When I first saw the commercial for Frozen over two years ago, I was immediately turned off by it. I thought it would be a cheesy movie about a wintry land that was home to an annoying snowman, but I was dead wrong.
This movie has the most insightful elements of any Disney animated film I’ve ever seen.
It makes me want to laugh, cry, and love. It teaches about loyalty, sacrifice, perseverance, and maturation. In my (many) times of watching this popular movie, I’ve identified five major principles that Frozen teaches us about life:
- Isolation harbors unhealthy contemplation. Because of her dangerous icy powers, Elsa was locked up for years with no relationships and zero social interaction. As she spent more and more time alone, she became more and more afraid. Her fears eventually led her to become bitter when she couldn’t meet her kingdom’s expectations. When she was alone, she had more time to spend thinking, worrying, and ruminating on her loneliness. When she was finally allowed to leave her room, her fears were stronger than ever. She had spent years thinking about why she had been neglected and why she seemed so flawed. Elsa’s isolation is similar to ours. When we choose to isolate ourselves, we often spend too much time in contemplation. We even ruminate on things that we see as our flaws. But these thoughts do not benefit us or those around us. Rather, they lead us to become scared, anxious, and self-obsessed.
- Desperation leads to heartbreak. When Anna met Hans, she immediately fell for him. She was charmed by his good looks, his charisma, and the attention he gave her. Without setting any boundaries around her heart, she dove head-first into a relationship with him. She didn’t observe his behavior or ask for the advice of others. Instead, she let down her guard and gave herself to a man who abandoned her. She rushed into a relationship with a man who had selfish intentions. The only difference between this situation and reality is that guys often want our bodies—not our thrones—and will often say or do anything to get them.
- True love never comes without a fight. Despite what most Disney movies tell us, love isn’t a gooey feeling or a tender emotion. It’s a choice that requires hard work. Anna had to fight for Elsa. Olaf and Kristoff had to fight for Anna. And Christ had to fight—and still fights—for us and for our hearts.
- Letting go can lead to rebellion, rather than freedom. Paul encourages us to let go of the past because it hinders us from running well in the present (Philippians 3:13-14). We also must let go of a works-based faith because our actions cannot save us (Ephesians 2:8-9). But the best kind of “letting go” leads to freedom. It allows us to follow Jesus because we can—not because we must. After all, we live by God’s grace alone. However, in Frozen, Elsa became so irritated with her works-based life that she eventually rebelled against rules entirely. She completely rejected royal standards and principles because they told her what to do and who to be. But we should never reject God’s standards of what to do and who to be because He knows best and wants the best for us.
- There is no greater love than self-sacrifice. Elsa’s heart was frozen before Anna sacrificed herself for Elsa. Our hearts were frozen toward God before we realized that Christ had sacrificed Himself for us: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 ESV) When Anna took Elsa’s place, she saved Elsa. And when Christ took our place, He saved us—and He is transforming us.
You may find Frozen corny or overrated, but consider watching it again so you can identify these messages for yourself. You may even find a new lesson that you can apply to your life! 🙂 If you find one, leave me a comment and tell me about it!
*Image from http://frozen.disney.com/gallery
Frozen. Dirs. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Perfs. Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, and Santino Fontana. Disney, 2013. Film.