I know what you are thinking… A blog about another Disney movie! But honestly, you can’t go wrong with Disney; symbolism is hidden in all of their movies. Today, I’m going to talk about a piece of clothing that was easily overlooked in « Frozen ». The significance of the gloves.
I believe that for Elsa, the gloves act as a wall, hiding her true self from the rest of the world and thus acting as the source of her self-doubt. That’s a big statement, I know. But bear with me and you’ll understand how it fits. The first time we see gloves on Elsa in the film is when her father puts them on her to help her control her powers. As he does this, he says, » Conceal it, don’t feel it, don’t let it show ». From a young age, she learns to use the gloves to hide her powers.
Another time we see Elsa wearing gloves is at her coronation when she has to take them off for part of the ceremony. We learn that taking off her gloves makes it harder for her to control her powers. This supports the idea that the gloves act as a shield behind which she hides so as not to alert others to her true nature.
So what do you guys think happened when Anna took one of her sisters gloves in a desperate attempt to stop her sister from closing the castle gates? It doesn’t take long for Elsa’s powers to shoot out of her hands. Everyone was afraid, her biggest nightmare had become reality. So she runs away, and while singing the famous song « Let it go », she takes off the second glove and lets it float away in the wind. I know it’s dramatic, but it’s very symbolic. You see, at that point, she no longer needs to hide who she really is, she is free to be herself. Everything she was afraid of happened and that set her free; the fact that she threw her other glove to the wind is just a visual representation of her literally throwing away what was holding her back.
And what about Hans?
Hans is another person on whom we see gloves. The only time he takes off his gloves in the film is when he announces that he is going to kill Anna (which, I must say, was a very big plot twist). For this reason, in Hans’ case, we can say that his gloves also act as a shield, hiding his true murderous nature from everyone else. When he leaves Anna for dead, he puts his gloves back on. It is as if he puts his mask back on so that people do not know who he really is.
Parallel between why gloves were worn in the past and why Elsa wore them in the movie
According to Fashion Editor, in the past “Women wore gloves to protect themselves from disease and to keep their hands soft”. This was also the case with Elsa. I’m not talking about soft hands or diseases, but rather the gloves used as protection. The gloves protected people from Elsa’s powers.
“For women who had rough hands from manual labor, gloves were a way to hide their hands, especially at church or other social gatherings”. Essentially, they allowed them to look more “proper”. In the film, Elsa wears gloves when she is in the castle. Thus, in the film, gloves may also represent etiquette and compliance with social norms.
In conclusion, Disney has done it again. Only by looking closely at the details of the film will it become clear that the gloves in « Frozen » are used by the characters to hide their true nature. And for me, the fact that there is a small parallel between why the gloves were worn in the past and the meaning of why Elsa wore them makes the film all the more rich. Have you noticed other forms of symbolism in Disney films?
Oh My Disney. « We Need to Talk About the Gloves in Frozen. » Oh My Disney. DISNEY, 14 Apr. 2016. Web. 17 June 2021. < We Need to Talk About the Gloves in Frozen | Oh My Disney>.
Editor, Fashion. « History of Gloves in Fashion and Society. » Fashionintime.org. 07 Jan. 2021. Web. 17 June 2021. < History of Gloves in Fashion and Society – fashionintime.org>.