Friday, April 18, 2014

Disney's "Frozen": 3 Reasons Why it Resonates with Us

Recently, it seems like 1 out of every 10 posts on Facebook are about the Disney movie “Frozen”.

There’s toddlers and their mothers singing renditions of “Let it Go” or Jimmy Fallon and Idina Menzel singing the song with classroom instruments. There are all sorts of personality quizzes to see which “Frozen” character you are (One quiz said I was “Pabbie”, the Troll King. So I took another one. I’m Elsa.) Or, there’s people who are just now seeing the movie who are saying something along the lines of “it just didn’t quite live up to the hype” (I’m not sure what movie could live up to all of the “hype” that Frozen has received!)

Despite your reaction to the movie, whether you think it lived up to the hype or not, I think it’s safe to say that there’s something about the movie that resonates with each of us for the following reasons:

1. The sibling-connection: Most of us growing up in the U.S. are not “only” children. We have siblings. And that means we fight with our siblings. We get annoyed with them. We have a hard time sharing. We have snowball fights. And sometimes, we isolate them.

My brothers and me: Daniel (on the left) and Joey (on the right).
This is after I got engaged :)

Although the older sister in the movie, Elsa, was not exactly the sweet, darling older sister she should have been, I can relate with her. Now, I think I have a great relationship with my brothers. They are two of my very best friends in the entire world. I LOVE being around them. But it wasn’t always that way. I remember when I was a teenager and my middle brother Joey was a preteen, he always wanted to hang out with my friends and me. It annoyed me. I tried to leave him out. Sometimes I was downright mean to him when he was just trying to be included. And now, more than ten years later, I still feel terrible about it! I wish that I had just let him watch that movie with us or sit on our trampoline and talk with us (I’m not really sure why we always sat on the trampoline…it was just the thing we did.)

But here’s the bottom line: I relate with the struggling Elsa. And probably, Joey relates with the shut-out Anna. So we rejoice when, at the end of the movie (spoiler alert!) Anna sacrifices herself for Elsa, who does not deserve it. But Anna loves Elsa, and deep-down, Elsa loves Anna. And sometimes that sibling love is just as strong as the bonds of true love (because it IS true love!) It’s beautiful.

2. It makes fun of “love at first sight.” Which is a relief. Because our generation grew up believing wholeheartedly in nothing BUT love at first sight. Which is Disney’s fault. Mostly.

I was grateful when Sven gave Anna a hard time for getting engaged to someone she had just met. It’s as if Disney is telling our generation of princess-wannabes to not take ourselves too seriously.

Because the truth is, even if you fall in love at first sight, it might not (and, let’s be honest, it probably won’t) last. Love is not just some fluffy feeling you get when you hear Aladdin singing about some magic carpet ride (that honestly sounds a little sketchy, now that I think about it!)

Love is hard work. It takes commitment, dedication and action. I love the verse in 1 John 3:18 where it says “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” THAT is love. Not some silly Disney song we grew up singing.

3. We WANT to “let it go.” We’ve just been waiting around for someone to tell us (or, sing to us!) to let it GO. Let go of what people think of us. Let go of all the unspoken expectations we put on ourselves. Let go of bad habits, addictions, unhealthy relationships….Just LET. IT. GO.

I’ve got a lot more on this topic, but we’ll save it for another day ;)

So, thank you, Disney, for repenting and giving us a story that truly resonates with each and every one of us — regardless of whether or not we have fallen in love (unless of course you’re an only child AND you’ve never been in love…then, I guess you’re kind of left out. Sorry.)

I hope that in my own writing, I can build stories that truly resonate with people in different stages of their lives. I obviously want to write a love story that can people fall in love with, but I also want to write about family relationships and friendships that people can identify with. I want my characters to be people that you can laugh at, cry with and relate to.

What are some stories that have resonated with you, and why? Have you ever re-read a story and found that  you connected with a different character than you originally did? Please share :)

For your viewing pleasure:

P.S. - Joey, I’m so sorry for leaving you out. I’ll never do it again.

Joey and me rockin' super sweet ski outfits