My daughter finally got me to watch Frozen with her this weekend, and I have to admit, it is good. (we bought it on Amazon Instant Video, which is just too convenient in the post-DVD world) The voice acting and music are superb, the animation is among the best, but my favorite is the story, particularly three elements which deeply illustrate and reenforce important Biblical messages.
I want to warn you that this article does reveal part of the ending, so if you don’t want it spoiled, quick, go watch it now, then come back and read this. (I will still leave much as a mystery, so if you want to keep reading, you will still enjoy many surprises in the movie)
The first Biblical message is the demonstration of true love through self sacrifice. I could criticize Elsa, who, in the interest of keeping her sister safe, isolates herself completely from her. You see, Elsa has a magical power that she can’t control, and she almost kills her beloved sister, Anna, at the beginning of the movie. Could there have been a better way for her to respond? Yes, definitely, but this tension was needed to develop Anna’s character as a repressed extrovert who, in desperate need for social interaction, makes unwise decisions.
This message is repeated again, dramatically, at the end of the movie, when Anna gives up her opportunity to be healed in order to save her sister’s life by literally putting herself between a sword and Elsa. It is an amazing plot twist that pokes fun at, no, shatters the notion, that the only kind of true love is the romantic relationship between lovers.
There are two things I enjoy about this. The lesser is that it shows something I’ve been aching to see in our culture, in that there are types of love other than romantic or sexual love. I know people who God has called to celibacy, as in 1 Corinthians 7:1, but who feel like they’re missing out. Our culture screams and shouts that either you’re incomplete without a partner of the opposite sex, or if you’re just not interested in that, then you must be gay. Paul says that those who are called to celibacy have a special benefit.
We also see this in the relationship between Anna and Kristoff. Kristoff takes his professional responsibility to Anna seriously in trying to take her to the peak. However, he cares for her in a non-romantic way as well. He greatly respects the engagement between Anna and Hans and when her life is at risk, he logically (that is Disney princess logic) rushes her to be with Hans. At the end of the movie we see a hint that a friendship is growing between them, leaving the possibility that maybe it could bud into romantic interest, but that is where it is left.
But the headline of this article discusses the Gospel message in Frozen. The first is the two occasions where true love is demonstrated as self sacrifice. Does this sound familiar at all to you? Hmm… is there someone in the Bible who demonstrates true love through self sacrifice? Of course, Jesus gave his life on the cross in order to be the perfect sacrifice as payment for our sins. He gave his life so that we can live. Just like Anna gave her life so that Elsa could live. (and, a subtle hint, that Anna is like Jesus in another way, because she overcame death)
The second way that the Gospel is shown is that act of selflessness shown by Kristoff. He had ample opportunity to put his needs first. Initially, he is self motivated, because he sees Anna’s success in finding her sister as the opportunity to restore his business. However, he sets this aside and demonstrates true selflessness by risking his life in order to save Anna’s. Again, there is no hint that there is romantic interest. The rock trolls overtly state that this must be a romantic relationship as they sing the “fixer upper” song, but Kristoff will have no part of it. His goal is to reunite Anna with her true love, Hans.
If you are sharing the Gospel, Disney has just given you some awesome illustrations to start spiritual discussions.
I’ve heard some chatter that Disney is implying that because Anna didn’t find true love in the arms of a man then there must be a subtle gay or feminist agenda connotation. Honestly, I just don’t see it. This is pure, simple, sisterly love and devotion. It is made clear in the castle that Anna does desire the love of a man. Labeling Elsa as gay simply because she doesn’t express this same desire would be like saying Mother Theresa or the Apostle Paul are gay. We know from the word of God that He has called some people to live a life of greater devotion to Him rather than a husband or wife. This is good! People who have been called in this way need to hear that they are OK.
If you haven’t seen it, do so. It is a fun movie and you’ll be humming the songs for weeks to come. The characters truly come alive, and I hope you can use some of the messaging as an opportunity to share God’s love.