There’s something about holiday movies that makes me feel cozy inside. Although it is a little on the morbid side, my favorite holiday movie is Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s the perfect combination of my favorite holidays: Halloween and Christmas. However, things are different in my household these days. The one movie series I never thought I would watch let alone enjoy has stolen my son’s heart: Frozen.
I remember stumbling across a Facebook post where a mom shared that her daughter was making her watch Frozen for the umpteenth time and she was at her wit’s end. I thought it was hilarious and I always dreaded the day my future children would become fixated with a movie. Maybe it’s karma, but somehow, Frozen happens to be that movie for my son. He especially loves Elsa’s solo song moments. It’s as if he sees or hears no one else except for Elsa when she’s belting out the song.
To be fair, I sang a lot during my pregnancy. It’s something I have always done and still do to this day. Naturally, my son has an affinity for anything music-related. He’s at the stage where he likes to try to hum, clap, and rock his body to whatever music he may hear. Being that the Frozen series is full of music-filled moments, I can understand why my son is enraptured with it.
Seeing him enjoy this series thawed my heart toward it, and I found myself starting to pay attention to the messages in the storylines. The more I paid attention, the more I realized Frozen has a message for everyone. Here’s why I’m OK with watching it year-round, not just during the winter holidays.
It Tackles Finding and Accepting Identity
Frozen deals with Elsa having to hide her magic and accidentally unleashing it during an argument with Anna years later. Frozen II shows Elsa once again being drawn to the enchanted forest where she and Anna learn the true history of their parents. They also learn about the cause of the decades-long feud between the Arendelle kingdom and the Northuldra people. The movies show us that regardless of the time or place, it’s possible for us to struggle with finding out who we are and accepting it. At the same time, we may struggle to accept the identity of others.
Sometimes we feel like an anomaly and are told what we need to do in order to “fit in.” This can make us afraid to be true to ourselves, and we can either succumb to identity loss or begin lashing out. Sometimes we might make others feel alienated if they do not fit within our idea of how people should live. Frozen reminds us that our identities do not have to mean we are dangerous. Instead, we can work to accept who we are while giving others the space to be who they are, even if it looks different.
It Doesn’t Shy Away From Grief
In Frozen, we are introduced to sisters Elsa and Anna along with their parents. Tragedy strikes shortly after, and we see that the sisters have lost their parents during a terrible sea storm. At that point, the sisters have been separated for some time due to Elsa’s magic, and it’s clear that this has affected them. To make matters worse, they aren’t able to seek comfort in each other during the aftermath of their parents’ deaths.
Then in Frozen II, Anna’s heartfelt ballad “The Next Right Thing” following her unspeakable losses cuts right to the truth of fresh grief: “it is cold, it is empty, it is numb.” She says it’s too hard to look far ahead, yet she must put one foot in front of the other. Even actor Jonathon Groff, the voice of Kristoff, told The Hollywood Reporter he cried listening to the song.
It Shows Forgiveness Is Possible
In Frozen II, we learn that the reason for the feud is due to the treachery of Elsa and Anna’s grandfather long ago. Although that feud created an imbalance and strife that affected many people, forgiveness eventually makes its way into the hearts of those affected. One of the things I am continuously learning is that forgiveness does not excuse what the offending party may have done, but it does release us from the bitterness that can take over us. It allows us to start moving forward or rebuilding our lives outside of being attached to hurt or anger.
It Celebrates Building Bonds
Most importantly, the Frozen series celebrates family and friendships. We see how Elsa and Anna’s relationship is strengthened throughout the series, and we see them develop deep bonds with other characters. We can see that friendships, family, and love can be found in unlikely places.
While Frozen may be categorized as a children’s movie, anyone can watch it and be moved by the characters and the storylines. It is an endearing movie that does make you want to continuously watch it. As a parent to a child who is fascinated by little things in life, it reminds me to look at the world with wide-eyed wonder again.
Sometimes it’s hard to do that when you’re in the midst of a repetitive routine, but I like to think our children’s excitement can lead us down long-forgotten paths, paths of remembrance and paths that make us pay attention. For my household, Frozen has been the key to that.