Mar 03

“Frozen”: What Are the Meanings and Messages?

Just what is the meaning and/or message of the animated film Frozen? Many have been busily analyzing this question.

First, the plot of Frozen, in brief, from IMDB: “Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter.”

It must be noted that this Disney film actually passes the Bechdel Test.

You can watch the trailer below:

Many say that the best and main element of Frozen is the sisterly love. Sisterhood of the family kind. Well, “family” often includes parents. So, where are the parents in all of this?

R. Kurt OsenlundSlantexplains that Elsa’s “ice-emitting powers” are a source of shame for them:

In childhood, she injures her sister Anna during snowy playtime, and the half-stone trolls beseeched with healing Anna’s wound ask if Elsa was ‘born’ or ‘cursed’ with her gifts…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.

Gina Luttrell, Arts.Mic, tells it like it is and calls out the parents as abusive: “Elsa’s parents brutalize her instincts so that even as an adult, she lives in constant fear of herself. Those lessons are so ingrained that she continues hiding even after her parents die.”

Although some see a strong “coming of age” theme regarding Elsa, many others zero in on an even more specific developmental challenge, that of being gay in a homophobic society. Osenlund, for instance, says the movie “(t)eems with gay themes.”

Blogger Steven Salvatore: “The one thing I couldn’t shake as I watched the story unfold was how strikingly similar it felt to growing up gay and learning to find inner peace and acceptance while balancing the fears you have of what others might think about you.”

Catherine Bray, Time Out: “The standout song, ‘Let It Go’, feels like Disney’s most inspired coming-out anthem yet (‘Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know. Well, now they know’).”

Salvatore, again: “In the last chorus of the song, she sings: ‘Let it go, let it go / And I’ll rise like the break of dawn / Let it go, let it go / That perfect girl is gone / Here I stand in the light of day / Let the storm rage on / The cold never bothered me anyway.’”

Added by the blogger, “If that’s not a coming out song, I don’t know what is. Regardless, it’s absolutely empowering.”

(For the complete lyrics to “Let It Go” and a related video clip from the film see my previous post about this song.)

Another theme of Frozen is the kind of sisterhood that’s not just family-related. I’m talking Female Empowerment. Women’s Independence. “These sisters, both queens in their own rights, are doin’ it for themselves,” says Osenlund.

Margaret ManningThe Huffington Post, hopes “women of all ages” will hear and get the message she did: “Stop trying to please everyone, forget perfection, don’t be afraid to be different and be true to yourself. Stop being a ‘good girl.'”

Dec 27

“Let It Go”: Overlap With Inspirational Poem “Let Go”

When I recently heard the Oscar-nominated song “Let It Go” (from the popular new animated film Frozen, sung by a character voiced by Idina Menzel) I thought of the inspirational poem “Let Go” that I’ve posted off and on in my waiting room. Not only are the titles similar, but there’s also a little thematic overlap.

Or maybe that’s a stretch. No matter. Here they both are.

I. LET GO… (Author Unknown)

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off, It is the realization I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To “let go” is not to try to change or to blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.

To “let go” not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To “let go” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.

To “let go” is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.

To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody but try to become what I dream I can be.

To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.


II. “LET IT GO” from Frozen

Per “Elsa sings ‘Let It Go’ from her place of isolation. She’s frustrated at the way she’s been forced to hide what she is capable of and, over the course of the song, resolves to accept her powers rather than live in fear of them.”

Watch the movie clip and/or read the lyrics at