Short Criticism of How It Should Have Ended

The way people consume TV shows and films have drastically changed in a span of a few years. Gone are the days when you’d only have your friends to rant and give out your ideas on which direction your favorite TV show should have gone, or how the movie you just watched should have finished. The Internet has provided a platform for people to give out their comments—and often, their violent reactions.

Now, you would never have to deny yourself the pleasure of seeing the way you wanted a show or movie to conclude. This is made possible through this Youtube channel aptly called, How It Should Have Ended (HISHE). HISHE started in 2005 when two friends decided to animate their own alternate endings to some of the most popular films and television series. Currently, the channel boasts of over 790 million views.

One of their recent works is on Disney’s hit movie, Frozen. The original plot revolves around the protagonist, Princess Elsa, concealing her ability to manipulate ice because it might frighten the people around her. HISHE’s version however, sees the young Princess Elsa being given-off by her parents to Charles Xavier a.ka. Professor X of Marvel’s X-Men. The three-minute video clip ends with Elsa happily singing Let It Go with the likes of Wolverine and Storm.

While, the parallelism of Frozen and X-men’s narrative construction stops at their
characters’ special abilities, HISHE makes use of the concept of intertextuality to make their videos so entertainingly hilarious. First of all, Frozen and X-men happens in two completely different time lines. Frozen, around the Medieval period, and X-men at present. Also, the stories move in different spaces. Elsa lives in a world where friendly gnomes can give advice, charmed snowmen can sing, and massive ice castles could appear out of thin air. Her ‘powers’ come from magic and all things enchanted. X-men’s mutants, on the other hand, are scientifically modified and are genetically engineered. Their powers, although imaginary, are still anchored on concepts of biology.

What makes the video work is its ability to marry two opposing story lines with two
opposing treatments. Frozen, released as a winter holiday film, was targeted for Walt Disney’s audiences: children and their families. Its use of upbeat musical numbers, and clean humor makes the film light and easy to watch. X-Men, was made for more mature audiences, teenagers to adults who also has interest in its original form, the graphic novel. The movie’s filled with action sequences and does not use violence sparingly. The movie’s evil villains take the plot into the darker end of the spectrum.

Seeing these two in one plot makes for unconventionally refreshing entertainment. Even if combining the narratives together doesn’t make sense, it still makes sense to everyone who is familiar with both texts. Because sending Elsa to Professor X for help should have been the obvious thing to do. It would have saved her and her family from so much heartache and a bunch of “conceal, don’t feel” mantras. Just because they’re in different universes doesn’t mean the audience can’t get the ending they deem to be right. Technology and social media has blurred the line that separates narratives. How It Should Have Ended is the perfect example of how pleasure can be derived from seemingly simple intertextuality.

Sources:

BC 181 Semiotic Analysis Handout (Prepared by Abbie Ballesteros)

BC 181 Narrative Analysis Handout (Prepared by John Benedict Baquilod)

Jones, Z. (2008, February 1). Review of How it Should Have Ended. Tubefilter . Retrieved September 16, 2014, from http://www.tubefilter.com/2008/02/01/review-of-how-it-should-have-ended/

Text:

How It Should Have Ended. (2014, June 4). How Frozen Should Have Ended – Reissued [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dach1nPbsY8

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