Who doesn’t have a childhood memory that includes Cinderella and Snow White, two cornerstone characters from Walt Disney’s studios? The joy of watching as Prince Charming places the glass slipper on Cinderella’s tiny foot, or kissing the ruby lips of Snow White awakening her to live happily ever after – sigh – magical.
And magical is the correct word to describe the Mattapoisett Public Library’s event that took place on December 21 when sweeping into the library came a glittering Princess Elsa and Anna. These two characters are from the hit franchise Frozen, which has produced millions and millions of devoted petite-sized fans.
The event titled “A Snow Kingdom Party” began with a crafting segment where the children created crowns, or dragons, or both, under the guiding eyes of parents and library staff. Hostesses for the party were Children’s Librarian Heather Ripley and Head Children’s Librarian and Assistant Director Chris Matos. The Friends of the Mattapoisett Library sponsored the party.
Soon, the princesses glided into the room to the delighted squeals of the children. Princess Elsa wore her well-known ice-blue gown resplendent with glistening silver embroidery, long platinum hair fashioned in a thick rope-like braid, and gentle gestures that suggested everything from snow falling to building a snowman named Olaf.
Her sister, the feisty sweet-hearted high-energy Anna, wore traditionally styled Norse-like clothing, a comfy dress of green, blue, and red, embellished cape, and a cap that held down red hair tied in braids threatening to run free at any moment.
The two are actors from the performance group “Pretty As A Princess”, who provide entertainment at party venues from birthdays to celebrations of life. Princess Elsa, aka Brenna Griswold, is a college student who has been performing as various Disney princesses for five years. Shauna Brodsky, aka Anna, is also a college student who has been a part of the cast for four years.
The two princesses concurred that they receive much more than they give during events such as this.
“It’s very important to us to give the children magic, especially in today’s world,” they agreed. And spreading their magic is never more important as when they are at the bedside of a child at Hasbro Hospital, a frequent venue for the performers.
After reading a story to the children about their frozen kingdom adventures, the princesses then told the story of how their kingdom became trapped in perpetual winter, their romp through the frozen tundra, meeting trolls, of course, and a talking snowman before finally breaking the cold spell and finding true love. Well, it is Disney, after all…
Throughout the hour-long show, the children were held in rapture as they watched the princesses sing and magically create an imaginary snowy kingdom. After, the children were invited to meet the princesses as parents took photos of their little ones hugging the charming ladies or sitting on their laps.
Clearly, the event warmed the hearts of all in attendance and that included the moms and the dads. Many of the little girls had arrived dressed as their favorite princess or bringing along their Elsa or Anna dolls.
As for the singing, the princesses’ trained voices were in perfect harmony as the children added their tiny voices, especially to the song ‘Let It Go’ – a song of liberation, empowerment, and, yes, a future that is still evolving.
By Marilou Newell