Having watched Disney’s Frozen almost 10 times in the past week, I’m becoming quite an expert on the subject. My girls and I enjoy watching the movie and we can now recite most of the dialogue. I have the Frozen soundtrack in my car too so we have sing alongs whenever we’re on the go.
I think we all feel a special connection to it because my girls have a deep connection as sisters and I’m blessed enough to experience and witness it as their mother.
There are lessons to be learned in Disney’s Frozen that the girls and I recognize from the very beginning. When the movie starts the two sisters are sweet little girls. Anna is excited by her older sister, Elsa’s magic and begs her to use it. Neither Anna or Elsa are afraid of Elsa’s magical winter powers. Then Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her powers while they’re playing and how her parents handle it turns the happy story in a much different direction.
Accidents happen, all parents know that and the best parents do their best to help their children understand that it’s okay and everything will be fine. That’s not what the girls’ parents did. The moment their father finds Elsa holding the unconscious Anna in a frozen, snow-filled ballroom he growls “Elsa, what have you done?! This is getting out of hand!” Hearing those words immediately places all blame on Elsa and she’s suddenly afraid of the magic she and Anna had only moments ago found so wonderful and beautiful.
The parents rush the unconscious Anna and the frightened Elsa to the magical trolls for help. Being magical creatures themselves, one would think trolls would be able to convey the idea that being different isn’t a terrible curse. Instead, the head troll heals Anna and in doing so erases all her memories of magic. That same troll takes the scared Elsa aside and shows her silhouetted images of her magic. He explains that her magic will grow and that “There is beauty in it(shows pretty images of her using her magic)…but also great danger(the scene turns red, dangerous-looking and scary). You must learn to control it. Fear will be your enemy.” Way to scare the girl even more! So much for being helpful!
The apparently unfeeling and clueless father then says: “We’ll protect her. She can learn to control it, I’m sure. Until then, we’ll lock the gates, limit her contact with everyone, including Anna.” So their best solution is to show Elsa with their actions and words that they think she’s some sort of dangerous creature? And make the one person who loves Elsa and her magic unconditionally, Anna, forget the truth?
From then on, the once close sisters have barely any contact with each other. Elsa is afraid to touch anyone as her powers grow and her father’s best advice is to “Conceal it, don’t feel it, don’t let it show.” That’s obviously the total opposite of what they should have done, which is to reassure Elsa that she’s not evil, that her magic is good and that’s she deserving of love. Not only that, Anna blames herself for why Elsa doesn’t have contact with her anymore, even though she doesn’t remember what happened. There’s a huge rift between the sisters created by their parents’ (and the trolls) inability to reassure two little girls that there’s nothing wrong with being different.
Several years later, things finally work out happily as Anna proves to her sister how true her love is, no matter the chaos Elsa inadvertently caused with her magic. It’s Anna’s act of true, selfless love that thaws the frozen heart and breaks the spell of fear and ignorance cast over the girls when they were so very young. In the end, Elsa’s magic wasn’t a curse, her parents’ inability to see how amazing she is was the real curse.