Another Royal Fairy Tale Romance…Not!
When Frozen was first released, we saw that Anna spent time with Hans before she did with Kristoff, which made us think that they were going to end up together and that Hans was the heroic prince of the story. However, after they get engaged, they spend a lot of time apart, which doesn’t cause further development of their relationship. In fact, even though this film seems to be much like past Disney fairy tales with the romance between a prince and princess, Hans’s proposal to Anna seems very suspicious since he asks her after only meeting her a few hours ago. But Anna doesn’t seem to notice or care; she believes that she has found true love in Hans.
To me, Hans being a prince and Anna being a princess does not mean that they are meant for each other. From what we’ve seen with their interactions, at least before Elsa’s powers are revealed, Hans and Anna got to know each other, but not well enough for their relationship to actually be “true love.” It’s true that Anna and Hans do have quite a bit in common: they’re both royalty, the youngest in their respective families, were shut out by their siblings when growing up, are kind to everyone they meet, share a duet (like couples in many past Disney Princess films), and feel the same way about a lot of things, such as common interests (according to their duet “Love Is An Open Door”).
However, while Hans may be able to relate somewhat to Anna in terms of their upbringings, there is a big difference in them: despite being shut out by Elsa, Anna actually wanted to reconnect with her sister and would do anything to do just that. But because he had so many older brothers, Hans only wanted to get more attention than all of them and didn’t hesitate to commit murder and forcefully marry into monarchy in order to get his chance to be on top at last.
Of course, as we learn later, Hans never loved Anna at all. When he reveals his true intentions, Hans says that Anna was so desperate for love that she was willing to marry him so quickly. As cruel as he is, what he said was true. By the end of the film, it is clear that, after being shut inside the castle for many years and having very little contact with other people, Anna became so lonely and desperate for love that her “love” for Hans was actually nothing more than a naïve infatuation based on his handsome appearance and (initially) charming demeanor. This also stemmed from the fact that she believed that she would not have another chance to find someone else, so she hastily decided to go with the first person to whom she had really spoken since her childhood.
So Anna, in my opinion, did not really fall in love with Hans, but she fell in love with being in love, for the reasons stated above. Whatever their feelings for each other were, they were definitely not mutual. And heck, if you think about it carefully, neither Hans nor Anna actually say, “I love you” to each other. Even after Hans’s betrayal, Anna stated that Hans said he loved her. But he didn’t; in fact, the closest he seemed to get was saying, “I like it,” regarding her white streak, and the only time he says, “love” is when he tells Anna, “I love crazy!”
Not only does Anna need someone who is genuinely good, she needs someone who is realistic, someone who can keep her head out of the clouds, show her that love is not all moonlit walks and romantic dances, and yet still share some common ground with her and complement her differences with his own.
Sound familiar? ;)
And lastly, while Hans is a prince and Kristoff is not, Anna has to realize that love in fairy tales is not the same as it is in real life. Hans may be good looking like any fairy tale prince is believed to be, but looks and expectations aren’t always everything. She learns this by spending a different amount of time with both men, and even Kristoff and Hans act the complete opposite when Anna first meets them: Hans act kind and noble on the outside, but on the inside, he is very cruel and ruthless. On the other hand, Kristoff acts gruff and tough on the outside, but is really very kind and loving on the inside.
Just like it is shown in Beauty and the Beast, Frozen shows that true beauty is found within, especially between these two men, and love really does reveal itself in unexpected ways. :)