VIDEO: Frozen’s Elsa: the poster child for introverts

A discussion of how the biggest animated movie of 2013 does in its portrayal of introverts.

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  • Muthsarah

    Joey’s a budding psychologist! Neato.

    INTJ. Taken versions of the test many times. Always INTJ. Extremely I.

    Except online. I let my E flag fly when I got that extra layer, the luxury to choose my words (or, frequently, just let ’em happen). I think that’s why I love Anna so much. I WISH I could be that giddy and impulsive and crazy.

  • INTP(Introversion, (borderline)iNtuition, Thinking, Perceiving)
    This movie sure does make people want to think of the meaning behind it, that’s for certain.

  • Jackie

    I was almost completely shut in for some of this year. So i related to Elsa a lot.

  • Richard Eriksson Hjelm

    I thought there was a reason why I related to Elsa

  • maarvarq

    I’ve taken the test a few times, although not recently, and am always strongly xNTy, but borderline E/I and P/J. I think of myself as more introverted, and now have another reason to love Elsa :-)

  • Thomas Stockel

    I (moderate, 56%) S (Strong 100%.) T (Moderate, 38%) J (Marginal 1%)

  • Bia

    I’ve, too, taken the Myers-Briggs test a few times myself. Apparently I’m ENFP.

  • INTJ

    I do not find her to be an introvert (though that works as a metaphor certainly).

    Elsa has been emotionally abused by her god awful parents (thank the Aesir they died horribly and their miserable work was put to an end). Elsa lives in constant fear of harming others, the freedom she has when out in the wild is not the freedom from people, but the freedom from possibly killing them. Like Superman in his Fortress of Solitude, he can’t accidently break any of the very delicate people he is constantly surrounded by.

    I would back up this theory that she ends the movie surrounded by people as she is no longer afraid of accidently hurting them having gained a great deal of control over her abilities in the… 3 or 4 days that this movie takes place. Her desire is not for solitude itself, but the safety of those she cares about and is responsible for. Anna is much more out gong, but she seems to suffer from being a spoiled brat (she has all the wealth and privilege of being royalty but without the inevitable burden of responsibility and statecraft… one might say that the super powers are a metaphor for the power of royalty to make far reaching decisions).

    • Joseph Patrick

      You bring up good points, but i’m going to have to respectfully disagree. Prior to the accident, Elsa seemed like someone who preferred her space. If they maybe spent more time showing this in the movie it could have been made clearer, but I thought it was neat showing how Anna has to provoke Elsa to play with her while she’s sleeping, even telling her that she could play with herself. Yeah… nobody wants to be interrupted from sleeping, but I think this is an intentional detail on the filmmakers part showing how opposite their personalities are.

      Also, we might look back at what the parents did as abuse; but did Elsa see it that way? I’m not talking about Stockholm Syndrome or anything where she’s powerless to their influence. I think they did love each other as any good parents and were doing what they thought was right… despite it having longterm problems ending in a self fulfilling prophecy. She could have easily run away with the massive power she had while her parents were still alive to live in the mountains, but she didn’t.

      Even at the end of the film, Elsa’s got a neat space between her and the other town folk. It should also be stressed that Introverts can be in large crowds and parties to socialize… just not all the time. The preference is to have more meaningful relationships with one or few people as opposed to many. I think there’s enough evidence in the film to support that she’s typically an introvert.

      • The fact that we can both argue this shows that there were issues with weak characterization in this movie. I didn’t really realize it till a few weeks after seeing it, but I find that aside from the 2nd act (which is mostly searching for Elsa) the movie is poorly handled.

  • Wizkamridr

    ISFJ. Kind of.

  • Snaps Provolone

    I dunno about the Myers-Briggs test but I scored pretty high on the Voight-Kampff test.

    • Joseph Patrick

      Well at least we know your human! I wouldn’t be surprised if Phillip K. Dick or Ridley Scott were influenced by personality tests.

  • Nine Breaker

    -hi fives all my fellow INTJ’s- woop woop!!

  • Schwanwald

    You do know that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test is officially considered pseudo-science, right? (Just like most of Sigmund Freud’s and Carl Jung’s work is these days, or the Rorschach inkblot test.) It’s an untestable, unfalsifiable, completely subjective construct that was invented by Isabel Briggs
    Myers and her mother with no training in psychology or any other natural science, as a socio-political tool (to quantify people for the job market). And like astrology, a lot of people eat it up. It seems to be a new fad on tumblr, too.

    Just because MBTI test has gained popularity (and notoriety) in the American business world and schools, to the extend of becoming an ideological belief, doesn’t mean it’s not complete bogus. If I should venture a guess why, it’s because I noticed that Americans grow up with a worldview that likes to neatly divide everything into a dichotomy, with two (and only two) sides to every issue.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2013/mar/19/myers-briggs-test-unscientific

    — Nothing personal: The questionable Myers-Briggs testskeptoid.com/episodes/4221 — The Myers-Briggs Personality Test
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator

  • Jonathan Campbell

    INFJ (the REAL 1%), and I’ve said it on TGWTG, but I disagree that Introverts (heroic or otherwise) are rare in Disney or in fiction in general. Mulan, for instance, is probably an Introvert (and like Elsa, my INFJ sis); Quasimodo too; probably a lot of supporting characters. Sherlock Holmes is ALWAYS an Introvert, so the new show isn’t really breaking any new ground by making him a protagonist either. Introverts are easier to paint as complex or interesting without showing that much, so its quite natural to make them main characters; not to mention, most stories are about the plot, so the social lives of the main characters or whether they are Introverted or not is not very important.

    And I don’t think the writers were necessarily thinking of Jung when they wrote this story (they might have been, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t); its actually quite easy to fit most characters into pre-existing archetypes or concepts. You could just as easily say that they have the work of Robert Hare in mind when they make their villains a psychopath.

    But still….very interesting video, and you should make more.