The Important Lessons We Can Learn From Frozen
My daughter loves Frozen and so do I actually! I think that it is one of the best Disney films ever to have been created. Behind the catchy songs, the hilariously comical Olaf, loveable Anna and the misunderstood Elsa are many important lessons for us all. It was not until I watched the movie a couple more times that I began to see these lessons unfold before my eyes and I am glad that they did – I definitely have Isabella-Grace to thank for that because she is a hardcore Frozen fan and she has watched it so many times! She now enjoys belting out “Let It Go” and “Love Is An Open Door” at the top of her lungs throughout the day – I mean who can blame her, the songs are very catchy and well written. However, there is more to Frozen than meets the eye as mentioned earlier, so without further ado, let’s dive into this post.
“Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.”
Elsa was born with the power to manipulate ice and snow, in the beginning it was all fun and games as Elsa used her powers to engage in play with her younger sister Anna. Anna and Elsa were very close growing up and they had a strong sisterly bond. They often played together when the whole of the castle was asleep with Elsa using her magic to create ice and snow within the castle hall. One particular evening as they were playing, Anna almost hurt herself because she was going too quickly jumping from one snow pile to the next, in a bid to slow her sister down Elsa tries to stop her, but instead ends up striking her in her face with her magical powers. This causes Anna to fall. Elsa calls for their parents who rush in concerned, once they see what has happened, they rush Anna off to see a troll who is able to assist them. The troll does heal Anna, but as a precaution he removes Anna’s memories of Elsa’s powers so that she would no longer remember her sister’s magical abilities.
The troll then proceeds to warn Elsa that her powers will grow stronger and although there is beauty in her powers, there is also danger in them too. He gives her a sinister warning, “fear will be your enemy.” He urges her to learn to control her abilities and after her father ensures him that she will learn, the family leave. As a precautionary measure her father restricts the castle help and the castle gates become locked. Elsa’s interaction with others became limited and she became confined to her room. It so happened that Elsa’s parents had to go away for a while, but before they left Elsa’s father is seen telling her, "Conceal it, don't feel it. Don't let it show." This becomes a mantra that Elsa never forgets and begins to live by. Sadly, her parents never returned from their trip and this causes Elsa’s powers to grow even stronger.
Don't Hide. Deal With The Situation Together.
It took me a while to understand despite this being a children’s film, why parents would hide their child away from the world rather than dealing with the matter at hand. It completely baffled me if I am honest because I felt like if there was a situation with my child, I would do my upmost best to get to the root cause of it, identify it and work on ways to make sure that my child and I deal with it together, so that she knows she is not alone. Elsa’s mother says very little, her father does the majority of the talking and even with that he did show concern and compassion for his daughter which was really good, but on the other hand he perhaps did not know how to help his daughter and deal with the situation in a different way. Maybe this was his way of keeping his daughters safe and shielding her from the world because (after her royal coronation and because of her sister) everyone begins to fear Elsa when she gets angry with her sister and causes a slight ice situation.
This shows another important lesson – people can sometimes be afraid of things they are not accustomed to and rather than trying to understand what has happened or how the individual is feeling, they tend to label and judge which does not help. Again, I know this is just a film, but can you imagine a situation similar to this occurring in real life and rather than everyone trying to reach out and help they judge yelling names and saying, “sorcery!” This is what Elsa’s parents probably feared the fact that people would not necessarily understand or try to understand Elsa’s situation, but instead would label her as “evil” and some sort of “monster.” This part of the film is very sad and as we watch a young, confused and scared Elsa running off, as mothers we are probably thinking, “if only we could give her a nice, long cuddle, rub her back and tell her everything is going to be okay.”
"Don't conceal, Do feel and Do Let Them Know!"
Elsa was taught for so long to not reveal her secret and so she had bottled up many of her emotions inside. Although fear is evidently one of her emotions, she never expressed the others verbally. This is sad because I have often heard comments to others or in general such as “don’t cry it makes you look weak!” or “little boys don’t cry!” This is one of the problems in our society as a whole. Many young boys are taught growing up that only little girls cry, which is not true. Little boys should be free to cry just like little girls if they need to. They should also be free to express themselves and express their feelings without having to bottle these feelings up, it is not healthy. This freedom of expression will stop them from growing up into men who do not know how to express their feelings because they have always had to keep them to themselves.
Now, Elsa is clearly not a boy, but I noticed Prince Hans mentioned how his older brothers ignore him and then we are later introduced to Kristoff who appears to prefer interacting with his reindeer rather than humans. It is unclear if Prince Hans is actually telling the truth or not, but if so he appears to sympathise with Anna and state how much he can relate to being shut out meaning he too has feelings he has never been able to express.
Kristoff seemed to be more of an introvert and did not like much human interaction, even when he first meets Anna he appears to be very clear, to the point and avoiding engaging in much small talk with her. He then proceeds to sleep in the barn with his reindeer Sven as he sings, "reindeers are better than people." Kristoff was raised by the trolls it appears, not much is revealed about his earlier life, but he does not express much to Anna regarding his past life.
As human beings we have been created with the innate ability to express ourselves; we can choose in what way we express ourselves. Why should little boys be taught that crying makes them weak?! Crying is a perfectly normal way to express yourself and to let your feelings out. I understand that not everyone will agree with this point, but I can only state from my experience what I have seen and heard.
Looking For Love.
Anna demonstrates the character of a strong young lady, one who never gives up and one who loves and when she loves, she really loves hard. This is a good thing, but then it also was a bad thing too because she was used by the deceitful Prince Hans. The fact that Anna was rid of her memories of her sister’s magic meant she could not remember everything, but she did remember that her and her sister used to be really close, but suddenly they became distant. Anna pleaded with her sister many times asking her if she wanted to build a snowman, but was often told, “go away Anna!”
Rejection from her only sibling at such a young age clearly had its own effects on Anna as a child and then a young woman because she had nobody to talk to other than her parents. So, she grew up seeking love and affection, which would explain why she was so quick to say yes to a stranger’s proposal after knowing him for less than a day. Her parents never explained why Elsa was always in her room and Anna was none the wiser, meaning she could only make up her own conclusions in her head. Despite causing her sisters secret to be revealed in front of all their guests, Anna is adamant that she would put things right and she sets off to find her sister.
What I love about Anna is that she used her determination and love for Elsa to help her to find her sister, even with Elsa telling Anna to go back to Arendelle, Anna insists that she will go back, but with Elsa by her side. Elsa refuses to return and then summons Marshmallow in a bid to get rid of her sister. So, once again Anna faces rejection despite pleading, "you don't have to be afraid, we can fix this together," which is awfully sweet.
Rejection is not a nice thing, it can really make you feel bad about yourself and have you picking at your qualities as if it is your fault. When in reality it could just be the other person who needs to sort out things on their side. I always see rejection quite simply as God's protection from things/people who are not for me. In this instance it was Anna's parents protecting her from Elsa's powers because of what the troll said to them and because they did not know how to control Elsa's powers. In the end, Anna commits the perfect act of true love and she is the reason why Elsa comes to know how to control her powers.
Secret Battles. Secret Scars.
Although we feel that keeping some secrets are necessary, at times when secrets do eventually come out they can cause more pain than they needed to if they were revealed in the first place. I feel that it is good to be open and communicate with your children, but at the same time there are some things they just do not need to know especially if they will not affect them in any way shape or form. However, Anna could have been made aware of her sister’s powers and she would have remembered them if her memories of them were not wiped. Although it appears this was all done for Anna’s protection, what about Elsa?! Had Elsa had someone other than her parents to confined in then she would not have felt so alone all of the time and especially when her parents passed away she would have had her sisters shoulder to cry on. I could not imagine carrying such a burden and dealing with it alone, it must be very difficult, and this is why with our own children it is essential to communicate. Even if it is asking how their day was, what did they eat, how were their classes, would they like to cook dinner with you – just little things, they all make a difference. No child should feel as if they have nobody to confide in, but again this goes for us mothers too.
There are so many mothers who struggle secretly with their own problems, battling depression, battling other mental illnesses, financial worries and so forth and they keep it to themselves out of fear of being judged. If we as humans could do more helping than judging the world would be a far better place. When someone is feeling down, when someone is going through something they really do not need to be criticised, they do not need to be torn down and they do not need to be laughed at. Even if they are not going through anything – just do not do it! Be a decent human being and let’s try to help others more. Speak kindness into someone, build them up and use your words and your abilities to help them to get back on the right track. There are too many people in this world who hide their problems because the world can be a cruel place, but they need more people around them who will be willing to listen, to provide a shoulder to cry on and to be a light.
We all have our good days and our bad days, so we know what it feels like, let’s treat others with respect and dignity. Don’t laugh at the mum having a meltdown, TRY your hardest not to judge the mum screaming at her children – I have seen this happen on more than one occasion and I am guilty of thinking in my head, “poor children” and it is true, poor children, but also what is this mum going through?! Who does she have to help her with these children? What is her support system like? Does she have anyone to talk to? Is she struggling? Sometimes I would like to just stop the mum and go up to her and give her a big hug, tell her that it is okay, and she does not need to shout like that, encourage her to take deep breaths and just reassure her. Pour kindness into her and let her know that things will not always be so difficult, one day her children will grow up, but for now they need her.
All it takes is a word, a kind gesture and you could have the biggest impact on an individual’s life. Maybe they have not even been complimented for a long time, maybe they feel down within themselves – you just never know, and this is why I pray for every mother in the world. I pray for Independent parents as well as mothers with their significant others because parenting is difficult, motherhood is difficult, fatherhood is difficult and raising little humans is exhausting.
It seems amusing looking back at it to think that I got all of this whilst watching a child’s film, but I felt led to share because it is a message that needed to be heard.
If ever you are feeling down, and you really want to talk to someone, please reach out to me as I would love to hear from you. You do not have to ever feel like you are alone, because you are not.
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