It has been quite a while since I’ve done a Disney Lessons post. So, I thought I would do one of Justin’s and Rhys’s favorite movies: Wreck-It Ralph! Justin absolutely loves this movie because it is about video games! He loves pointing out to me all the different references and Easter eggs in the movie. Rhys really loved the action and the characters, especially Ralph and Felix. He’ll do a “hulk-smash” movement for Ralph and mime a hammering motion for Felix. I love the movie not only because of the video game world, but also because of the lessons that are involved–it’s a great movie for children and adults alike. *Includes spoilers!*
I have loved Frozen even before I ever saw it! Mainly that is because I knew that Idina Menzel was going to be the voice of Elsa. Wicked is one of my favorite Broadways, and Menzel does such an amazing job with Elpheba’s voice–the power behind it. So, I knew she would be perfect for Elsa, not your typical Disney princess. And, after I watched it for the first time, crying my eyes out, I knew it’d become one of my favorite Disney movies. I know there have been many critics of Frozen for many reason, but I don’t really care. I think it rises beyond any of those criticisms and these lessons are the reason why.
True Love Isn’t Always Romantic Love
When Elsa accidentally froze Anna’s heart, the only cure was an act of true love. The characters assumed that to be true love’s first kiss. I mean, it works in Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Enchanted, and many other fairy tale-like movies. However, what breaks the spell was Anna trying to protect her older sister Elsa from being killed by Hans. Throughout the entire movie, Anna always made excuses for Elsa. She always looked up to Elsa, even though she never really got to bond with her most of their childhood. She always trusted Elsa. She kept saying, “Elsa would never hurt me.” She cared deeply for Elsa. And honestly, Elsa felt the same about Anna. The whole reason she sequestered herself from people, especially Anna, is because she didn’t want to accidentally hurt Anna again. She cared so much for Anna’s health, that she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness for Anna. That is true love. And, you know what they say, “Blood is thicker than water.” (By no means is there a secret Disney agenda to support lesbian love–that’s ridiculous that people think that about Frozen…I mean, if that were true, than Disney would also be supporting lesbian incest! They are SISTERS!)
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Love is More Powerful than Fear
And, using the same concept (and video) from the previous lesson, we can learn that love is more powerful than fear. Elsa’s powers are controlled by her feelings. Her fear of her powers and the effects and consequences thereof caused the eternal winter. However, when Elsa showed how distraught she was at Anna’s “demise” and because of Anna’s act of true love, they realized that love can thaw a frozen heart. Elsa’s love was able to end the winter and bring back spring. Love is always more powerful than fear. Today is no exception, although we seem to have forgotten that, with ISIS and the current political campaign. But, love is the way of Christ, even. Love will always conquer. Be more loving and less hating and less scared.
Love is an Open Door
Yes, I know. Technically, this song is between the protagonist and the surprise villain. However, it has some good points. Anna had been isolated and lonely most of her life, and now she found someone invested in her. And, although the song lyrics really don’t have any depth to them, the title is what is most important. Love is an open door. Love leads to so many good things. Love is an opportunity for service. Love is an opportunity for growth. Love is an opportunity for adventure. Love is an opportunity for improvement. Love is an opportunity for happiness. Love is an opportunity for more love. It’s an open door.
True Love isn’t Always Perfect
When Anna and Christoff get to the trolls, they make the assumption that Christoff and Anna are together. This is all for comical reasons because we, as the audience, know they aren’t. The trolls begin to sing, “Fixer-upper” talking about all of Christoff’s weaknesses and negative traits. However, that doesn’t mean that he isn’t worthy of loving, or even, for that fact, marrying. Everyone will have negative traits. Everyone will have baggage. This song also relates back to the whole “what is true love” motif:
We aren’t saying you can change him
‘Cause people don’t really change
We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange
People make bad choices if they’re mad or scared or stressed
But throw a little love their way, and you’ll bring out their best
True love brings out the best.
That’s what marriage is–bringing out each other’s best, lifting each other up. The last lyric of the song is: “The only fixer upper fixer / That can fix a fixer upper is / True love.”
Don’t Rush into Marriage
Now, this one is a little hard for us, Mormons. We are notorious for quick courting periods, and even quicker engagements. Justin proposed to me after half a year of dating (which is actually on the longer end of the average dating period for college-aged Mormons) and we were engaged for only 4 months (an very average length for Mormons). However, Anna and Hans got engaged later the day after meeting (but then again, my college Bishop met and proposed to his wife in a period of three days! And, they had a handful of children, each who have served LDS missions and married in an LDS temple themselves…so sometimes, it works…).
But, what Disney was trying to do with this was to break away from the classic fairy-tale stigma of love at first sight. This is the only Disney movie that does it: Enchanted and Tangled also deal with this. Dating for getting to know the other person. Getting to see how you two click. Engagement is for getting to the worst, as well as the best of your partner, for serious life discussions and planning. Don’t necessarily rush into marriage–get to really know your significant other. Spend as much time with them as possible. But, when the timing is right, don’t delay.
Let It Go
This is the most iconic song of Frozen. It is so powerful. Elsa is coming to grips with her powers. She is releasing her inhibitions about it, and beginning to embrace it. This song for us could be about fears, weaknesses, flaws, mental illnesses, chronic illnesses, bad experiences, bad pasts, really anything. But the whole idea is to “let it go.” Move on with life. Don’t let others hold you back, especially their view of yourself. The only view that matters is how you perceive yourself. Test yourself. Push yourself. Explore. Try new things. Be brave. Be confident.
There are many more mini-lessons, but these are the most important and life changing. I love this movie for it. And, Idina Menzel, you will forever be my hero! The first time I heard this song, I just kept thinking of Wicked’s “Defying Gravity“.
What lessons did you learn from Disney’s Frozen?