The stupidity factor

I enjoyed the movie Frozen. (It was a three-tissue movie for me. I cried every time big sister Elsa appeared, except for the very first and last times we saw her, but that’s not what this post is about.)

Anna, the main protagonist of the story, is feisty and strong. I liked that. But she did do some stupid things sometimes—like race off into the snow to rescue her sister in nothing but a bare-sleeved dress and a cloak. (Lovely dress, incidentally, and I loved the way it twirled as she danced.)

Yes, it’s only a cartoon. Yes, changing into warmer clothes would have slowed the story down. Yes, it would have spoiled the scene where she meets Kristoff. But all the same, couldn’t she have been more sensible about it?

On a scale of 1–10, running off half-prepared like this is pretty low in the fiction stupidity scale. To be honest, Anna’s character was drawn well enough that I could almost believe she would go out into the snow like that. Despite the fact that she would almost certainly be dead from hypothermia before the story really got going.

Plus, like I said, it’s a cartoon. There’s a lot that happens in your average cartoon that couldn’t happen in real life.

The stupidity factor is not confined to cartoons, of course. How many stories have you read, how many films have you seen, where you go, “He/she was stupid to do that/go there.”? Why did the hero race after the heroine without calling the police? Why did the good guy throw away a perfectly usable gun so he could fight the bad-guy barehanded and nearly get himself killed in the process?

Fiction (books and movies) stupidity scale:

  • 10—Barney Ross throwing away his gun in Expendables 2
  • 4–Princess Anna in bare sleeves and a cloak racing off through the snow to rescue her sister
  • 0—Indiana Jones shooting the swordsman with his gun in Raiders of the Lost Ark

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