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Frozen 2 and Evangelism

December 11, 2019

Many who know me know that I am a follower of Jesus and a Disney Nerd. With the recent release of Frozen 2, my two passions collided. In their own way, the people who created the latest Disney movie have found a way to make it a metaphor about Christianity. Now, did they do that on purpose? I have no idea, but when I saw the movie, I heard the story of the gospel play out in a way I didn't expect. Much like The Chronicles of Narnia and other great stories that seek to explain the narrative of the Bible without being literal, I believe Frozen 2 is an evangelistic story inviting its viewers to know the triune God.  Please, do not continue to read unless you have seen Frozen 2. 

 

Spoilers

 

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Are you still here? Great! This movie has a theme of transformation through change woven throughout the film. Every Character is going through a change that results in them being completely different. Elsa goes through self-discovery and knowing, Anna goes through loss and grief, Olaf grows up, and Christoff goes through love. I can talk at length about Christoff and Olaf's contribution to the theme of transformation, but for this blog, they are not my focus. 

 

Let's start with Elsa. Elsa, in this movie, has a big part in the movie. One could argue she is a lead or the lead character. The movie begins with her being called by a mysterious voice. She knows she must follow, but if she does, she knows her life will change drastically. Still, follow the voice into the wildreness she does. Elsa's journey in the wilderness is one filled with forgiveness and bringing people together. It has its trials, and when she finally comes to her big moment in the story, it is a sacrificial moment. Elsa gives her life, not knowing if she will live so that others may live, and the sins of the past may be rectified. In Elsa's sacrifice, she enables the story to find its rightful end by righting the wrongs of the past, while bringing the people together. 

 

However, she is resurrected if you will. In her newness of life, we find Elsa's appearance has changed. Her powers and authority over the spirits and magic seemed to have grown, and she is the last act of love, mercy, and grace when she stops her home city from being destroyed. 

 

Elsa, in the movie, plays the part of Jesus. She is someone who is born connected with God (the spirits). She was given this gift because of her parent's faithfulness and righteousness. She is born into the royal family and is the rightful ruler of the land. As she answers the call to be the chosen one, she is called into the wildreness where she is tested. During her travels, she offers forgiveness to those seeking to do harm (the fire-lizard) and brings people together (calls the two warring tribes together. Just like Jesus, she goes around bringing people together and forgiving people. You could even say that her mission is to heal the deep historical wounds of the people. In the end, her calling leads to her giving everything to her calling. She dies, frozen in ice, in the bottom of a deep dark cave. In her sacrifice, she sends a message to her sister that causes everyone to be saved. Finally, she is resurrected when the sins of the past have been made right. In her resurrected life, Elsa finds herself transformed, empowered, and now something greater than just a queen, but a divine bridge between the divine and human. 

 

Anna and Elsa's mother plays an important part as well. The mother plays the role of God the Father. The Mother is the one who calls Elsa and leads Elsa on her mission. The mother's point is not a super big one, and it can be a stretch, but I feel like there is an active role of the Mother as God the Father in relation to Elsa, her calling, and even her seeming guidance throughout time and space. 

Finally, there is Anna. Anna's part only makes sense going from the end to the beginning. Anna ends as the second part of the bridge and queen of Arendell. She communicates and coordinates with her sister Elsa (the Jesus figure) through the wind! They even make a mention that it is love that is binding them together and is now ruling over the forest people and the people of Arendell. The wind plays as the Holy Spirit. It literally connects the two characters despite the vast distance between them, helps them communicate (aka pray), and in the movie, seems to lead both Anna and Elsa. The wind is a character all on its own, yet deeply connected to and connecting the sisters. Anna then as queen becomes what the kings of Israel were meant to be, a bridge between the people and God. A person who leads the people in following God. Only in this story, it's the spirits she is connected to and bridging.

 

Anna's transformation to be a queen and leader of the people does not happen until she deals with the past sins and her own grief. Loss and grief are major points in our lives when we turn to God, and we go through a transition or growth period in our life. Anna is no different. She has to wrestle with the past sins of her grandfather, seek to do better, all while believing her friends and family are all gone. Looking back, we can see that Elsa will be alright and if we were paying attention to the narrative patterns, we know this is similar to the first movie, so we know the only way Elsa will be saved is through her sister. Despite not feeling Jesus' presence or feeling abandoned by God, she continues to do the right thing even if it is one step at a time. In the end, Anna realizes her sister and friends were always with her. Even though Anna begins the movie as knowing she is royalty and not taking on any serious role as royalty, she ends the film embarrassing her true identity as queen.

 

Is this movie a perfect retelling of the Christian narrative? No, I don't think it was trying to be. However, the themes, patterns, and story arcs of the characters reflect biblical truth in the world. I believe Frozen 2 can be a tool to evangelize. It can help reach a new generation grow and transform while learning the cost of discipleship. What do you all think?

 

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