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Main | Loading and Displaying COLLADA Models »

Let it go, Let it go

If you haven't seen Disney's "Frozen," go watch it. To me, it is an expression of the power and delight possible almost exclusively through programming. Elsa wields a dangerous magical power to create. She hides herself and her power for the safety of others. She hides her power to fit in.

Many people from many walks of life see metaphors in the movie. The New York Post lists a few of them. Some say Elsa and Anna present an "allegory for a young woman’s coming of age — the inexplicable new feelings and ... sudden appeal to the opposite sex." Others think the movie represents the feelings of relief and empowerment when a gay person comes out of the closet. Christian themes, climate change messages, and critiques of both racism and sexism may be in there.

I say the movie is about programming. Elsa creates wonders of great value from almost nothing. So do programmers.  Elsa is misunderstood and feared by normal society. So are programmers. Elsa's creations sometimes take on a life of their own. The closest real life phenomenon is software (AI). Elsa's power can unintentionally harm people. That sounds like the software flying a plane or controlling radiation treatments to me. All acts of creativity bear some similarities, but the medium of software is almost uniquely powerful and valuable.

Most strikingly, the feelings of empowerment and freedom and creativity expressed by Elsa through song resonate in the hearts of programmers. "It's time to see what I can do - to test the limits and break through ... I'm free. ... my soul is spiraling in frozen fractals... one thought crystalizes..."  All programmers experience Elsa'a uplifting emotion of passionate creation followed by satisfaction with the accomplishment. At least I feel it.

To state the obvious: All of Elsa's creations in the movie literally ARE software. Her castle, creatures, weapons, and art are all computer generated 3D models produced with software and in some cases procedurally generated by software.

Reader Comments (1)

Interesting take on a Disney movie.
March 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMegan

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