What Life Lessons Can Anna, Elsa and the Other Stars of Frozen Teach Us?
The world has been obsessed with Disney’s latest animated movie, Frozen. The music, the characters and the storyline have touched the hearts of filmgoers both young and old. During it’s release, parents took children to the theaters multiple times to watch this new family classic, and now that it now available on DVD, it can be watched over and over again at any time.
In fact, millions of DVD’s were pre-purchased before the film was available in stores and online. People wanted to insure that they would be receiving their own personal copy and not have to wait if it was sold out.
As a person who is an enormous fan of Frozen, I have taken away many life lessons from the film. While some of these are definitely over the heads of younger fans, there are values, that one day, they will understand.
Parents Make Mistakes
Sometimes Big Ones
Princess Elsa was born with magical powers to make snow and make anything that she touches frozen. This power was a source of great fun for her and her sister, Anna, until she almost kills her with it by accident.
After having the troll, Grandpappy, save Anna’s life, their parents lock Elsa away in her room and tell her “Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.” Fear makes her powers unstable, and as a child, she is frightened by what has happened. She is not even permitted to have a relationship with her sister and best friend, Anna, as her parents fear that another accident could be fatal.
By today’s parenting standards, locking her away in her room and not permitting her be around other people is abusive. But, the king and queen were doing what they thought was right and doing the best that they knew how. There were no parenting classes or baby gurus to guide them. Just because they were royalty, it didn’t mean that they had a firm grasp on parenting.
This mistake led a grievous mistake years later… Anna becomes engaged to Hans after meeting him a few hours prior. This leads the course of events that is the main storyline of the movie.Credit: www.amazon.com
It's Okay to Laugh at Yourself
Disney movies have been criticized for it’s unrealistic representation of relationships between men and women. How many princesses get married to a prince they hardly know? Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty are just a few who rely on a handsome stranger to save them, marry them, and live happily ever after.
In Frozen, the lonely, company starved Anna agrees to marry Hans, a complete stranger she met that afternoon. Elsa refuses to bless their engagement and Kristoff, the rugged outdoorsman who helps Anna, continually questions her sanity for agreeing to marry a perfect stranger.
This is one way that Disney is mocking itself and it’s older stable of movie classics that little girls still adore today.
Poking fun of yourself is okay, as long as you are not putting yourself down.
Wait, You Got Engaged to Someone You Just Met That Day?
Didn't your parents ever warn you about strangers?
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Let It Go
Secrets Hold You Hostage
The Academy Award winning song from Frozen is “Let It Go”. Elsa, who is now Queen of Arendelle, flees after the community discovers her powers and accuses her of sorcery. As she walks through the woods, she slowly sheds her cape and her fears. Alone and on her own, she no longer has to conceal who she really is. Once free from hiding her true self, she can control her powers and creates and amazing ice palace to live in.
Her royal garb, which consisted of dark colors, are transformed into a vibrant icy blue and they flow as she embraces who she is. Even her hair becomes a lighter shade of blonde. It is as if the filmmakers are conveying that once you let go of the fear inside, you glow with the confidence you have gained…you can be who you are supposed to be and live as your true self.
One of the Best Songs Ever Written
Think about it…how many of us are carrying around dark secrets that we conceal and try not to feel? We become self-conscious and do not want anyone to know what we are truly feeling and who we really are because we fear their judgment. We cannot let go of what is holding us back.
When my older daughter was suffering from an eating disorder, we did not share this information with anybody, not even our family. Our daughter wanted no one to know. Writing articles about it was cathartic for me, but hiding the truth took it’s toll on some of my relationships.
Slowly, she told a few trusted people and in turn, she helped save several lives because other girls came forward asking her to help them. Eventually, she blogged about her experience and posted it on Facebook for all to know. She wanted me to share it with my friends and our family, and it was amazing to me how many others had a similar story to tell.
Letting that big secret was out and no longer concealing it from everyone was incredibly healing to all of us. The secret storm inside that we could not share because we feared so many things no longer had a stranglehold over us once we let it go.
The Love of Family Trumps All
As mentioned previously, Anna and Elsa’s parents did not do right by either of them, even Credit: http://mrg.bz/fhXk4ethough it was unintentional. When Elsa angers Anna by not blessing her impending marriage to Hans and then flees Arendelle, Anna does not say “good riddance”. Instead, she remembers the love and the bond her sister and she shared as children and went after her to right the wrong she had unintentionally created.
No one has the perfect family, no matter what they post on Facebook. There are problems that need to be faced and hurts that have to be overcome. As Elsa sang, “funny how some distance, makes everything seem small” can help heal some family situations. Time and space are sometimes what is needed to change a situation.
My husband and I walked away from his family years ago. One sister continually reached out to us, but we would have none of it. When my husband hit his milestone 50th birthday this year, she called him to ask all of us to dinner at her home to celebrate. After so many years, and with all of us getting older and not in the same health we were when we were younger, we accepted.
The dinner was healing, and although it has been several months and we have not spoken since the dinner, we have moved forward and “let go” of hurts that held us all back.
For the First Time in Forever
True Love Has More Than One Meaning
When you see Frozen for the first time, you assume that it will be Kristoff who will save Anna’s life.
But it is not.
Only an act of true love can undo what Elsa did to Anna, and when Anna sacrifices her life for her sister’s, the spell is broken.
It was not a prince’s kiss, but a sister’s devotion, which defined the act of true love.
This was a huge departure for Disney and parents need to be telling their children that their siblings are one of the most important relationships they will have in life. I was brought up this way, and this is what I teach my own children…when Daddy and I are gone, all you will have is each other. Don’t do anything to undermine it and do not let others get in the middle of your relationship or it can cause a rift that can take years to heal.
Anna Saves Elsa
Disney's Frozen is one of the best movies ever made for families. There is much to learn from it.