That’s a stupid title, because I’m pretty sure this movie doesn’t need any defending. Everyone loved it, and I’m sure a generation of little girls will grow up playing Elsa and Anna. But since I generally don’t like kid movies (I’ll watch Pixar films, but otherwise I’m all about R-rated slasher flicks. I jest. I mostly stick to incredibly dull costume dramas), a little further analysis seemed in order. Also, I have heard a few nay-sayers offer some criticism. And there shall be no criticism of Frozen.
1) There is nothing wrong with romantic love, but not only was it refreshing to see a story in which the central conflict was not romantic but familial/internal, I think it’s necessary. I will always love the Disney princess movies, and I don’t think they did me any harm, but love is so much bigger than romance. I feel that I should add the disclaimer that I am single, so there is the slight possibility that romantic love really is what it’s all about, and I’m just deluding myself, but I’ll take my chances.
2) Spoiler alert. True love is active, not passive. Up until the very end, I expected someone to swoop in and save Anna. I was shocked when Anna stepped in between her sister and Hans. What?!? The “act of love to thaw a broken heart” had a double meaning!!! One act of self-sacrifice thaws two frozen hearts. Wounded as she was, it was Anna who possessed the strength and courage to love and save her sister (and her self). Well done, Disney.
3) Sisters are a lovely thing. I fell into the wikipedia Frozen wormhole yesterday, and came out having sacrificed an hour of a nap, but I gained so much knowledge. Originally, Elsa was going to be a villain through and through. But then Jennifer Lee (co-director) stepped in and changed all that. There’s nothing wrong with a good villain, but there’s a poignancy in an estranged relationship between sisters that I’m betting many woman can relate to. There’s a coldness and a loneliness in Elsa that I think we all experience at some level when we shut others out, even if we think we’re doing it for their own good. Am I a Norwegian princess with magical powers to freeze things? Maybe. Am I an oldest sister that has given the younger two the cold shoulder from time to time? Absolutely. I don’t think you have to have a sister to appreciate this conflict, but if you do have a sister, I think it really rings true.
4) Maybe kids need more stories where there isn’t a clear villain. I always see that C.S. Lewis quote floating around pinterest about children being likely to face great evil and needing to have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. I would like to respectfully disagree with him on this. While not denying the existence of good and evil and right and wrong, I submit that our children are far more likely to encounter good and evil equally muddled in most people. We are capable of great and glorious acts and the reverse as well. In my life, I have never come across someone purely evil. In general, conflicts with family, friends, and co-workers are much more common. It would be so easy to fight against pure evil, but it’s so hard to love thy neighbor. But of course, that seems to be exactly what Jesus was telling us to do. Love one another. Even when we drive each other crazy, even when we sin against each other, we are called to love rather than to root out evil. I mean, we should of course, root out evil, but that’s a lot easier to do than refraining from despising our nearest and dearest when they hurt us. So kudos to Frozen for tackling that issue.
5) “Let It Go.” If there’s a better song to listen to on repeat while white-knuckling it down to the Springs in a freak May snowstorm, I’d like to know what it is. Because really, there’s something very therapeutic about belting out “Let It Go” while driving through the snow.
6) Sven and Olaf. Bouncy reindeer and summer-loving snowman. Enough said.