The Cold that Bothers Us

The Pixar conquest of Disney—the ongoing effort by the new recruits from Pixar to change the Mouse House’s shallow culture of self-indulgence and self-esteem with something much more morally serious—has been an uneven battle up to now. But Frozen is an unqualified victory for Pixar’s morally serious and culturally edifying storytelling, and its stratospheric success with audiences and critics may well turn the tide of the war. It’s a profound movie on many levels.

frozenThe most obvious lesson of Frozen—the one made explicit in the movie—teaches viewers that love is not about how you feel. It’s about putting other people’s needs ahead of your own. This theme by itself profoundly inverts the old Disney culture; it’s a big win for the Pixar invaders. But Frozen not only makes this point, it also traces some wide-ranging consequences. It shows us why people are investing too much importance in romantic love relative to other kinds of love, like sisterhood. The responsible grown-ups who tell you not to burn down everything else in your life for the sake of “true love” are not your enemies; they’re your friends. They’re the people who really love you.

When Enchanted subverted these same fairy-tale conventions—getting engaged to someone you just met—it was only going for laughs. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of laughs in Frozen. It’s the funniest movie I’ve seen in years. But there are not a lot of laughs on this particular subject. Frozen is not overturning the Disney view of marriage for fun. Frozen is playing to win.

Everybody’s a Fixer-Upper

That theme alone would be enough to make Frozen an early contender for the most culturally regenerative movie of the year. But there’s more going on.

Under the surface, Frozen deals with two other subjects that are, if anything, even tougher for our culture. One is the corruption of human nature. It used to be that pretty much everyone agreed there was a systematic moral dysfunction in human nature. Christians hold to this teaching in an especially strong form, of course, but we are by no means alone. Aristotle believed it, as did Kant. There is a whole song in Frozen about how nobody is what he ought to be: “Everybody’s a Bit of a Fixer-Upper.” The villains in Frozen are willing to kill, but the main threat to the heroine’s life actually comes from the selfish actions of a sympathetic character—someone who loves her. This person, we are repeatedly and emphatically assured, would never harm her. After the potentially fatal blow, the question emerges: how could this person possibly do this? The character held up as the voice of wisdom gives us the answer: because all people have that selfishness inside them, and under the right circumstances, it will surface. Even to the destruction of those we love most.

This theme, of course, relates to the main message that love is not about feelings. We prioritize our own feelings rather than other people’s needs because other people are so disappointing. And our lives fall apart when we prioritize our own feelings because we are just as disappointing as everyone else.

We Need Each Other

The other submerged theme in Frozen, one buried even deeper, is the tension between social rules and individual freedom. Without giving too much away, I can say that Frozen is the movie Brave was trying to be. Here’s what Brave attempted to say: society needs rules, and individuals who are not well served by the rules must learn to subordinate their own desires to the good of their neighbors as embodied in the rules. At the same time, social authorities must recognize that the rules should accommodate the needs of individuals—including the needs of those unusual individuals not well served by the same rules that serve everyone else.

There was internal conflict over Brave at Disney, and it shows. But Frozen succeeds brilliantly where Brave faltered—better, perhaps, than Brave could have. Because in Frozen we see what happens to individuals who try to flee from society in order to escape its rules. They fall apart. Their lives become arbitrary and meaningless. And they learn to hate. “The cold never bothered me anyway,” Queen Elsa sings as she builds an ice castle to live in, alone, at the top of a remote mountain. She doesn’t realize that the cold is seeping into her heart.

We all need freedom, but we also need each other. See this movie.

Editors’ note: This review is adapted with permission from Jay P. Greene’s Blog.  

  • Curt Day

    One thing I am tired of hearing from Christian brothers and sisters is how love is not a feeling. The literal meaning of that statement is true; love cannot be reduced to feelings. However, love includes feelings though not all of the time. Just because we put needs of others before our own, does not mean we love them. There are several reasons why we might do that. But we should start questioning ourselves if we never have warm feelings for those we claim to love.

    • Greg Forster

      I agree with what you say here. And part of what makes Frozen so powerful is that it agrees with you about this, too. But is our culture really in any danger of neglecting that point? Isn’t it much more likely to err in the opposite direction?

      • DC

        I feel like there are at least 2 different perspectives prominent within the realm of people who would read TGC – the Christians who do not know what to do with emotions because they’ve always suppressed them, and as a result they believe that “love is not an emotion” and therefore love is merely the choice to serve and commit. If you have an emotion during love then you must be fleshly. The second would be those who believe that you just need to follow your heart and if you serve without feeling it then you’re a hypocrite. Better to not be a hypocrite and not serve than to serve and be a hypocrite. They call it being “genuine” when it’s really just being “self-centered.” I think both responses to love are very live and active in the Church today and both need addressed. However, the latter would be prominent in culture in general, though the former would also exist especially in cases of abuse or neglect. “Better to not feel anything at all then to feel something and risk being hurt.” Christians would say it, “better to not feel anything at all then to risk being carnal.”

        • Chancellor Roberts


          I am really inclined to ask you what emotion or physical sensation is associated with there being “at least 2 different perspectives prominent within the realm of people who would read TGC.” :)

          I wouldn’t go as far as to say “If you have an emotion during love then you must be fleshly,” but I don’t see anywhere in scripture that shows love to be an emotion. I guess you could interpret certain scriptures as suggesting an emotional element to love (and I won’t tell anyone they’re wrong for doing so), but I just don’t see it.

          While I’ve often heard people describe the emotion they call “love,” that isn’t within my realm of experience. I can almost understand it in my brain, but I just don’t have what I would call “an experiential understanding” of it.

          I serve because God has granted me salvation and serving Him is the response that “naturally” (I hesitate to use that word because even the capacity to serve comes from Him, making it supernatural) flows from His Spirit dwelling within. I don’t consider it hypocritical to serve Him just because I don’t experience certain emotions. (My emotions are sort of in a wide middle range between the ends of the spectrum; I can speculate as to why this might be so, but it would just be speculation).

          As for the heart, I admit I struggle with that one. It is often considered the seat of emotions (though I’m convinced that everything happens in the brain, not the organ that pumps blood). Scripture tells us on one hand that it is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (okay, I admit, I’m paraphrasing that one) and, therefore, something that isn’t to be trusted. On the other hand, scripture tells us to love God with, among other things, all our heart. I’m not inclined to follow my heart and very much want to know and follow God’s heart. I’m convinced, though, that I will (even if it doesn’t happen until I go home to be with Him) someday have the proper balance between head and heart because that’s part of the sanctification work that God’s Spirit is doing in me.

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  • JohnM

    But be very cautious. Ask where this is coming from.

    • Greg Forster

      It’s coming from a movie studio where there has been a huge internal struggle between people who produce stories that glorify the self, and people who produce stories that glorify love for others. So I understand your reluctance, based on some of the awful narcissism of much of Disney’s previous work. But when we see the good guys winning, we should cheer for that!

  • Phil

    Great review. Wonderful movie. Another theme that is woven through out the movie and comes out strong in the end *spoiler* when everythinig is ‘resurrected’ is the theme that is summed up in 1 John 4:18.

    • Greg Forster

      Yes, and to top it all off, the two characters whose work brings about that resurrection are named Anna (“grace”) and Kristoff (“bearer of Christ”)!

      I don’t want to push this too far, because in general I think we are way too quick to read explicitly Christian theology into what are often just good stories. I say that any good story will, just by the nature of what it means for a story to be good, carry resemblances to the greatest story of all. So I’m not hypothesizing that the makers of Frozen are Christians.

      But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the resemblance for what it is!

      • Phil

        True! Part of me hopes that they are not Christians or at least that their on the way because all of this bears out the truth of Eccl 3:11. These great stories just spill out of people.

        • Greg Forster

          Amen to that! I love that thought – that it would almost be disappointing if this were an “inside job” by our people. (Almost!)

  • Matthew Rushing

    Frozen is a Disney animation film not a Pixar film.

    • Joe Carter

      It’s true that this is not a Pixar film, but I think what Forster is saying is that the reason it was made was because of the people at Pixar. The producer of this film is John Lasseter, who is now head of both Pixar and Disney Animation.

      • Greg Forster

        Bingo. This is not the kind of movie Walt Disney Animation Studios ever made before the advent of John Lasseter. There has been some big internal conflict since Disney and Pixar merged in 2006, and Frozen represents a big win for the good guys.

        • Matthew Rushing

          This I completely agree with. It is funny that Disney’s animation studio has made better movies since the merge. Tangled and Frozen have been brilliant while Pixar’s films I haven’t even wanted to see.

          • Greg Forster

            I’m not disappointed by that, though. Much better for these folks to spend their energy Pixar-izing WDAS than trying to keep all their good stuff for Pixar proper. WDAS is a bigger platform and it assimilates the Disney name, with all its recognition and prestige, to the side of the good guys.

            • Kira

              He was definitely trying to say that Pixar was winning theo or war against Disney. Unfortunately all the whole not realizing this is NOT. A Disney movie. Also, all it takes is a quick look at IMDB too see that the writers, directors and the production team, with only the exception of john Lassiter come from a STRICT Disney background with no association with Pixar whatsoever.

            • Gift of Sanity

              I just wanted to add, Kira, that actually the Pixar story team did help with Frozen’s development. So really, they were involved.

  • Greg – Tiribulus

    The part where the the alleged Christ figure (as if there could actually be such a thing) punches out the one person she REALLY needed to forgive the most, sold me for sure on the godly themes of this magical pagan movie (not). Ah yes, flesh feeding, applause inducing revenge. It’s right there in the beatitudes. I don’t know how I missed it. Discernment in the western church is at an absolute all time low. Please click my name or see HERE I’ll try not to clutter up your blog.

    • Chancellor Roberts

      Yes, Greg, we have to watch for those things too when we watch movies. Also, I’m sure you’ll agree, the notion that “the good outweighs the bad” is unscriptural and we must be careful not to adopt that notion.

      • Greg Forster

        Do you see “the good outweighs the bad” in Frozen?

      • Greg – Tiribulus

        Chancellor asks: “I’m sure you’ll agree, the notion that “the good outweighs the bad” is unscriptural and we must be careful not to adopt that notion.
        Yes sir, you are correct. I do agree. There is absolutely NO principle taught anywhere in the word of God wherein the generally moralistic good outweighing the generally moralistic bad is proclaimed as a standard for ANYthing on ANY level for Christ’s church. That is especially no reformed principle and is spawned from a wholly deficient view of both God’s holiness and man’s depravity. Not to mention an entirely humanistic epistemology.

        Greg Forster asks: “Do you see “the good outweighs the bad” in Frozen?”
        Please see the immediately above.

        Greg Forster asks: “Of course if you think it’s intrinsically impossible for culture that is not expressly and theologically Christian to embody principles Christians should affirm, there’s no more to be said but that I don’t see any grounds at all for that view.”
        I’ll ask you what I ask everybody and to which I have not to this day gotten an answer. Where in the SCRIPTURES do we find Christ’s church being taught BY pagans. ”Chapter and verse/s please. I’m not interested in lots of words with no scripture. Which is EXACTLY what I always get. Lotsa what THEY think and none of what God says. Where? Just one example that’s not a bad one will do. Where do we find, God, Moses, the prophets, Jesus or the apostles directing us to the world to be taught the theology, philosophy or morality of the kingdom?

        Greg Forster asks: “As for the punch, I’m all for it. Anna is a duly constituted officer of a legitimate civil authority and has the power of the magistrate affirmed in Romans 13; the person she punched was an attempted murderer who was on the loose and had to be captured. Do you think murderers are arrested without violence, or the threat of violence? Even if she weren’t a law enforcement officer (which she is!) I would still be in favor of that punch. In context, it’s morally appropriate.”
        With all due respect respect Greg this is preposterous. Do you mean to tell me that the people who burst into applause when this happened did so because the magisterial duty of Romans 13 was being upheld and God’s word was being honored? OR, what is because of the carnal satisfaction of THAT guy getting his? Be honest now. ALso, was godly jurisprudence actually being carried out with no trial or witnesses as is commanded EVERYwhere in the word? Old and New? Really? This is the point?

        Look friend. This is a Godless, Jesus free piece of anti-Christian unbelief produced by… well… unbelievers. That’s what THEY are supposed to do. WE are not supposed to buy it, but we do. I got into ALL of THIS here on Trevin Wax’s blog.

        • Rory Tyer

          You are wrong, and you are not correctly employing scriptural wisdom as you think about the things you’re talking about here. You believe you are defending the Bible’s authority when you are actually remaking that authority into something different as you put it into practice.

          We have examples in Scripture of believers drawing on pagan literature / religion / poetry to make theological points, both OT and NT. But in general, being able to adduce these specific examples is beside the point, because you have adopted a hermeneutical / philosophical / theological mishmash of stances that is impervious to reasoned theological dialogue. You have clearly rigged the game beforehand so that you already understand exactly what it would – what it *must* – mean for someone to engage in “reasoned theological dialogue” with you on this and perhaps other subjects, so at this point you are just piously raining on other people’s harmless parades.

          • Greg – (Tiribulus)

            I’ll always listen. Go ahead and try.

    • Greg Forster

      I’m not arguing that Anna is a Christ figure; in fact I deliberately avoided making any specifically *theological* claims about the movie. The only thing I said is that the movie is “morally serious” and upholds three ideas that Christians should want their cultures to uphold: that love means putting other people’s needs ahead of your own, that there is a systematic moral dysfunction in human nature, and that people need freedom (which they do!) but they also need each other.

      Of course if you think it’s intrinsically impossible for culture that is not expressly and theologically Christian to embody principles Christians should affirm, there’s no more to be said but that I don’t see any grounds at all for that view.

      As for the punch, I’m all for it. Anna is a duly constituted officer of a legitimate civil authority and has the power of the magistrate affirmed in Romans 13; the person she punched was an attempted murderer who was on the loose and had to be captured. Do you think murderers are arrested without violence, or the threat of violence? Even if she weren’t a law enforcement officer (which she is!) I would still be in favor of that punch. In context, it’s morally appropriate.

  • Stephen

    It’s a bit ironic this “culturally regenerative” movie is being called the “the feminist fairy tale we’ve been waiting for (with no Prince Charming)” by feminists. It is a “complete reversal and subversion of the Disney Princess conventions…. [For] “in the end it is not a true love’s kiss that saves Anna. It is herself.” This movie “bring[s] us more diverse and liberated Princesses.”

    What is most troubling, in my view, is that the song “Let It Go” has become the anthem of the movie, despite its place in the story as an excessive reaction to reasonable social norms. This song, being the most remembered part of the movie for many people (especially young people), is nothing short of a declaration that societal conventions, institutions and any demands of conformity are bad. So, while this song ought to be placed within the context of the whole story, it has practically become the moral of the story.

    A movie cannot be culturally regenerative when its cultural audience cannot distinguish the celebration of excess from its consequences. For this reason, it is a profoundly imprudent movie.

    • Stephen

      For the sake of clarity, my last point is that since contemporary culture is so enthralled with the celebration of “freedom” from all social norms, convention, tradition, and any demands of conformity, the consequences of that “freedom” are at best overshadowed by the celebration and at worst completely irrelevant. In such a culture, a movie like this cannot be regenerative.

      • ericdtp

        I at first thought the same thing, for I am always critical of Disney’s “freedom” agenda and I could see the “be true to yourself” red flags in the song. However, I loved this movie and I love this song (especially with my daughters signing it constantly to my joy) and I had to resolve why I loved it so much. What makes this a great song is that anyone will interpret its meaning based on their paradigm. To be sure, the moral relativists will see their agenda hidden in the lyrics. However, as a believer, I chose to see the gospel hidden in the lyrics, specifically, the freedom from the law that is described in Romans 7:6, or in our contemporary vernacular, freedom from our religion. Of course, there is no substitute for the Word, but as was stated earlier, we should cheer when we see a good story that echos our faith.

      • M

        I commend Eric’s positive attitude, but I think Stephen’s comment is spot on. I can’t imagine wanting my 5 year old to sing those lyrics. There are much better, more explicit, gospel songs to learn.

        • Prime

          Are you saying it’s a bad song for kids to sing? Because if you are, I think you should actually open your ears and listen to the song/lyrics and see why from kids to adults love the movie and song so much.

          • M

            I did read through the lyrics, and the reason I thought it was a bad song to be teaching kids was the line “No right, no wrong
            No rules for me
            I’m free!”

            I understand the context of the movie, but regardless within the context of the song itself, it seems very explicitly making a statement against authority and even against God’s law itself (no right or wrong). At least, it’s not something that I could encourage children to sing in any way shape or form. I want them to love God’s law and his Word! I don’t want them to sing that there is no right or wrong, even if in the movie it doesn’t work out.

            I hope you can still take my previous comment as an encouragement to teach really good songs to your kids. Like songs with Scripture in them. That way they can hide God’s Word in their hearts :)

            • Greg – Tiribulus

              There are centuries of godly wonderful songs to teach our kids and somehow the God hating, gay promoting Disney crew becomes the hero of the church as our children are now taught to love the world and the things therein in direct defiance of the clearest biblical commands possible.

              It’s not enough to just go see a fun movie. They have to pollute the gospel with it too.

            • Prime

              That’s just it. You can’t separate the song with the movie. You’re being far too sensitive about that ONE line that is relevant to the story. If you watched the movie you would know that the the “No rights, no wrongs, no rules for me” means that she’s not trapped anymore and secluded and she can now be her real self. This song no way promotes breaking rules and doing whatever you want. Obviously the song is accompanied by the movie meaning it’s connected in a way. You can’t separate that if the song was created for the PURPOSE of being in the movie and not making a song just alone. Don’t you think a multi-billionare company like Disney would have double checked or triple checked if this was fit for everyone? Including Christians because the truth is, the developers of the movie and the producers are all CHRISTIANS. That’s right. The author of the book the movie was based upon was also Christian. Sorry, but if you haven’t thought about the lyrics logically, you shouldn’t be teaching anyone songs. I understand you want to teach your kids gospel music and that’s good, no great. But kids these days are known to side-track and go their independent way. Some songs believe it or not, like Let It Go do promote the gospel indirectly in a way if you think about it. Try reading the lyrics with a “new born” Christian standpoint.

              Sorry but I’m not encouraged about anything you said. Besides, my family takes the gospel as the #1 thing in the universe already. Lyrics are what keeps you thinking. Even with Christian music, think with different points of views instead of taking the lyrics of all songs literally. Seriously think about this before hating on and criticizing songs and other media.

      • Prime

        Who says that the song is the moral of the story? Every person I’ve asked about this movie, they said “it was about a sister’s love that saved someone.” The main reason the song got so much recognition is probably because of how it is sang and expressed. Funny how you say that how imprudent the movie is just because of that ONE scene where she shows that she’s a free spirit and making it seem like that was the movie itself without recognizing the other parts of the movie except that one part. The funny thing is, the way you describe it makes you seem like you yourself didn’t even see the movie and just read articles about it.

        • Greg Forster

          Well, to be fair, the title song of a movie gets a lot of extra play, and when you take it in isolation from the movie’s story it’s not necessarily edifying. My daughter loves singing “Let It Go” so I sat her down to talk to her about how Elsa says and does some good things during the song (“Like creating Olaf!” she exclaimed) but she also says and does some bad things. After we talked about it, she understands.

          I’m convinced half the so-called failure of the culture is really the failure of parents to know what they believe and why they believe it, watch what their kids watch so they can evaluate what’s good and bad, and talk to their kids about it.

          • Prime

            It doesn’t change the fact that Christians and Atheists love this song and movie. Why would you stop your daughter from singing that song? Do you consider it secular just because of the part where she sings that she’s all alone now? IT’S A PART OF THE STORY. Why would you separate the song from the movie? That’s like saying, taking a verse from the Bible and taking it out of context with the other verses. For example, Acts 13:10 says Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” Who told him to do that? What is he supposed to kill and eat? Humans? You don’t know until you read the verses before and after that one or read the entire chapter to get the whole meaning to know that it was God telling Peter to kill animals to get food and to eat. Think of the positives of the song, and you might realize the true meaning.

            You’re right, maybe parents are sometimes not doing what’s right. But have you ever been wrong to your kids? Do you always pick the right choice? I don’t know if you’re some sort of pastor or not, I really don’t care. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re not perfect, I’m not and no one in this world is.

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  • Chancellor Roberts

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I agree that love isn’t about how you feel. Love is a character trait and, to significant extent, behavior (if you look at what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love). It took me a long time to learn that one.

    • Greg (Tiribulus)

      If I might be so bold. “Love” is a commitment of the will. It is NOT a sensation of the inner being, nor is it the intoxication of percolating hormones. It is everywhere commanded and obedience is everywhere required. Emotions, which do and should flow from genuine righteous love, are God designed and good when governed by the mind of Christ which we are given in the new birth.

      The love of 1 Cor. 13 IS what God IS. (1 john 4:8). It is NOT available to unbelievers. As that great love chapter says. No matter what I DO, if I have not THAT love in Christ, I am NOTHING. Which is why all this counterfeit, humanistic Hollywood/Disney “love” is the lie of the devil and a monumental deception.

      Satan himself comes as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Not with terror and hate, but with ALL the packaging of fluffy gooey goodness minus Jesus Christ. He is more than happy to see people sacrificing themselves for one another AS LONG AS they do NOT trust the sacrifice of the the one and only Lamb of God. THAT is one million times more dangerous than all the overtly sick and perverse violence and debauchery there is. Look at all these Christians who are buying it. I’m really NOT trying to be a jackass, but this was all once common Christian knowledge.

      Spurgeon once said:
      “Discernment is NOT knowing right from wrong. It’s knowing right from ALMOST right”.

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • Greg – Tiribulus

    Stephen says: “it’s a bit ironic this “culturally regenerative” movie is being called the “the feminist fairy tale we’ve been waiting for (with no Prince Charming)” by feminists.
    Quite so and if you look around you will find just about every spin imaginable being put to this film. EVERYbody is claiming SOMEthing for it LOL!!! Even Christians. The one group for whom it SHOULD be a lesson in idolatry with beautiful slick packaging.

    Take a look at WAX’S blog. We have a herd of professed Christians over there who can neither decide nor agree on what the movie OR the song even means for Pete’s sake.

    God is not the author of all this of confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33) Biblically, it’s always been simple. Unbelievers create unbelief. See how easy that is? Just like “all these trees with all their fruit are yours. Just don’t eat from THAT one.” That was simple too. Until guess who shows up? THEN suddenly there’s all this uncertainty and “nuanced” complexity. Today uncertainty and “nuance” and complexity are sold as Christian epistemology and here we are.

    • Prime

      A movie teaching important life lessons, especially to a Christian as idolatry? I’m sorry but this is too much. All I can see is a bias against it because for some odd reason, you disliked the movie and no one really cares. It doesn’t matter though. The majority of Christians loved this movie and it seems you’re part of the minority who apparently are Bible Thumpers who say anything that isn’t “Christian” content is from Satan. HAH! This is too much. Now I finally understand why Atheists bash Christians the most. There are some bigots out there who constantly get hypersensitive about every single tiny detail. Both on Christian and Atheist sides.

  • Ruthie

    Where’s the article entitled “The Sorcery That Bothers Us?”

    • Greg Forster

      I was going to write that article, but I was too busy re-reading The Lord of the Rings.

      • Mackenzie

        I like you.

      • Meredith

        Don’t forget the Chronicles of Narnia!

        I second Mackenzie’s comment.

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  • Greg – Tiribulus

    Kira says: “I think it is important to point out that Frozen is in fact NOT a Pixar film. It is Disney Animated Studios. I’d just like credit to be given where credit is due. This is not another example of “Pixar breaking Disney’s story mold” but instead, Disney itself taking a new direction.”
    OK. I tried. I really did try to shut up now, but I am simply unable to just let this sit there.

    Why in the name of all that’s holy should Christian’s be rejoicing that “Disney itself taking a new direction”? ANY new direction? IS Disney the salt and light of the world now? What if EVERY citizen of the United States joined them this very minute in their “new direction? Would there be even one more Christian than yesterday? Would the great and mighty name of the King of Glory be ANY more exalted? Or less, because multitudes now see themselves as “good” people with no need of a savior becasue Elsa and Anna have shown them the secret which has nothing to do with death in sin and resurrection in the promised redeemer of Genesis 3:15?

    Greg, in all the gentleness and sincere good will there is. After reading your other VERY long piece on the Lego Movie and this one, I just cannot keep myself from asking.

    WHO CARES?!?!?!?

    Honest brother.
    On and on and on about which pagan pedo propaganda piece makes people FEEL better than the other about not needing Jesus. This is where the tagline of my so called “blog” comes from.

    “What IN THE WORLD has happened to Christ’s church?”

    The WORLD has happened to Christ’s church. That’s what. Is what I’m saying really carrying no weight with you at all? I am simply echoing historic reformed orthodoxy. Previous generations would never have gone skinny dipping with the world like this. Read the Westminster Larger Catechism for instance. Starting at question 99 which prefaces itself with:


    You will be left with your jaw hanging open in the realization of how tragically far the modern church has fallen from that holy biblical standard set by those giants of the faith 350 years ago. Make no mistake. Oh yes they do address exactly what we are taking about here and would have been aghast at the notion of God’s people inflicting their children with these movies for any other purpose than exposing the devils lies. In fact they most likely wouldn’t even have gone for THAT. You’ll forgive me please if I put far more weight behind what they thought than what this marauding leviathan of a modern entertainment industry thinks. It’s a long story, not for here, but this has become a passion of mine. I did NOT realize until last summer how deeply set the devil had gotten his bridle in the mouth of the church using what the saints of old called “worldly amusements”.

    I promise you, my only motivation is to see His name and reputation protected. Especially in the eyes of our young, who can name EVERY movie and tv character, but don’t know if the book of Ecclesiastes is in the old or new testament. If they’re even heard of it at all. In Wax’s thread there’s’ a woman rejoicing that her daughter loves to sing the empowering message in “Let It Go”. I wonder if she knows the words to “Amazing Grace”. Or even “Victory in Jesus”. I can’t help but doubt it.

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  • Mike


    1. Our disdain for evil and sin, yes, must fuel us, and our love and prayer for those caught in it should increase as a result.
    2. In my view, I would agree with your assessment of our sad over-familiarity with entertainment culture.
    3. We all have fallen short.
    4. Sadly, His name and reputation was mocked and jeered, all the way to the cross. I believe we are called to that same suffering, and should expect such. When we are met with it, grace must be our answer.

    Your heart is appreciated, as is everyone and their views on here. Thank you Greg Forster for your article on this film and what God laid on your heart to share, I drew a lot of insight from it. Let us all continue to encourage each other and build each other up in Christ.

    • Greg Forster

      Thanks for this word – I appreciate the encouragement!

  • Linda

    I am not a professional movie critic or a degreed theologian. I am a grandmother who is increasingly concerned about the saturation and impact of witches, wizards and magic (black and “white”) in the entertainment of my middle school grands. Harry Potter books and movies, the play Wicked, and Frozen to name a few. I took four 11-13 yr old girls to see Frozen. It is a well done movie with some funny, charming parts. What concerns me is how Disney takes a sorcerer and makes her beautiful and her powers attractive. It is said in the movie that she was born that way….it was a curse. Of course I realize many Disney themes involve witches and fairy god mothers. Some will say that this is only make believe and it is harmless fun. I disagree. I fear we are exposing our youth to heavy doses of occult lite and inoculating them to the real dangers that lurk just beyond. The message of love in Frozen was minimized to me as I grieved that this movie was one more glorified message of the supernatural and I paid for it! We did however have some discussion afterwards which provided some redemption. And yes, their biggest take away was the song “Let it Go” which they sang the rest of the night!

    • Prime

      Yeah, and Jesus wasn’t supernatural at all. *laughs*

  • David

    I agree with this article. This article really shows how much Christian thought was in the movie and I loved it. But the part of the article that kind of bothered me was about Elsa. I agree her issue, that is was in a way, a threat to Anna, but in my opinion,I wouldn’t call her the “greatest” threat in the story. She was just having problems. She did have a burden of having these powers she didn’t ask for after all. It was an accident. The thing I really disagree and a key detail that was missing with this article is this part: ”

    “Because in Frozen we see what happens to individuals who try to flee from society in order to escape its rules. They fall apart. Their lives become arbitrary and meaningless.”

    While the above statement is true, you forgot the true moral of the song. The song “Let It Go” isn’t about being alone separated from society, but more of a song of being a free spirit. There are no limitations in life, and to embrace that instead of being someone you aren’t. Freedom. Much like the “life without limits” the man with no arms and legs, Nick Vujicic really focuses on. Other than that I agree with this article 100% about how love isn’t just an emotion and etc.

    • Greg Forster

      I have to disagree; “Let It Go” is definitely about being alone. Just listen to the lyrics: “not a footprint to be seen”; “kingdom of isolation”; “turn away and slam the door”; “distance makes everything seem small” (as she looks down on Arendelle); “I’m never going back.” The big metaphor of the song is “the cold” – that’s being alone, being disapproved of.

      If that’s not clear enough, in the reprise of “First Time in Forever” Elsa sings “You mean well, but leave me be/Yes, I’m alone, but I’m alone and free.”

      This is reinforced in “Fixer-Upper,” he final verse of which is basically about how being isolated brings out the worst in people, while being loved in the context of family brings out the best.

      • David

        The lyrics of that part was a part of the story. It was a moment where it showed how Elsa could be herself. As you saw in the beginning, she was trapped all by herself for years. But now being free, she could “let it go”. Believe me, the true meaning of the song is being a free spirit, not in chains anymore. If the song was solely about being alone, it wouldn’t have been as popular as it is now. Let me tell you the more appealing parts of the song: “Let it go, can’t hold it back anymore”; “I don’t care what they’re going to say (meaning anyone who’s intent is evil won’t get in her way), “Let it go, I’m one with the wind and sky.” Although the lyrics may somewhat sound like it’s about being alone, but the true moral is to be free. Like I said before, Nick Vujicic clearly shows that he can do just about anything, even with his disabilities with God on his side. I’m clearly talking ONLY of “Let It Go” not the other songs. Elsa has a had rough life until then but she was free at last. Think of the “alone” part as build-up. It’s obvious why this is very popular and a beautiful song.

  • Megan

    I confess I hadn’t even heard of Frozen. But, then, I have teenage boys. And I’m curious how a movie that would appear to have little appeal to boys or to girls much over the age of 12 would have a culturally regenerative value.

    My boys, and the teenage and twenty-something girls whose mothers I know, are fans of the BBC tragic-comedy Sci-Fi series Doctor Who, which apparently has a growing cult following in this country. The Doctor is a time- and space-traveling James Bond (the last of the Time Lords), a tragic-comic christ figure, accompanied by various strong-willed, mostly platonic, female companions.

    As a journalist, I’d see programs like this, which are self-selected rather than chosen by parents or religious leaders, as somewhat more indicative of where the culture is headed.

    • Kira

      It only takes a minute on the internet to see how the popularity of “Frozen” has spread like wildfire. It’s almost unbelievable. It’s made over a billion dollars worldwide and it definitely appeals to way more than the tiny demographic you assumed. I’m nearly 30 and it’s my favorite movie in years. It’s been incredible to see the effect it’s had on my peers as well, both Christian and non-Christian. There’s definitely something about the movie that is resonating with a TON of people.

      • Greg Forster

        Actually, it hasn’t reached quite a billion and it’s not going to:

        • Greg Forster

          Well, Kira, my confident prediction that Frozen would not pass $1B worldwide turned out to be about as reliable as a promise from the Duke of Weselton. It passed that mark this past weekend:

          I looked at the trend line and projected forward without considering that the movie might not have opened yet in every country. In fact, it hasn’t even opened in Japan yet! Box Office Mojo says it will probably be one of the top ten grossing movies of all time before it closes.

          Serve me up a heaping plate of crow!

    • Greg Forster

      Doctor Who is awesome! Yes, it sometimes reflects the failures of the culture, as all cultural products do (including the “Christian” ones!) but it has many moral virtues as well.

      And if you don’t think a movie that teaches little girls all these amazingly good moral lessons can be culturally beneficial unless it also somehow speaks to teenage boys at the same time . . . well, I confess I don’t know what to say to that. Has there ever been a culture in history that used the exact same cultural products to reinforce its values among little girls and teenage boys at the same time? As the father of a little girl, I’m delighted that Frozen is here for her and I don’t see why you should disparage its value just because it doesn’t also cure cancer and end terrorism.

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    • Greg Forster

      Click this link and read he article. Amen to every word of it,

      I was a deacon in a church once where women weren’t permitted to assist the deacons in the work of caring for the sick and elderly, because some ogres on the session had convinced themselves that this would be the first step toward ordaining female deacons, Absolutely detestable. Yes, I’m complementarian, but when we impose manmade limitations on women exercising their gifts, we’re manufacturing Elsas.

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