Sunday, December 8, 2013


It's Sunday afternoon. It's snowing. I have a hot cup of coffee in my hand. All my Christmas gifts are purchased. I'm working on drafting up my blog posts for the week. When I finish I'm going to read while my stuffed pepper soup cooks on the stove. I'll probably pop in a Christmas movie later while I finish my Christmas cards.

That, my friends, is a perfect winter Sunday afternoon. Minus the whole snow thing. Here's to hoping it doesn't snow too much.

But speaking of snow, I want to talk about Frozen. You know...the new Disney movie. What could a 26 year old possibly have to say about a computer animated Disney movie? A lot, actually.

Warning: This contains spoilers. If you are planning on seeing Frozen, don't read this. Or do, if you feel like it. I'm not going to stop you. Just don't get mad at me for not warning you.

My theory about Frozen is that it is actually based on living depression, or another form of mental illness.  I have never, ever, related more to a "Disney princess" more than Elsa. She's got this power to turn everything into ice and snow. It is portrayed, by her parents and by the townspeople, to be a pretty dangerous thing. Therefore, she is pretty much forced to hide it, to shut everyone away. Some of this is her own portrayal. Elsa assumes that if she hides from everyone and isolates herself, no one will know and therefore no one will get hurt. It's easier to hide it than to talk about it, because Lord knows what people would say if she had it. She even hides it from her own sweet little sister Anna, who, total opposite of Elsa, just wants to be with people.

Eventually, through Anna's help, Elsa is able to see that her power is not all bad. That, yes, while it could be dangerous,that shutting herself out is not the answer.

And, the most important lesson Elsa learned, is to let love in. That love, above all things, will conquer. The best part about Frozen is that it doesn't take a prince or a man to help her learn this. It's the unconditional love she has for her sister, and to see that being open and surrounding yourself with love is what will make things better.

It's a powerful message, one that kids probably won't pick up on, but I sure did, and I am sure others will as well. I got it pretty immediately, when the troll says "fear will be your enemy". Ain't that the truth, though? I believe it sticks with Elsa, in the way she sings:

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, put on a show
Make one wrong move and everyone will know

She is so terrified of showing her true self, she knows she just can't let anyone in or let them see the "real her" Whether we want to admit it or not, there is still a stigma about mental illnesses. Those who have them are looked down on, misunderstood, and sometimes encouraged to "hide it". It can be lonely, and self isolating. Those with mental illness can begin to believe all the nasty things said about them, and cut themselves off from others. It is not until someone breaks down that wall that they are able to see that you can live your life with mental illness, and that hiding from it or from others is not the answer.

Frozen is an important movie. I think high school psych classes should watch and analyze. There's a lot going on with these characters- even comic relief Olaf. It's one of the best Disney movies I've ever seen, and the soundtrack is stellar as well. I am so glad I saw this movie. Pay attention to it, folks, and let me know if you picked up what I did, or if I am just a crazy dramatic gal who looks way too much into things. :)

1 comment:

Elizabeth Rosalyn said... Add Reply

Frozen is one of my favourite Disney films for those very reasons! Those themes of the sisterly love, self-love, and letting your true self shine through are important ideas to share with audiences.

I'm also very happy to see both Frozen and Catching Fire, two female driven films, at the top of the box office charts this season.