I adore Disney’s Frozen. Few times has a film, especially a movie whose target demographic is far younger than me, wrapped me up in the story so quickly. Queen Elsa is by far my favorite Disney character since Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and do I even need to mention how incredible the soundtrack is? I think not.
But one thing bothered me greatly after the first time I saw the movie: its resolution. Disney’s never been one to stray too far from the “true love conquers all” conclusion, and in this instance, I saw that ending as a cheap cop-out in favor of a more creative ending (such as making Prince Hans a firebender of sorts, though I seem to be alone in that vein).
That was, until, I really thought about it.
Before I state my “revelation” of sorts, I’d like to establish some aspects about the movie, chiefly, the main antagonist. The lead villain in Frozen is not the Mayor of Weselton—he’s more of a comic relief villain at his most nefarious—nor is the main villain Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, despite the well-handled plot twist to put him in a very antagonistic role. No, the true villain of Frozen is a far more subtle force. The trolls mention it near the beginning after Elsa freezes Anna’s mind, and it’s occasionally cited throughout the film.
The main villain of Frozen is fear.
Fear is what keeps Elsa separated from her sister and the outside world. Fear is what keeps Elsa prisoner, terrified of her abilities. Fear is what ultimately leads to Elsa freezing all of Arendelle after her powers out themselves. And fear is what causes Elsa to nearly kill Anna by freezing her heart.
Now that I’ve established that, it’s probably obvious where I’m going with this.
That “act of true love,” performed when Anna sacrifices herself in a final effort to save her sister, actually carries far deeper meaning than I originally thought. This act of love repels the fear in Elsa, and she is able to wipe away the frozen terror that gripped her and bring back summer.
Where have we heard something like that before?
1 John 4:18 says it rather plainly: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Frozen’s conclusion is not Disney’s normal “true love” ending. It’s a scripturally-sound resolution exploring the realities of “perfect love” and how it eliminates soul-freezing fear.