Unlike the most Disney fairy tales, Frozen is a story of what true love actually is. It also interweaves and contrasts it with what most foolish young girls think it is, and what many well-meaning adults believe it to be.
Some of the best lines in the film come from Olaf, the snowman. For example, as he casually explains love sitting by the fire warming his childhood friend,
“Some people are worth melting for.”
The creators take the message of the story a bit deeper than the real meaning of love. Thankfully they also go far beyond the age old, princess finding her prince meme, and bring more reality to the storyline than just stopping the Snow Queen’s “icy spell.”
The real story is about a little girl afraid of her own power to create. She learns early that her natural born ability is a two-edged sword. It can do wonderful things, but it can also destroy everything she loves. In spite of a warning that fear is her greatest enemy, the emotion takes over her life and family. Her parents resolve to hide her gifts from the world around her.
This kind of protection only hurts the very people it seeks to help. What follows are the natural consequences that occur when we lock ourselves away and deny who we are. When a child tries to conform to what others want her to be ultimately it disfigures and isolates her from those she loves.
Conforming to how others perceive us also creates a storm raging inside. I have to wonder how many children, or even adults would identify with Elsa’s song,
“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know…”
The story has a few delightful twists. I’ll only share one with you. Just between us parents–the real love story here is not between a prince and his princess, it’s a love between siblings.
When choosing a film to take impressionable children, parents need to think about the underlying message. All films have one.
Consider that these characters come into our children’s lives. They will live in their bedrooms. They become their playmates in the corners of their minds. Their songs become the soundtracks of childhood.
In my house, “Do you want to build a snowman?” Is the new code between my daughter and me, for “let’s go create something wonderful together.”