Green Lanterns (but not THAT green lantern)
November 11, 2018 5:23 PM   Subscribe

This weekend I watched Frozen and Tangled with my two kids. Mrs Naib explained to me the fan theory that Elsa and Rapunzel are cousins, which I can accept, but the thing that struck me as really joining the two movies are these green lanterns everyone has.

The ice cutters in the opening scene of Frozen haul out weird green lanterns once the sun sets. In Rapunzel, the Slabbington brothers hold a green lantern when they set their trap for Flynn. I tend to think of green light as an "evil" signifier in Disney movies. But the ice cutters are good guys! What are these people burning? Is this a thing?
posted by Naib to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My seat-of-the-pants guess is that those lanterns were the product of animation decisions rather than having a specific historical reference for the lanterns and their fuel. Disney knows their movies are often watched on small screens (phones, seat back screens, whatever) and by a very young audience, and those cartoony lanterns and the distinctive colored light they cast would be clearly undetstandable if you were watching on a screen the size of a postage stamp. I'd guess the similar lanterns in the two films are just the animators being mindful of the same set of constraints rather than marking some narrative connection.
posted by Rinku at 6:47 PM on November 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

The ice cutters are singing about danger as the weird green lanterns come out, so these examples may share with "evil" greens elsewhere an ominous/foreboding quality.
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:15 PM on November 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Nah, it's just the glass in the lanterns. Why is Glass Green?
posted by zengargoyle at 9:52 PM on November 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

the lanterns are just lanterns, but the fan theory is strengthened by the fact that Rapunzel is seen in "Frozen" as one of the guests entering the castle along with Flynn.
posted by alchemist at 11:30 PM on November 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

My guess would be that the lantern light is actually supposed to be yellow, like candlelight, but that the scenes they are in have been given an overall blue tint to make them feel like a cold night, which then gives the yellow light a green tint.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:46 AM on November 12, 2018 [9 favorites]

I also think this is color grading. It looks yellowish to me in the first frame.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:54 AM on November 12, 2018

By the way, you can do this at home and it's AWWWESOME.

Go to the crafts store (or Target or Amazon or the dollar store...) and buy a glass-sided lantern that they sell as a centerpiece. Also buy a sheet of vellum from the crafts store. Trim the vellum into a long rectangle that you fold three times to fit against the inside of the lantern's four window panes. (Put the paper's seam in one of the corners, where the seam of the lantern panes will hide it.)

Then you either buy a few green LEDs and tape them to batteries (c.f. LED throwies) to use just once, or else pick up a cheap, battery-powered string of tiny, green "fairy light" LEDs if you want to use this over and over.

I did this last Halloween using white lights and it was way cooler than carrying a flashlight, and also easier for my child to pick us out in the dark. (I was the only lantern in the neighborhood!) She had planned to be Peter Pan this year and so I was tooling up to pretend that I had Tinkerbell in my lantern -- but at the last minute she swerved and was Harry Potter. I still carried the lantern, and it was still awesome.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:45 AM on November 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

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