Okay. I know. Enough about “Frozen”. . .but hear me out.
I hesitated writing a guide on this HUGE hit, figuring I missed my window. But since this movie continues to stay in the spotlight, with the hilarious “How it Should Have Ended” clip and the “Frozen Horror Movie” trailer, it appears the window remains wide open.
(if you have no clue what movie I’m talking about. . . welcome to Earth, you will love Mexican food. Here is a link to a summary of the movie “Frozen”.)
Unfortunately, Dallas summers aren’t as magical as Olaf imagines. If we are outdoors we must be in a pool (or we really will turn into a puddle). When we are inside, we tend to watch a lot more movies than normal (it’s like our version of “winter”…).
Since I don’t love having my boys veg out in front of a screen, I try to make our movie watching meaningful. And maybe help build character. Maybe? (more thoughts on this listen to the latest podcast w/ OhAmanda–> Family Movie Moms)
So even if your family has seen the movie, “Frozen”, 3 million times, perhaps you haven’t discussed some of the following ideas/questions/themes. After watching it one-more-time, you could get a sno-cone or ice cream (see what I did there?) and discuss:
1. How do Elsa & Anna respond differently to opening the castle gates?Right before Elsa’s coronation, there is a song sequence displaying both princesses reactions to the opening of the castle gates. One sister is thrilled, the other terrified. One can’t wait to be with & meet people, the other would prefer to be alone.
You could talk with your kiddos about extroverts vs. introverts. People who are energized being around people and those who are energized being alone.
Elsa isn’t necessarily an introvert. She has a legitimate reason to stay away from people, fearing she may harm them. Of course, by the end of the movie she finds a way to enjoy “being amongst the people”. But I think it’s good to open your kids’ eyes to the idea that not everyone is just like them.
In our family we have a couple of boys who prefer to be with people, and a couple who enjoy playing alone. Problems happen when the extroverted ones barge in on the introverted ones quiet play. Is this true in your home?
Further conversation: The difference between someone who is hurting and wants to be alone (Elsa) versus someone who is hurting because she is alone (Anna).
2. Can you not feel emotions?
Once they discovered Elsa’s magic freezing powers, the King wrongly advises his daughter to “conceal not feel”.
We know God gave us emotions (even Jesus demonstrated anger, joy, & sadness). While we shouldn’t let our emotions rule us. We also can’t not feel them.
One thing to talk about is how we can replace one emotion with another. Elsa learns to replace the feelings of fear with love. When she tried to force herself to “not feel” fear, she just felt more fear. But when she focused on the true love she had for her sister the fear went away.
Further conversations: What negative emotions do you often feel? (anger, fear, discontent) What emotion could they focus on instead? (joy, love, gratitude)
Optional Memory Verse: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” (I John 4:18)
3. Is it better to run away from problems or talk about them?
After Elsa’s powers are revealed to the public, she decides to run away. This is when the most popular Frozen song occurs, “Let it go”. The message of the song is “leave everyone behind and be free of your problems”. No more pretending. No more hiding.
Sadly this is the song little girls worldwide are singing; an anthem of casting off restraint, how things are better on your own. It is not exactly what I think we want for our children. Yes, I think they shouldn’t be concerned about pleasing people. But we can’t isolate ourselves as a solution, either.
Fortunately, Elsa realizes it’s not a good solution when she learns her departure left the kingdom in a state of eternal winter. And once again the solution comes from relationship & love.
Further conversation: When you have a problem how should you handle it? How could the freezing of Anna’s heart been avoided if they talked about Elsa’s powers years earlier? Should you wait to talk to your family about your struggles or trust them and talk sooner rather than later?
3. Should you always get what you want?
On Anna’s journey to find her sister, she runs into a childhood friend, Olaf, the talking snowman. He shares, through song, his longing for summer.
Through comedic verse we learn he is clueless about the reality of what happens to snowmen in the summer.
One conversation to have with your kiddos is about how we can often want things, but they may not be good for us. Or they may be good but not best.
When it comes to watching some shows, playing video games, even buying toys, I chat with my boys about “good, better, best”. Some things can be good for us, but may not be the best.
(Of course in Olaf’s case, summer wasn’t even a “good” option for him).
Optional Memory Verse: “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’–but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Corinthians 10:23
4. What is true love?
One obvious difference between “Frozen” and other princess movies is how there is no wedding between a princess and prince after their first kiss.
Whether you like how they handled this topic, I think this movie gives a great opportunity to chat with your kids about the 4 types of love mentioned in the Bible:
- Eros-This is the sensual love (may want to choose different wording when describing to your kids). The love between a husband and wife. Anna & Hans “think” they are ready for marriage but their attraction is not the same as Eros love. This greek word is not found in the Bible, but love communicated in Song of Solomon.
- Storge-This is familial love, between parents and children, between siblings. Seen between Elsa’s parents & their daughters (wanting to keep them both safe), seen between Anna & Elsa & even the trolls for Kristoff. This greek word also is not used in the Bible, but shown in several places–Jacob’s love for his sons, Mary & Martha’s love for brother Lazarus).
- Philia-This is love between close friends. Found in the New Testament, encouraging Christians to love one another. I think Kristoff is a good friend to Anna, racing to get her back to the kingdom, then returning to make sure she is okay.
- Agape-This is unconditional, sacrificial love demonstrated by Christ’s death on the cross. Anna gives us a glimpse of this love by offering her life to save her sister from Hans.
Optional Memory Verse:
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10
Anna several times describes herself as average or not as important as her sister. But it’s her heroic, selfless act of love which helps Elsa remove the frozen curse and for summer to return.
Alright, those are some of my thoughts. Now your turn…
I really love this reading (watching, I guess!) guide. I often have vague objectives in mind when watching movies with kids – ways to encourage them to think critically about it, rather than just tuning out because of the pretty movement and songs – but nothing as well-executed as this.
Thanks for sharing!
This was so good, thank you for this. Usually we just watch movies for pure entertainment (or let’s be honest, so I can get something done haha) but this opened my eyes to use them as opportunities to teach something along the way. Thank you.