Let’s Talk About Frozen

On February 16, 2014 by MMM

frozen

Frozen? Saw it. Twice. Loved it.  But…

Snowman? Hilarious!

Music? Wonderful. Imbedded in my brain the very first hearing.

Animation? Gorgeous. Amazing perspective on the beauty of ice.

Dialogue? Funny, tender, clever, modern.

Story? Creative, fun, touching. Any movie that can successfully mock the idea of a falling in love and marrying someone on the day they met is OK in my book.

Yep. I’m a fan. If you are a Disney hater, you’ve come to the wrong place. Everyone seems to love Frozen: It just surpassed Finding Nemo as the biggest animated film of all time.

So why in the world am I writing about it? And what is with the “But…?”

I have a couple of problems with Frozen. Now don’t start composing hate mail until you’ve heard me out. Like I said, I enjoyed the movie, but there were a couple of things that made me flinch. Hard.

The parts I wrestle with are serious enough to me that I felt they warranted some discussion with my family – which I have done. So, as you are all part of my digital family, I figured I would share my thoughts with you as well.

— Spoiler alert: If you are one of the few people on the planet who have not seen the movie – stop reading!

(We return to the movie, already in progress..)

Elsa has fled the castle, and escaped into the mountains. She begins singing the song “Let It Go,” which has become the “big” song from the film, and will definitely feel right at home on Broadway.

The song builds as she discovers what power she has to create marvelous things, she defiantly justifies her isolation, and flexes her newfound desire to “let it go.”

And then she sings…

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

*Flinch*  Excuse me? What did she just say?

No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

That’s what I thought she said. That is just so wrong I hardly know what to say! Thankfully the Lord’s prophets have already explained it quite well:

“I wish to raise a warning voice. In today’s society, the difference between right and wrong is being obscured by loud, seductive voices calling for no restraints in human conduct. They advocate absolute freedom without regard to consequences. I state unequivocally that such behavior is the high road to personal destruction.” Elder James E. Faust “Obedience: The Path to Freedom.”

Right and wrong exist, whether we acknowledge it or not.

“It is well to worry about our moral foundation. We live in a world where more and more persons of influence are teaching and acting out a belief that there is no absolute right and wrong—that all authority and all rules of behavior are man-made choices that can prevail over the commandments of God.” Elder Dallin A. Oaks, “Balancing Truth and Tolerance.”

Elder Oaks refers to this “No right, no wrong, no rules for me” attitude as “Moral Relativism.: The consequences of this attitude is “Persuaded by this philosophy, many of the rising generation are caught up in self-serving pleasures, pornography, dishonesty, foul language, revealing attire, pagan painting and piercing of body parts, and degrading sexual indulgence.” (ibid.)

One of the great proponents of this philosophy was Korihor, in the Book of Mormon. (Alma 30:6) Embracing it is not empowering, it is just the opposite.

Defenders will begin shouting, “C’mon, MMM, it’s just a few lines of a song.”

True. It is just a few lines of a song – a song that your six-year-old is probably walking around the house singing.

As a parent, I can’t imagine the sick feeling I would get it one of my children sat down and explained to me that they have decided that as far as he/she was conceded, there is “No right, no wrong, no rules for me – I’m free!”

We need to counter this philosophy. We need to teach our children that freedom does not come from the absence of rules. It comes from adherence to them. Ask any addict or man in prison what their “freedom” is like.

On to the other item…

Did you notice that as Elsa was singing, as she became more confident in her abilities, she also presented herself less “wholesome” manner?

frozen 2

Do you think I’m overreacting? Here’s what Idina Menzel (The voice of Elsa) had to say about it”:

 ‘She finds herself and accepts who she is and she’s very vampy,’ says Idina. ‘She’s quite sexy for Disney, I have to say – they’re pushing the limits there a little bit! But there’s a gleam in her eye and a supermodel walk that goes with it…” (link here)

That is an unsettling statement: “She finds herself and accepts who she is and she’s very vampy.”

As our girls discover the wonderful power and abilities they have within, hopefully they will find a better way to show it to the world than slinking around in too tight clothes with a sultry gaze.

Part of finding out who we “really are” should not lead us towards the world, but rather away from it. Every young woman who watches Elsa’s ‘transformation” needs to be reminded about “Divine Nature” and what it really means. Sexuality shouldn’t be confused with empowerment. (Funny thought – my EC just mentioned Olivia Newton-John’s transformation in Grease. Some things never change!)

I know that many have embraced the song “Let it Go” as a sort of empowerment anthem, and are going to hate me. It is a great song, but perhaps there is more to empowerment than embracing flawed philosophies and putting on your sexy.

Did these things ruin the movie for me? No. But they made me flinch? Yes – enough that I decided to study it out and figure out a way to share these thoughts with my kids. (And with you.)

MMM logo small

 

–COMMENTS ARE CLOSED– Already received 100 comments telling me that I am taking the lyrics out of context. Duh. That is the point – when the lyrics are sung, they are not sung with any context.

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74 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Frozen”

  • I was a little bothered by those lyrics, too, even though I also loved the movie. I justified it all (I guess) by trying to focus on the fact that Elsa hasn’t really finished “arriving” at that point in the film. She still needs to learn how to control her powers, and that turns out to be a major point of the movie, too. She thought she could just run away and be done with it all, but her troubles still found her and her life still required her to eventually have those rules and limits that she thought she’d fled from. Even thinking she was free from it all, she still hurt those she loved because of her lack of control, the very thing she thought she’d escaped.

    Maybe?

    • MMM

      I agree. Sadly there is not a hugely popular song that makes that point…

    • Cindy

      Exactly what I was going to say. All that “freedom” didn’t work out for her and she wasn’t finished yet. I think we definitely need to discuss that with the kids because they miss things sometimes but, lovely as the song is, it’s not the end of what became of Elsa. The vampy thing seems to be universal. It’s something we start countering before ours can sit up. No sleeveless things, nothing short, tight or “sexy” and we discuss is in FHE’s and just in general quite a lot. Raising 4 girls, it’s a big deal around here.

    • Jenn

      I wasn’t thrilled with Elsa at that point, but she still had a lot of growing to do. Her story, her growth, wasn’t over yet. Her lack of rules didn’t go well for her and caused her to hurt her sister, who she loved the most. When I first heard the song I flinched, but as the story progressed and it became clear that her “freedom” was damaging everyone else, herself included, I feel that the idea had resolved itself satisfactorily.

      • MMM

        Yes. The idea does resolve itself well in the entire running time of the movie. THe point is that the song is out there being lauded, award and loved that does NOT contain the context. It was written when Elsa was in a “bad place.” We know that – do our kids?

        • Pam

          I may be the one mother in the world that has not let her kids see the movie because it is something that I need to see first so I can explain it when my kids inevitably have questions. But, my girls who are 12 and 10 have been singing the songs, this one in particular, and I agree that it needs some explaining. It’s a beautiful tune and melody, but that is where Satan gets us. It gets stuck in our heads and repeats over and over, just like a mantra and before we know it, we are believing it and not questioning when something seems wrong. Thank you for drawing attention to it! I can sense an FHE coming about making good decisions in music and books.

  • Brita

    I felt the same way- LOVED the movie but had a few problems with it. Including Elsa’s attitude during that song and also singing “That perfect girl is gone…” and her sultry gaze and walk at the end I have very young daughters… who have told be Elsa is their favorite because she is “pretty”.

  • Tara

    Yes! You put it in to words so well :) . I loved watching the movie with my daughters, but the first time we saw it I remember feeling pretty uncomfortable with that whole sequence. It’s a beautiful song, and overall the movie has some good messages, so sad that they had to include that particular ‘lesson’. Thanks for providing the references that refute the world’s opinion on that subject.

  • Paula

    Thank you MMM, I thought I was alone in my discomfort. I really appreciate your thoughts and words as I haven’t been able to articulate my discomfort with why I wasn’t jumping on the “Let it go” band wagon. I may have to bookmark the post & refer back!

  • Very well written and presented. Spot on my friend!

    Loved the movie, and so did my granddaughter. Wishing now I would have had the presence of mind to actually have paid attention to the lyrics so that we could talk about it after. Thankfully, she isn’t one who is idolizing the character nor singing it’s anthem – but I so wish I was still in Young Women’s to use this as a great point of discussion with the girls I love so much.

    Thanks!

  • Melissa

    Ditto, to everything that’s been said! I felt the exact same way, even though I enjoyed this movie more than any cartoon that has come out to date. I know it wouldn’t have been as exciting and dramatic, but I wish they could have had her make the decision to become who she is by realizing that there were better choices to be made then by stuffing down all her emotions. When that song came on…I did cringe. My brother-in-law even stated afterward that the song “let it go” would be the big song from that movie. He was right!

  • Shel

    And its not just “little” girls. My 17 yr oldplays this multiple times a day. I didnt see the movie, but I took issue to the lyrics about no longer being the “good girl”. I asked her about it, but she insisted that its just about hiding her powers.

    However, Im listening to it in the context of a Mom who just spent an hour with the 17yr olds BFF, as she tearfully told me that my daughter told her that when she turns 18 in Dec, shes not “doing the church thing anymore”.

    Altho I had a suspicion, and as parents we are doing what we can with the time she has left before then to try and help her see that its a huge mistake before does it and has to travel the hard road back, we cant get her to really talk to us about it. This friend was sworn to secrecy and I cant tell my daughter how I know. We often call this friend our daughter’s “voice of reason”. And when she told me she said that theyd been BFFs for ten years, she was never giving up on her.

    I still havent seen the movie, but I suspect It will always be associated with this tough time in our familys life as we try and counteract the message that is pulling our beautiful girl away…

    • Shel, my beautiful oldest daughter went through what your daughter is going through, and for a while she chose the world. We had to ask her to leave our home when she was nineteen and near the bottom of her downward spiral–we had other daughters to raise, and she was setting very destructive examples for them. It was one of the most difficult things we have ever had to do. We kept in touch with her and let her know, daily, that we loved her dearly. Like I said, she continued to spiral downward and continued to make choices that brought us all heartache and pain, but eventually she heard and heeded the call of the Savior when it came through the voice of her dear brother when he called from the airport between the MTC and the mission field. He boldly but lovingly called her to repentance, and she listened. But the call had to come when she was ready to hear it, and it had to come from someone besides her parents.
      I hope and pray that your daughter will listen to your counsel, but if she doesn’t, if she chooses to walk the hard road first, don’t lose heart. Listen to the Spirit, love her (even when that love has to be tough love), pray for her, and know that the Savior will not forsake her, nor abandon her.
      My beautiful daughter was just married in the temple last month to an amazing young man. She had to do hard, painful work to get to the temple, but she appreciates her testimony and the Atonement in a way she never could have without the trials she has been through.
      I understand that in difficult times we make connections between our pain and things that have little to do with our pain. I agree with MMM’s post 100%; Frozen is a cute little movie that sends some dangerous messages to impressionable minds, even though, in the end, Else does choose love over freedom. But Frozen will not be a “life-changer” for you now, or ever. Your time will be much better spent focusing on the words of God that come through the scriptures and modern-day prophets.
      You and your daughter are in my prayers.

    • Tam

      A few years ago my 17 year old informed me, her mother, that she was only going to church because she HAD to. That she did believe in God, but all the “other” stuff was just fluff. I was also shocked to see that she had gone and double pierced her ears days before, and had an appointment to get her tongue done the next week.
      Thankfully she understood that she would be expected to attend church with the family while she lived with us. Which she did. Through the couple of rough years she stayed home and went to church. During that time she decided to get her patriarchal blessing. Right after she took out her ear rings, both sets and hasn’t put them back in to this day. That was 3 yrs ago.
      She is serving in the Oregon Portland Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
      Hang in there don’t give up, pray, not only for your daughter but for yourself, and your family! Don’t ever stop loving her. Remember she is a daughter of God.
      Good luck!

  • Lorraine Gwilliam

    I think a (sort of) better model is Anna’s song about love being about a guy and a girl finding things in common and enjoying life together… It just take a leetle longer than a day!

    • Sara

      The movie pokes fun at how ridiculous it was for her to find love in a day. She is obviously falling for Kristoff and barely has her first kiss with him after knowing him for a bit longer than a day. Your point isn’t relevant.

  • I loved the movie, too! All of the excessive critiquing of everything in it (both on the progressive and über-conservative side of things) has been a little ridiculous to me.

    Yours is the first post I’ve read about it that I actually enjoyed.

    It is a little hypocritical that the film writers push ‘you can’t marry a man the day you met him’ line, but then glorify ‘sexiness’ as empowerment. It almost seems to push the devaluing of marriage… but now I’m reading so far in between the lines that I’m even disgusting myself.

    Kudos to you for recognizing something you need to address with your children. I don’t know if it is because I only have boys or because they are all under the age of 5, but we haven’t developed that internal warning system, yet. I hadn’t even ever considered it before this post. Just another something I learned from reading your blog!

  • Anonymous

    Yes! Thank you for writing this! I have felt like I’m the only (over-reacting) parent because I find this part of Frozen to be very disturbing and dangerous for our young kids. When I see girls as young as three years old singing this song and throwing their bodies around, I wonder what ideas are being imprinted on their minds? Disney has once again used its creative and impressive powers to deliver to us a clever, magical, sparkly, “clean” movie that makes us want to overlook “that one part” because the rest is so good. If there is a coachroach in an otherwise perfectly good taco, do we still eat the taco?

  • Mindy

    Jasmine, Ariel, and Belle all showed ample cleavage and Jasmine and Ariel were much more “sexy” and provocative in my opinion than Elsa. They showed a lot more skin… Midriff and shells… much less modest than Elsa’s ensemble. And remember that the song “Let it Go” was sung when she’s in exile. This is the part in the storyline that still has to be resolved… it’s not the conclusion, she still has to come around. The audience knows that Elsa is in the wrong here. We know she can’t shut herself off from her sister and from the rest of the world, she has to return to reality and figure out how to use her powers for good to save Arendal. She doesn’t adopt this “no right no wrong, no rules for me I’m free” attitude for the rest of the movie. In the end she figures out how to use her powers for good, not evil. She reconciles with her sister.I think the “no right, no wrong” was not even referring to morality, but to the correct way and incorrect way of using her powers, which she struggled with her whole life. She’s not immoral. I think you’re reading too much into it. Although I got to say your Faust quote seems to be eerily well suited for your argument.

    • MMM

      Elder Faust has a remarkable way of doing that!

    • JAH

      I think you nailed it, Mindy. Context is important here and the movie did not end with the ‘no rules’ attitude. Does Satan pull us down little by little? Yes, so there is truth behind this article and some good points have been made. But at the same time the message of the movie was not ‘I will do what I want how I want’. Changes were made and in the end they were for good.

    • MMM

      I never said she was immoral, just that the song that is on the lips of everyone in the country is espousing an evil philosophy. And yes, there was a reconciliation, but that wasn’t nominated for an Oscar.

      Jasmine and Ariel did not have a costume change to demonstrate an “empowerment.” Apple/Oranges.

    • Dawn

      I agree with this! It’s not her life philosophy, just that for now she doesn’t have to hide her powers which were so “wrong” before and which there were rules for before—-as in the beginning of the song: now they all know—and that truth has made her free. Don’t read too much into it people. Her dress is not nearly as “revealing” as Belles, lol! :)

    • Sheyann

      Very well stated. I agree whole-heartedly.

  • The problem I have with your argument is you’re taking the song out of the context of the movie. Sure, that’s how Elsa felt at this point, but she would later find out that her actions do have consequences. She froze the port. She nearly killed her sister. But at this moment in the movie she didn’t know this, and she’s feeling what all of us do at some point – invincible – like our decisions/actions only affect ourselves.

    But kudos to you for talking to your kids about it. This song will be listened to millions and millions of times without the context of the movie – so it’s important to talk about.

    And for the Mormon conspiracy theorist: this song was written by the same people who wrote the music to the Book of Mormon musical. Just a coincidence? Definitely.

  • Cav Pilot

    My daughter has strawberry blond hair, and a “u” in her name so that Americans can pronounce it properly…..needless to say, it is her favorite movie of all time, even though she is now in college and is of Danish descent, not Norwegian.

    My thoughts tended towards those of Alanna, Elsa drifted into her “no rules” world, only to come back to the one that she knew was right. Not that that justifies Disney’s use of less modest clothing and sultriness. But the consequences were similar, by having no rules, she hurt those closest to her. Only by coming back could she save herself and them. The Norwegian version of the song translates slightly differently than the English version. It includes the classic rationalization for turning away and blaming our problems on the Lord when Elsa sang:

    “Couldn’t stand it, Heaven saw my struggle…..Now I can see what I can do, to test the limits when I want to. For all the rules are in the past. I’m free.”

    and, just for fun, here is the Norwegian version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_1968268193&feature=iv&src_vid=gMAp1iKYyjc&v=n8QX037nhPU

    It is a beautiful song….and maybe provides a little evidence of the tower of Babel.

  • Alyssa

    As a 20-year-old girl, I saw this song as Elsa’s MISunderstanding of who she is. While she sings about letting it go and her perception that there’s no right or wrong because she’s isolated, we as the audience can clearly see that her actions are impacting an entire city, if not more. She has it right that it’s important to be herself, but she doesn’t understand yet how to control it to benefit herself and others, as well as her relationships with others. Hopefully we can point this out to our little ones when they’re so excited about the song.

    As you said, though, unfortunately there’s no hugely popular song to capture her when she settles down into a more appropriate attitude.

  • The “Father Knows Best” morality is not coming back to our society as a whole until the Millennium, so I like the hopeful clarion call to beware for those who still care about teaching eternal values to their children and are striving to build Zion.Thank you for the heads up I will share these insights with my grandchildren.

  • I actually had the opposite reaction. Yes, that song was about how she perceived her “new found freedom” but in the next song she sings, “I’m such a fool, I can’t be free.” Even though she rebelled and broke away, I felt that they were contrasting her previous overly-strict extreme with the opposite end of the spectrum.

    In the end, she learned there was a way to keep the rules, be responsible, and still use her abilities. I didn’t feel the point was no rules=freedom. Instead, I felt that they were showing some people think that, but in the end those that do are going to learn there are still consequences to their actions. Instead of feeling that this scene was pushing the boundaries of immorality, I felt that it was actually showing children how running away from their problems and trying to live without rules and limitations didn’t work.

    Then later, when Anna is trying to convince her to return, though she claims she is happy, her words don’t match up with her tone.

    Instead of viewing “Let It Go,” as the pivotal changing music in the film, I viewed it as her attempt to leave behind her morality, only to realize that she needed it to be happy. That might be important to explain to your kids, but I don’t feel that song or that lined ruined the movie for me. Thank you for your thoughts though.

    • MMM

      I wish a song with the positive resolution that you accurately detail had been the one that is capturing all the attention and ringing in everyone’s ears.

  • janettedargy

    I think some of you missed the point….. The song did make me uncomfortable as well but not for myself but for my 5 year old daughter who watches the music video over and over. It’s not that this is the end or arriving point for Elsa. MMM is just saying TALK to your kids about it.help Them (who don’t see the end as clearly as we) to put it in the proper perspective…. I allowed my seven year old son to watch star wars with his daddy but only on condition that certain elements of the story be explained while they were happening so he could understand and process them properly…. same with this song. Just discuss, Discuss, discuss!!!!

  • You people need help. Your prudery creates more perverts than any other system.

  • Mikaeru

    Thanks for the warning. I will pass it along to the parents of my 16 grandchildren, 9 of whom are girls. As for the “it’s only a phase, she comes around in the end” rationale, it smacks of the rationale against which we are warned in 2 Ne 28: 7&8. We want to put our heads in the sand, saying to ourselves, they have time to repent, they will grow out of it, and forgetting that “as the twig is bent, so the tree will be inclined”. Movies such as this with their subtly imbedded (camouflaged) messages, are examples of the flaxen cords by which the innocent, ignorant and complacent are lead to captivity. As adults we make the mistake of discounting the power of such influences, looking at them from the point of view of our maturity, forgetting that youth are much more vulnerable to mis guiding influences.

  • Lolly

    The whole POINT of the movie is Elsa learning that she can have power within her and be a leader but STILL abide by rules etc. I think it’s awesome. Just point out to your daughters that although a lot of the song is empowering….Elsa isn’t happy yet. And she won’t be happy until she learns how to abide by rules and put family first.

  • Sue

    Your poor kids are going to have serious issues. Relax. Seriously.

    • MMM

      My kids are doing great. Moral, valiant and smart. Thanks for your concern. (actually some of the thought processing leading up to this post was a conversation with my 26 yea-old school teacher daughter.)

  • Angela

    MMM, the gay community is embracing Frozen and “Let it Go” as the new gay anthem for children. Satan is targeting the little kids through cute pop culture and media.

    Take a look at what they are saying:

    “Anna’s wound ask if Elsa was “born” or “cursed” with her gifts. The similarly queer-friendly saga will note some striking parallels: Elsa develops a can’t-touch-this mutation, while Anna’s trauma leaves her with white-streaked hair.) Mom and Dad do acknowledge that Elsa was born this way, but after having Anna’s memory wiped, they nevertheless urge Elsa to remain in the family’s castle, its locked gates signifying the girl’s closed-off, guilt-ridden heart. “Conceal, don’t feel,” the princess is taught to tunefully recite in the film, which is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen, and hinges its chief conflict of eternal winter on the dangers of emotional suppression.”

    Sources:

    Forbes calls it “a parable for homosexuality”

    http://www.forbes.com/…/review-frozen-is-disneys-best…/

    “Frozen teems with gay themes”

    http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/frozen-2013

    “bold undercurrent about homosexuality”

    “Let it Go” is the coming out of the closet anthem.

    http://onmilwaukee.com/movies/articles/frozen.html

    “the coming out of the closet allegory is the movie’s central theme”

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/83757944/

    “Frozen is fabulous … in the gayest sense of the word”

    I admit there was something about “Let it go” that kind of felt odd/nagging in the back of my mind. I couldn’t place it. It was as if the carnal side of human nature should be embraced because it is too hard and alienating to fight it, and forcing someone to be quiet about who they really are and “be the good girl” etc. now makes sense.

    What do you think??

    • MMM

      I think you just scared the nachos out of me.

    • I think that just because the gay community has embraced this movie does not mean that that’s what the movie is actually about. There’s “reading between the lines” and then there’s “putting your own spin on it because it furthers your cause.” The two are not the same thing and I don’t think it’s fair to be mad at Disney just because other people choose to interpret their movie for them.

  • Mark

    Actually, when you look at the message in the context of the story arc, it is extremely apt and wonderfully redeeming. The real problem was the overly strict upbringing she had had. Like many young people who have been too sheltered as children, she flung off what she perceived as the overly clinging strictures of her upbringing at the first available opportunity. She flexed her wings, found she was powerful, and reveled in that feeling only to realize later that the overly free exercise of her power does not come without consequences.Then later, when she realizes that her power can be exercised to great good when guided by love and compassion, she is redeemed from her earlier acts as she saves her sister. All three of my girls (15, 21 and 23) cried at that moment in the movie.

    It is a wonderful message and parents should take it to heart as they prudently give their children increasing freedom as they grow so that they will learn how to handle it a little at a time and not all in a rush when they go forth into the world away from their parents’ influence for the first time.

  • J-lo

    We should probably stop teaching the story of Alma the Younger, too, since that shows someone going through a time of transformation and growth.

    • MMM

      Seriously? That’s the best you’ve got? Did you even read the post? I liked the movie. I thought it had some good lessons. The problem is that the main song, the BIG, recognizable moment from the film – the part that is being lauded and awarded by society – contains dangerous philosophies.

      Maybe Alma the Younger put out some catchy tunes in his dark days, but I haven’t heard them on the radio.

  • Andy

    You teach your children correct principles and they will grow up to govern themselves. I agree with what this guy is saying, but the negative messages from this film are subtle and hard to spot compared to 99% of the other stuff your children are going to be exposed to. This is why the Church doesn’t try to make lists of movies you shouldn’t see or sodas you shouldn’t drink. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us Godly principles of conduct based on the Commandments. Then we use that knowledge along with promptings from the Holy Ghost to make good decisions. Hey, that’s pretty good. Think I’ll make that my facebook status. BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT HOW THOSE TINY INFERENCES IN THIS FILM ARE GOING TO AFFECT YOUR CHILDREN THEN YOU HAVEN’T ADEQUATELY PREPARED THEM FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. BUT DON’T WORRY… IT’S AN ON GOING PROCESS. CONTINUE TEACHING THEM CORRECT PRINCIPLES AND THEY’LL BE FINE.

  • Thank you for an interesting article. I must confess I saw the film completely different than you did.

    You’re right about her immodest clothing combined with the text and general attitude of the song being very immoral. However, I think that’s sort of the point of Frozen. From the very start of the movie, Elsa’s family is presented as painfully dysfunctional. Elsa has much less control over her powers when she fears them, yet instead of creating a loving and accepting atmosphere, her parents create a family of distance and fear.

    This is a very real parallel to so many dysfunctional families around us. Immodesty, a loss of control, and a general “Let it go” attitude are often consequences of such damaged upbringings. It’s something you can see everywhere in the world around us, and it was very strikingly portrayed in that moment when Elsa decided she didn’t care about living up to any external expectations and rules anymore. The result was that she decided rules did not apply to her, and thus, she created such immodest clothing and started faking a more confident attitude, acting as though she had become free and nothing could touch her anymore. “The cold never bothered me anyway.”

    Instead, though, the film made it very clear that this was just a mask she’d put on. Instead of the confident control she was faking, she was completely out of control. Her city was cast in an everlasting winter, and deep down she was incredibly unhappy.

    Fortunately, in the end, she discovered that not a complete disregard of morals and modesty, but the love of her family, the feeling of belonging, rather than fearing who you are would bring true happiness and control of her powers.

    Instead of judging Frozen for its very necessary second act, I would praise it for the deep, profound message it tells, and for the clear and realistic metaphor of gospel truths it portrays. If my kids wouldn’t catch that message on their own, I would sit them down and tell them about what the film can teach them.

    • MMM

      That was the point of the blog – to discuss those very things. As for judging the movie, I bent over backwards telling everyone that I liked the movie…

      • I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest that you judged the entirety of the film. In the last paragraph, I was trying to indicate how I’d talk to kids about it: Rather than judging that second act on its own, I would make sure they are aware of its message in the context of the entire film.

  • I posted Alex Boyes version of the song- he is a good friend, and I will support his work. But as far as my little girls go- I have steered them clear of all the Frozen hype. We saw it once- but I think the character is far too sexualized. It not ok, and I dont want my girls thinking that it normal. So I glad to have some back up.

  • I should say that I am not a huge animated movie fan. My family is though. And they really loved the other components of the film. At the Lego movie, I was smiling at a few jokes,(Batman was funny) and Joel is almost in a ball laughing so hard- there are tears. I can’t get that stupid “awesome” song out of my brain- My children have been raised on a steady diet of 70′s Disney films, Buster Keaton, and Andy Griffith thanks to their Father. Movies mean a lot in our house- but you do have to be careful.

  • Anonymous

    While I appreciate you still liked the movie, it feels a lot like you’re grasping for something.

    1. Her clothes aren’t sexy. If your daughter had a completely sleeved dress on like hers, you would have no problem with it. By contrast to her turtleneck dress, it might seem more risky, but it’s definitely not overtly sexy.

    2. Elsa’s role is not supposed to be the redeeming role, and while the song is empowering, you have to remember that the evil character of the movie had an adorable love song with the protagonist and that’s no big deal.

    3. I think what gets looked over is that Elsa was locked in her room for something like a decade. She can’t touch anything and she can’t explain why she’s completely estranged from her sister. I think anyone would feel empowered if they could finally release all that pent up energy. No rules and restrictions, in regards to her powers and abilities, not her life choices.

    4. There are far worse morals in The little mermaid and Aladdin. I think you’re right about relative moralism being bad, but it’s not present in this movie.

    • MMM

      (Idina Menzel thought Disney was pushing the edge with her sexiness.)

    • ummm..I have to completely disagree with your sexy assessment. It was more than just her clothes. The way she moved, the way her hair was styled, the smokey eyes- all of it- as a complete package was over sexualized. I am not niave- I modeled for years, and was trained on how sex sells. Disney REALLY pushed the envelope on this one- on purpose.

  • Anonymous

    Her family was so scared that people would banish her for being “different” she lived her life as an anomaly. So instead of her home being the “safe place” to e

  • Tom

    One point not addressed here or in the article is that what Elsa was fleeing was oppressive and unhealthy for her. She was locked in her room her whole life based on fear. There are many harmful situations that require courage to overcome. For them, freedom from that oppression is liberating. Context matters.

  • Anonymous

    She was forced to hide who she really was because her parents thought she/they would be banished as an anomaly/sorcerer. So instead of being accepted even in her own home which should be everyone’s “safe place” she was forced into isolation from everyone, including her own sister. Gates closed, no visitors, no normal, no value to the outside world, hide, conceal, don’t feel. There’s a parenting tip, that’s not embracing differences and positively celebrating what you have inside that IS special. It’s no wonder when she felt that she COULD actually “be” who she was and no one would be harmed for/by it that she broke through and recklessly used what had been hidden for so long. At that point she was embracing the beauty of what she had hid for so long. The point of no wrong or right and no consequences was directed to the fact that she, still in isolation, would harm no one by using this gift freely and learning who she really is in doing so. When the context of others came into play, she realized that there are consequences and power needs to be harnessed and it can be a benefit if we learn to celebrate and embrace our differences. I did not see her as over sexualized (not more than any other Disney Princess) but there HAD to be a visual change of coming out of the “mold” she had been trapped in her whole life. Great post, very well written!! And great well thought out responses as well. Thank you for sharing. My mom banned us from Disney one time because someone told her that the preacher in one of the movies was visually aroused in a marriage scene. We also got banned from Kmart because the company that owned them also had porn affiliations. I was a preteen at the time and did research about what companies owned franchise restaraunts/stores etc because I wanted to prove a point to my mom. Everything has a huge chain of ownership, you ban one company (as a statement) you have to ban ALL that are affiliated with that company, and that became painfully hard to do. My point was that there is evil everywhere and anywhere! If you spend your time to LOOK for it, you WILL find it. The open dialogue with your kids about movies like this is crucial. Thank you for posting.

    • Sometimes evil comes looking for you- and its my job to field it. It would be dangerous to ignore it. I won’t take those chances with my children. Reality is that we live in a sexually saturated culture. Its too much. I dont care if I’m not PC, I dont care what other people think, I won’t expose my children to things the spirit warns me against. I was warned against this- plain and simple. Its not a discussion I am willing to have with anyone other than my children.

  • Tanya

    I loved the movie and my girls are rather obsessd by it. I was a little disturbed by the things you have pointed out, but I have to say I was far more disturbed by the one line in the Troll song that says: “there’s no way you can change him, ’cause people don’t really change” and I have had a talk with my girls about how the gospel teaches that people can and should change.

    • MMM

      Nice catch. Change is not only possible – it is expected!

    • Jennie Blaser

      Tanya,

      Amen! I love all the music and we listen to it too often, but that line “”Cause people don’t really change” makes me flinch EVERY time. That’s the one I talk to my kids about. They got the change of Elsa on their own from watching the whole movie.

    • I think the point of the troll’s song was more that you shouldn’t marry someone expecting to change them into what you want them to be (think of the song from Guys and Dolls, “Marry the man today and change his ways tomorrow”). Sure, people can change. But only if and when they actually want to. Trying to mold someone into the person you want them to be (even if you want them to be a good person) tends to be manipulative (possibly abusive) and rarely works. In that sense, I think the troll’s song is spot on! Marry someone you love and who will want to grow and change along with you!

  • Brooke

    I appreciate your view. My kids love the song and are proud to “know all the words.” I have thought a lot about the song and movie trying to justify the song. I will be talking to my kids. I also love the movie and think there are some great messages to take from it. The key is to make sure the kids are taking the same “great” messages from it and not the others. Thanks!

  • Peter

    **spoiler warning**

    Out of context, I would absolutely have to agree with this article. In context, I absolutely disagree with this article. I believe those specific lyrics were very deliberate.

    If we go back to the beginning of the movie when Elsa and her parents meet the trolls, the Old Troll told Elsa that “You must learn to control it, fear will be your enemy”. Her fear is she doesn’t know her upper limits, as evidenced the first time she meets the living Olaf, the Snowman (see the familiar quote by Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure”). Elsa’s initial “blow up” came at a time where fear got in the way and she lost control and went against everything she had been taught as a child by her parents; by this time, she had no idea what was right or wrong. She realized that it was this fear that had gotten the better of her and erroneously decided that if she did away with the rules her parents had put in place of “keeping it in” that she would not have anything to be afraid of and, in essence, calm her power, which oddly enough worked (notice how she wasn’t doing anything when Anna showed up, was just hanging around), until someone tried to come in again and once again impose rules – Anna trying to bring her back to thaw out everything and the men trying to capture her, both of these times she blew up again.

    When Anna comes to talk with Elsa, she had thought that she was not affecting anyone by living on the “wild side”; it’s only after Anna mentions that their home is still in a winter that Elsa realizes that her actions have had consequences. She mentions that she does not know how to control it at this point in the movie.

    We fast forward to the end of the movie where Elsa finally learns that the only way to control her power is by imposing limits on herself, by following rules. In this case the rule was simple: love. By knowing this limit, she no longer had the fear the Troll warned of.

    So to sum up, I believe that of all the lyrics in that song, those may have been the most thought upon, deliberate lyrics in the whole song, maybe even the whole movie. In 10 words the entire movie’s plot is set in motion: “No right, no wrong, no rules for me – I’m free”. Of the entire song, those are the only plot-moving lyrics. After all, is the movie about thawing out a city? Or is the movie about re-uniting a family and conquering fear? If we read into the more mature themes of the movie it takes one a whole new purpose and meaning.

    So while this post was right in questioning the lyrics by themselves, it was wrong in analyzing them outside of the context of the rest of the film. Elsa’s discovery of right versus wrong is the whole impetus of the story and without her internal dialogue concerning those two extremes (no rules vs extremely strict rules), the movie becomes little more than a story about a girl who can make snowmen come to life.

    • MMM

      Kids walking around singing those lyrics don’t ponder the intricacies of context. The song will live on linger, and larger, in people’s minds than the context in which it was sung. I’m not disputing the over-arching lessons of the movie – I liked the movie.

  • A.

    How else in the world is Satan going to get the hearts and minds of children, at younger and younger ages, cleverly laced into a Disney musical? There is no way that anyone is going to get little kids memorizing and singing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”. (At least I hope not). But you can be darn sure they will be singing the younger version “Let it Go”.

    Scary–and incredibly clever. The message of both songs are the same. Just attracting different audiences.

  • J

    We had the FHE conversation with our kids about the song, the theme and what they got out of it. When I asked if there were lyrics in Let it Go that would be maybe incorrect, they right off said those lyrics. They know. One thing is satan is subtle. He knows that in order to sway those who believe in Jesus Christ he must do so subtly. Am I saying he is doing it through Disney? You decide. Look into some of the things Disney supports and promotes. It’s not always a wholesome family togetherness. There will always be people who take good and twist it and so it goes. If you see it and read too much into things, maybe you are being shown something of the spirit. And who is anyone here to say your personal revelation is wrong. No one. Great insight.

  • MMM

    –COMMENTS CLOSED–

    Sorry, I’m sure many of you have great things to add, but – as normally happens – the comments tend to grow angrier and less relevant. Odd how something as mild as a discussion of a cartoon engenders such anger. Over-invested, perhaps?

    The post was not about the message of the movie, or if it was a good movie. It was about a dangerous philosophy embedded in a terrific song, and a transformation that equates sexuality with empowerment.

    Let’s leave it at that. Thanks for your contributions!

  • MMM

    I’m surprised about how many comments I keep getting that are going to great lengths to explain to me how I don’t understand the movie – which is totally fair, because I don’t think they understand the point of the post.

    What I do feel bad about is that some of you are taking so much time writing comments that won’t be published or read. (One of them clocked in at 1,200 words!)

    —COMMENTS ARE CLOSED—-

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