Sunday, August 10, 2014

Disney's Frozen: An Adage Reflecting Jesus Christ's Atonement

     This morning, my daughter and I lazily snuggled on the couch and watched her current favorite film, Disney's Frozen.  As I was watching the final eight minutes of the movie, tears welled up on my smiling face.  Why? The final climactic scene includes a loving nod to the gospel and Christ's sacrificial love. God's loving message can be found in many modern films if we look closely, and Disney's Frozen is no exception. Most specifically in Frozen, however, this gospel adage happens between the 1:26-1:29-minute mark.
            The final scene in Disney's Frozen is a thought-provoking meditation on Christ's atonement and reflective of the sacrificial love we are all called to give.  I find it comforting that Anna, as she is about to freeze to death before receiving true love's kiss, turns not toward the kiss that will save her that moment, but toward the evil that aims to kill Elsa.  Throughout the film, Hans, the evilly-minded, pride-filled prince-to-be, plots to take the kingdom from Elsa.  His plot includes a Machiavellian murder, and the final scene shows Hans raising a sword to end Elsa's life, that is until Anna puts herself in front of the sword knowing that she will die in order to save Elsa.  Symbolically in this scene we see the devil (Hans), sin (the sword), and death (an ice-encrusted world symbolic of the absence of God) all defeated by Anna's act of "true love," as is stated in the film. Christ's sacrifice is mirrored in Anna's.  Jesus, throughout His Passion, exemplified the pinnacle story of true love; His was the greatest love story ever. God comes to dwell on earth through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ to love, serve, and sacrifice Himself for the love of all mankind. There are many moments throughout the gospel where Jesus could have claimed his divinity to save Himself from the cross, but He chose service and sacrifice to save us from the icy emptiness of death and Hans' death-dealing sword.
            If we examine Frozen's denouncement, the post self-sacrifice scene, a presumably-dead Anna (again death symbolized by ice) is mysteriously raised back to life through her atoning act of true love. And once she begins to live again, she is gorgeous, exalted, and pure. More than that, though, the world is changed, there is hope, and the sun (or should I say Son) shines brightly. The message is simple but profound: We are called to have faith, love others, and live lives of hope and self-sacrifice.