The dust has settled, “Let It Go” is not stuck in our heads anymore, and “Frozen Mania” has finally come to a partial end. Now that we are all acting like rational adults again, is it ok if I say a few critical things about Frozen? You see, Frozen is about one main thing: Love. Throughout the movie, we see that a few beliefs about love were addressed, some which they knew were wrong, some that they said were right but were actually wrong, and finally, the true meaning of love. Let’s look at and analyze what Frozen says about love:
“Love Is An Open Door”
Anna was desperate for someone to notice her and care about her. So the moment Prince Hans began to pay attention to her she fell head over heels for him (literally, at one point!). Anna and Hans (Hanna? Ans? These shipper names don’t always work!) sing a cute little song together called “Love Is An Open Door”. Now, hindsight is 20/20 and we know that Hans was truly a despicable human being (or was he???) but what about that song? I understand Anna’s frustrations with Elsa and why she desperately needed an open door from her sister, but it is dangerous to say that love is an open door.
What does that mean anyway, “love is an open door”? It may seem like a cute little hodgepodge of words just to make a cute song, but what it is really saying is that love is availability. Here is the problem with that, if love is availability then I must not love my wife. I work regular office hours and I cannot go home every time there is a spider that needs to be killed. I am not always available to my wife (for clarification, my wife does always know where I am and what I am doing, but I am not always available to drop everything and come to her). We see this problematic train of thought show up in a lot of television shows: “You missed my important piano recital because you got in a traffic jam? How thoughtless of you!” or “You were a whole hour late to my art exhibit because aliens were attacking the city and ate your car? If you loved me, you would have planned better!” I hope that not many people fall for this incorrect ideology, but for those who do I need to tell you that to expect a person who loves you or a person who you love to always be available is both narcissistic and selfish. People who love you will not always have an open door, and that is ok.
Note: I do understand, however, that the problem with Elsa was not that she sometimes was unavailable but that she NEVER was, thus, I understand Anna’s frustrations. But taking that song to its logical application is an illegitimate practice and belief of love.
Love Is Protecting People
This one is the one that Frozen knew was wrong all along. Elsa believed that her actions were motivated by love. Literally everything she did, from the moment that Anna’s memory was erased, was done for her sister. We get a glimpse into Elsa’s thinking when she says to Anna, “I’m just trying to protect you!” The problem with this is, as Anna says in her reply, is that she did not want or need protection from Elsa. It seems as it every superhero movie or show falls into this same trap. The hero pushes people that he loves away because he is trying to protect them (I’m looking at you, Oliver Queen!) when the people around him keep trying to tell him that they do not need protecting, they want to be with him. The lesson is given: Instead of pushing people away because you “love” them, draw them in and get close to those people.
Love Fixes People’s Flaws
This one erks me the most. In fact, it makes me mad thinking about it. The trolls are deemed “love experts” by Kristoff, so we are inclined to listen to what they say, but their views on love are very twisted. Before I begin my tirade, I do understand that “everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper”, no one is perfect and you should never expect someone that you love to be perfect. But that is not the only thing this song is saying. This song is ultimately saying, “Everyone has problems and flaws, and if you love them, you will fix them.” One line in the song says, “Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper, that’s what it’s all about. Father, sister, brother, we need each other to raise us up and round us out. Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper but when push comes to shove the only fixer upper fixer that can fix a fixer upper is true love.” To me, this is encroaching on dangerous territory. I have been told all of my life, and I still strongly believe, that one should not fall in love with a “project”, meaning, a person should not look at another person and say, “You know, if I fix this, this, and this about him, they would make a great partner! I’m going to fix them with the power of love!” Unfortunately, many a relationship has ended in heartbreak because they did not fall in love with a person but instead they fell in love with an idea of what the person could possibly have the potential of becoming.
Furthermore, I fear the one line in this song, “People make bad choices if their mad, or scared, or stressed, throw a little love their way and you’ll bring out the best, true love brings out the best.” Again, I understand that part of what they are saying is right. After all, didn’t Elsa make the wrong choices she made because she was scared? But we tread dangerous waters again when we look at what is actually being said. Would you say that being abusive is a bad choice? I’d say it is one of the baddest of a bad choice a person can make! Well, according to this song, the reason that person is being abusive to you is because they are mad, or scared, or stressed, and the best way to fix the problem is by showering them with more and more love, because when you love someone strong enough it will bring out their best. Now, in my normal line of work I deal with people all the time, even people who are victims in abusive relationships. I know that this is not good advice to give. I dare you to look at someone in an abusive relationship and tell them, “Well, you just aren’t loving them enough! True love brings out the best!”
The trolls were not love experts, the trolls were love…trolls!
Love Is Putting Someone Else’s Needs Ahead of Your Own
The true love expert of Frozen is the brainless snowman, Olaf. Olaf provides the deepest and sweetest lines in the scene when he is trying to make a fire for Anna. Of course, he says, “Some people are worth melting for.”
Side note! It has always bothered me that “an act of true love can melt a frozen heart”. Yet, Olaf acted with a heart of true love, and pretty much was willing to do EXACTLY what Anna did for Elsa, yet, Anna’s heart was not melted. But I digress…
Anna claims that she does not even know what love is, and Olaf says, “love is putting someone else’s needs before yours”! That, my friends, is what love is! Love is not selfishly trying to change a person to better suit you, love is not pushing people away to protect them. Love is choosing to selflessly care for the needs of someone else instead of your own. I sincerely believe that the great, big, beautiful secret to true happiness is thinking less about yourself and how to make yourself happy, and more of trying to make someone else happy. That is why so many relationships fall apart, one or both people in the relationship become more focused on their own selfish desires than on the needs and wants of their partner. When two people love each other, they will do everything they can to make the other person as happy as possible, that is how love works. There is no selfishness in love.
So there you have it! The wrong and right things that Frozen says about love! What do you think? Do you have any love advice to add in the comments? Do you want to defend the honor of Frozen in the comments? I want to hear from you!