My family enjoyed the first Frozen film (only watching it on DVD as taking 4 children under 5 to the cinema would have been insane!) My boys were Olaf fans – he featured on a “memorable” birthday cake with white icing and large carrot nose shoved in. I even made Christoff outfits for them by stitching ribbon onto a black fleece. My daughter had the dressing up dress – our credentials are set for reviewing the second film.
We have grown up a bit – sitting through a film is possible. Going out for the day no longer requires buggies, changing bags and car seats (those days do come!) I wasn’t sure the older boys would be up for Frozen 2 but they assured me, if there was popcorn they would quite like to see it and having a younger sister meant they still could.
The film has grown up a bit, too – the storyline is more complicated. The characters face harder struggles. The messages are stronger and bolder.
As a Christian mum I sat nervously as Elsa listened to the call of the unknown Siren and went off to the forest where the Spirits of earth, fire, wind and water were unhappy. I cringed and laughed at Kristoff’s cheesy rock ballad as he sang with a backing group of reindeer about being “lost in the woods”. I longed for a stronger male role who wasn’t just going to wait for the girl to remember he existed and then rescue her AGAIN! I watched Elsa push her sister away and tame the elements in her quest for the truth and find the answers she needs by the memory of water?! I felt for Anna as she struggled with loss and change and admired her bravery to get up and just do the next right thing.
Then, as Elsa arrives at the origin of the river she has to move the obstacles to finally discover who the 5th Spirit is that can bring everyone together … DUM, DUM, DUM … it’s HER! (I snorted). But she needs others too – together they can save the day by being themselves. Thank goodness that Olaf gives us a few laughs on the way.
So what should we do? Ban the film? Dismiss the story? Fear its influence? No! Watch the film, talk to your kids, help them learn how to listen to the story it tells them. Then look at it and compare it to the gospel’s story so we can help them to love Christ more. This doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds.
I asked my 7 year old what she liked about the film. Answer: Olaf’s joke about turtles’ butts, Anna’s boots, Elsa’s dress and when Elsa ran on the waves. Great! It’s nice to think there is someone who can control things that seem out of control – like water, fire, wind and earth. Can you think of someone who really did? Jesus did walk on the water, he could calm the sea and stop the wind, the earth quaked when he rose. He is in control of all that happens. Jesus is an even better hero.
How did Elsa find out the truth about the past? The water had memory and told her. OK, let’s get some ice cubes out of the freezer and ask them what happened! Is there anywhere else we can look for truth? How do we know what happened when Jesus walked on the water? Do we ask the water? No! We ask the people who were in the boat. John wrote it down – it’s his memory recorded for us!
With my 10 year old son, who is thinking more widely, I could say more. We agree that Jesus is in control – but what about when we see hard things happen in our world? Like fires in California in which people lose their homes and lives – why doesn’t God stop them now? Remember how people push God out – what does that mean for our world and our lives now? What does God tell us about the future, when all things are once again under his good rule and nothing bad happens?
Elsa had to work so hard to find the truth, to know the answers, to save the day – she felt a call she couldn’t resist to find out why she was here and why she was made the way she was. We understand that. We want to know why we are here and to feel like we matter. We could go on a big hard journey to try and discover the truth and save ourselves. Or we could look to Jesus – He did the hardest journey. He showed us how much we matter. He gave his life so that we could know truth.
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
We can enjoy Frozen 2 as a story – it doesn’t give us answers, but it might help us ask good questions. Who can help us do what is right? Who can tell us why we are here? Who can give us answers to what happens when we die?
So don’t let Frozen 2 leave you frozen with fear about the topics or questions it raises. We have a better story, a better hero. Let’s talk about him. You can wear the dress, watch the film, sing the song, buy the boots if you want to. But take time to realise how much safer your hero is, how much stronger your truth is, how much better the good news of Jesus is!