Frozen- thesis in animation

photo credit: Frozen promotional material at

Okay, we have to talk about it. I’m sorry, we do. My high school girls are obsessed with Frozen and, admittedly, I am as well. The boys saw it with their Mimi and were fine with seeing it again, but it wasn’t the reaction that Drew gave when he found out he is going to see the Lego movie for the third time this weekend. They both like Frozen, but they don’t love it like every girl, young and old, that I have met.

iTunes released it for pre-purchase this week and, of course, I bought it and we watched it last night for Friday family movie night. They boys ran screaming upstairs when Elsa started into “Let it Go” but other than that, we sat and watched as Anna and Elsa searched to find themselves and each other. As Elsa got lost in her own storm of insecurity and fear, Owen and I cuddled in the recliner with his Mooshroom and a Pig from Minecraft. We smiled warmly as Anna wobbles in Elsa’s arms and we see the return to a relationship before it was frozen in fear.

And that’s when it hit me.

This is a story about getting rid of what “other” thinks and leaning into the internal identity. It isn’t about Anna being saved, because she isn’t – she saves herself with love. It isn’t about Elsa giving into fear and becoming the ice monster she created to protect her. It isn’t about killing the wolf in sheep’s clothing – it is about self-discovery, introspection, and love.

Love ourselves first and that fix-er-upper second. It is about the harsh beauty of growing up and into who we were when we were children.

With three months from finishing my Human Development Master’s at Saint Mary’s, here is my thesis in the form of Disney’s animation. We are a compilation of messages delivered and it is up to us to decide which ones serve our spirit well. It is up to us as parents to serve mantras not steeped in fear “Conceal, Don’t Feel,” and help our children chip away any words on repeat that squirmed in there without us looking. Oaken, with his family at the trading post, is one of my favorite characters ever. He knows his business, he knows himself, and when Kristoff tries to deliver a message that isn’t true (this criminal) Oaken calmly takes care of him. He knows the messages that are true and he rejects those who try to deliver ones that are not.


Elsa, of course, is where our hearts spilt open. With her struggle, we identify our own. The places where we fire frozen spears to protect what we know, which isn’t much. Elsa grew up fearing herself, not loving herself. Pabbie, the troll king, speaks a subtle truth that we miss, “Born with or Curse?” because she is born with such a beautiful power, it will grow and develop into something wonderful. This is her gift and she and her parents “conceal don’t feel” it, which is what Pabbie warns against. What gifts are we trying to conceal in our kids, both as parents and teachers? What are we reinforcing in our children? What are we doing that supports the gifts they are born with?

photocredit: Disney studios – promotional material from

Perhaps we should parent like Olaf. Go through life loving every being we come in contact with, but with a healthy understanding of when sacrifice is needed.

Our kids, both at home and in the classroom, are worth melting for.


One thought on “Frozen- thesis in animation

  1. Your beautifully excessive, in-depth comprehension of our reality turns this seemingly ordinary piece of literature into something richer and fuller, a paradigm of our internal struggle in this world, reminding us that while it is hard to hold on to dignity when the risen sun is too bright in our losing eyes, we can still overcome the hardships of our own souls. Continue writing, as you are wonderful at it!

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