps, Hans?
Elsa is forced to take her gloves off during her coronation. We learn that it’s much harder for her to conceal her ice powers when she’s making direct contact with an object …
… And that she’s incredibly fearful of removing her gloves.
When Anna rips off Elsa’s glove (from her left hand—notice a pattern?) during their confrontation about Hans, Elsa loses control moments later.
She reveals her true self to everyone in the ballroom, but only part of her true self—the part that can be dangerous.
When she runs up the mountain and begins singing “Let It Go,” she rips off her remaining glove and lets it float away alongside her determination to hide who she is. With both hands gloveless, she reveals the other part of her true self: the part that’s creative and awe-inspiring.
But this is where things get really crazy. Fast forward to Hans about to kiss Anna. He still hasn’t removed his gloves once …
… And now it’s time for Hans to reveal his true nature. As he explains his evil plot to Anna, he removes his right glove (the opposite of Elsa’s, maybe because his true self is evil and her true self is good?).
Just pure evil.
Right before he’s about to leave Anna to freeze, Hans puts his glove back on. This makes sense, since he’s about to hide his true self again and pretend to mourn her death.
We all know how Hans’ plot ends, of course, and thank goodness for that. Did you already know about the gloves in Frozen? Tell us below!