It seems that the whole world is celebrating the movie called Frozen. Disney in recent years is increasingly pushing the envelope of moral norms. Disney labors to turn morality on its head. Disney’s latest effort, the movie Frozen, grossing over a billion at the box office, is a fine example of moral inversion delivered with kitschy finesse. We ought to expect to hear good Christian voices eschewing the ideological and deviant seeds being sown in the hearts and minds of our children by such alluring cinematic means. But alas, as baffling as it is, most of what is said a bout this movie has been glowing praise, such as claiming that it is a moral victory, or a new direction for Disney “bringing the fairytale back to life,” or that it is “morally serious and culturally edifying storytelling.” It is as perplexing as it is disturbing because none of those things are accurate.
Contrary to what supporters of Frozen say, Disney’s latest blockbuster is not a departure from their agenda to normalize a false anthropology and deviant behavior; it is their best effort to date. We would be wise here to remember that Christ exhorts us to “judge not by appearances, but judge righteous judgment.” And we must recall what Plato teaches us in the Allegory of the cave about seeing shadows on the cave wall and confusing those shadows for real things. We can easily admit that by appearances, Frozen is a cute, adorable, and cuddly movie appealing to ear and eye alike. But underneath the surface lurks degeneracy and disorder on a scale that renders it propaganda for “Modern Family1” values, not a “culturally satisfying, morally edifying fairytale.”
Disney claims the movie Frozen was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Snow Queen. It would be more accurate to say that Disney used The Snow Queen as a counter template. Andersen’s story is a truly delightful masterpiece of a fairytale. Frozen is not a fairytale at all. It is a modern didactic morality tale of the sort you might find in a public school textbook. The setting is certainly not in the land of Faerie. Any artifacts of the fairytale, such as magic and trolls are demythologized and treated as accidents cut off from their formal and final causes and most other elements taken from the true fairytale are inverted for modern appeal.
Andersen’s The Snow Queen is a tale told in seven stories. It concerns a demon troll and his spectacularly malevolent contrivance of a mirror that reflected a foul distortion of reality, diminishing the good and exaggerating the bad. A beautiful landscape would appear as “boiled spinach.” Good souls would appear hideous. The demon troll and his minions took the malevolent mirror to every people and to every land until the whole world had gazed into the foul apparatus. After that, the demon troll commanded his minions to fly with him and the mirror up to the heavens to mock the angels. At a great height the mirror slipped from their grip and fell to the ground. On impact the mirror exploded into billions of pieces and a cloud of shards covered the earth. Each splinter and fragment contained the power of the entire mirror and the shards would enter people’s eyes and cause them see a distorted reality, and the shards would also enter human hearts and turn them to ice.
In the second story we meet Kay and Gerda, two children who live next door to each other. They develop a wonderful friendship and grow to love each other like brother and sister. One day Gerda’s grandma introduces them to the legend of the Snow Queen. A few months later the malevolent frozen sprite makes an appearance outside Kay’s frozen window. Not long after, one of shards from the distorted mirror gets into Kay’s eye and another gets into his heart and it begins to turn into a lump of ice. Kay’s personality transforms and he is henceforth prone to biting reproach and witty criticality.
One day Kay gets whisked away by the Snow Queen to her Ice Castle in the land of Faerie. Heart broken and worried for her dear friend, Gerda goes on a quest to rescue him and thus begins an odyssey of unforgettable and delightful account. She begins the journey with a boat ride down an enchanted river whose current takes her into the land of Faerie as well.
In the next five stories, Gerda encounters kindly witches, storytelling flowers, talking crows, a prince and princess, a flying reindeer, a robber hag and her incorrigible daughter and many other dangerous delights commonly found in the uncommon land of Faerie. Finally, Gerda tracks Kay down in the frozen northern lands of the Finmark and finds him in the Snow Queen’s Ice Castle. To learn about the superb ending I suggest you read the entire fairytale of The Snow Queen for yourself.
The Snow Queen by Andersen is the real article—Frozen is a mockery. The reality is that Disney simply uses Andersen’s good name and fairytale to promote their agenda. Disney has only used symbols and signs from The Snow Queen and in almost every case inverted them to propagate ideology. Disney doesn’t hold to a single ideal from the original fairytale. Andersen makes frequent reference to Christ and the true nature of love while Frozen makes no reference to the Creator and offers only an ape of real love. Andersen shows that it is the power of true love that washes away the shards of the troll’s mirror and true love is ushered in by the angels in reward for the innocence of a child’s prayers and selfless commitment. Frozen is about self-actualization, self-acceptance and ultimately self-love. In the end Frozen is a feminist diatribe and The Snow Queen is an authentic and beautiful fairytale. Any similarities are purely superficial.
A look past the colorful sentimentality of nearly every aspect of Frozen will reveal that the womb of this ideological masterwork is feminism. This is missed by nearly every commentary, but the evidence is undeniable. There are no families to speak of, no normal healthy couples and not a single good man. Women have to rely on themselves and power is the root issue, not real love.
The only intact family in Frozen is the royal family with the basically absent King and Queen who are shortly lost at sea. They committed their only act of parental care by taking their unfortunate daughters to trolls for medical treatment and psychological advice. Trolls have always been and will always be demons and Disney tries to invert that truth by making them the love experts, healers and wisdom bearers.
Every man in the movie is a villain except Kristoff. He is the only half-way decent guy—and if you pay close attention you will hear what they really think of him in the song Fixer Upper. We learn that Kristoff was raised by trolls and in the song we get the rest of his qualifications. His walk is clumpy, his talk is grumpy and he has funny shaped feet. And though he washes, he ends up smelly. On the positive side “you’ll never meet a fella who’s as sensitive and sweet.” (these are not exactly manly virtues) They go on to explain that he is a fixer upper—he has flaws. He is likely to run scared, he is socially impaired and he “tinkles in the woods.”
If this isn’t insulting enough, they add this final insinuation that he is afflicted with the proclivity for bestiality. Perhaps the worst words in the whole movie are that he has a “peculiar brain, dear” and that he has a “thing for the reindeer that’s outside a few of nature’s laws.” And again, Kristoff is the best man in the movie, but notice the cognitive dissonance Disney projects towards its young audience. They make Kristoff appealing in appearance and in speech and only reveal these horrible things about him delivered by the trolls in an adorable sounding song: thus the attempt to make perversion look “normal.”
Another feminist theme is illustrated by Ana’s sacrificial act to save her sister the snow queen Elsa. On the surface and at face value, it is a noble act. But about fifty paces aback from the tree of feminism, we see the forest of ideology illustrating not the nobility of woman, but the shame of Adam and one of the tragedies of this anti-chivalrous age. Ana is “forced” to act as a man because there is no man to do it. It is the man that is supposed to love his bride the way Christ loves the Church and to sacrifice his life for her. And who is Ana saving her sister from? From royalty, a greedy and evil nobleman. A prince among men—a bad man. If aliens watched Frozen they could only conclude that all men are bad, even the pervert Kristoff, who by projection of appearances holds some virtues, but by the trolls’ account and in stated fact holds no manly virtues and many vices, some beyond the pale.
The best commentary on Frozen I have heard to date came from my daughter Kaia. She very much enjoys the movie, especially the songs and Olaf, but she told me, “dad, I like the movie but in the end it leaves me feeling empty.” By appearances, the movie is full of spectacular visual and aural displays of extravagance, but structurally and morally it is a production devoid of virtue. It may satisfy the appetites of the masses but it feeds no souls.
We are wholly unprepared in this day and age for Andersen’s The Snow Queen. The modern soul soaking in the slowly heating spirit of this age is ill-equipped to appreciate Andersen and numbly predisposed to enjoy the moral vacuity we see in Frozen. Christian parents; let’s not let our children be led by the wisdom of the trolls. Disney has been guided by darkened minds for too long to be trusted anymore. At the core of Disney’s movie Frozen lurks the frozen heart. We must rediscover the true nature of sacrificial love, the only kind of love that can return proper sight to the jaded eye, thaw a frozen heart and return our families to the paths of virtue. As for Disney’s frozen heart, with box office numbers in the billions, we can’t expect a thaw anytime soon.
Books on the topic of this essay may be found at The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.
Note: Disney owns ABC and many other media networks that promote moral disorder like Modern Family.