5 Insights From Disney’s FROZEN

In Christian RealTalk by Antwuan Malone

So I really wanted to write this post after I wrote up my review for Frozen (where I utterly fail and say that the movie won’t be a classic) but didn’t get the chance to. Hey, life happens.

But now, with the Blu-Ray/DVD being freshly released, it’s a perfect time to talk about some of the things that kinda got me to thinking after having watched the movie several times. And hearing the songs several times. And by several, I mean hundreds not dozens.

Anyway. Since you’re probably going to buy the movie (if you haven’t already) and watch it very soon, so I thought I’d give you five insights to look out for in between those catchy songs. Maybe you can chat about one or two of them with your little one. Here we go.

1. “The heart is not so easily changed, but the head can be persuaded.”

The Papa Smurf-like character of the little troll village makes this statement to the king (Elsa and Anna’s father) when he goes to him for help after Elsa’s first magic accident. The statement has lots of truth (beyond being a simple plot device for the second accident at the end of the movie).

From a Christian standpoint, we know that heart change is God’s desire for us. And as it turns out, it is the heart change that Anna shows (though not drastic) at the end when she chooses to sacrifice herself for Elsa that brings life to a hopeless situation.

The insight: a change of mind is not indicative of a change of heart. The former can lead to superficial actions and arrogance, but the latter has a deeper, more lasting effect in our lives and in the lives of those we effect.

2. “Fear is your enemy.”

Again, the Papa-Smurf troll is being quoted here when he warns Elsa that her powers are both beautiful and terrible. His caution for her is to learn to control her power and he suggests that fear would undermine that control when he says “fear is your enemy.”

Indeed, the Christian can relate. We, who are endowed with the Spirit of God, have a great potential to impact the world. And yet, it is often fear that robs us of our growth and effectiveness. Fear, as it turns out, is as much our enemy as it is for Elsa’s.

The insight: God has not given us a Spirit of fear! Learning to leverage the power God has given us requires courageously obeying him and following his lead. Fun fact: the Bible says “fear not” over eighty times.

3. “Conceal. Don’t Feel. Put on a show. Make one wrong move and everyone will know.”

Elsa is repeating this pretty much the entire time. While the wise Papa Smurf troll told Elsa to run away from fear, her parents all but instilled a perpetual fear in her on a daily basis. Their answer to her magic situation entailed locking her away from everyone until she could learn to control her powers. All the while, they helped create and perpetuate a spirit of fear inside Elsa that severely handicapped her achieving that control.

Of course, her parents had the best intentions. They wanted to protect Elsa and Anna, and everyone else, a fact that Elsa  also repeats throughout the movie.

The insight: As a parent, this one means quite a bit. What we say as parents not only matter, they stick.

As a leader (and hopeful future developer of leaders) it shows me that fear frustrates development and allowing someone the opportunity to learn to “control” their craft is not only worth the risk, but can save you a lot of wintry hardship.

4. “You sacrificed yourself for me?”

I love the fact that Anna turns away from the typical Disney “love” of Christophe to the sacrificial love for her sister, Elsa. In the moment that Anna turns to save her sister, she believes she is not only losing the love of her life (which she’s been desiring all movie — to be loved and accepted), but she’s also giving up the one chance she thinks she has at breaking the frozen spell on her.

Such a sacrifice is worth digging into with our kids, and ourselves. It is often true that the things we think we need are not at all what we need. Love brings life, as Elsa would so eloquently (though quickly) state as she restores the summer. And sometimes we’re just flat out wrong about things we think will make our life worth living.

The insight: He who loses his life will find it.

5.  “I like the open gates.”

Me too! I love the idea of freedom, community and acceptance. ICE-olation, fear, and a misplaced sense about love are all problems Elsa or Anna face. But by the end, they learn what they need to. I hope we do too.

Insight: Let it go!

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Antwuan Malone is a Ministry Director at ELEVATE Young Adult Ministry (elevateministry.net) where empowers young adults toward Christian leadership. He is passionate about seeing young adults take their place in church history by drawing near enough to God to hear his call on their life, and courageously living in obedience to that call.