“Frozen”: A Memoir

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December 30, 2013 | No comments yet

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by:  Staci Stallings

One of the best things I’ve gotten to do over the last month was to see the Disney film “Frozen.”

On Thanksgiving, my family did something we’ve never done before.  Because of scheduling, our Thanksgiving day was completely free, so we went to the movies with my sister’s family. The chosen film?  ”Frozen.”

Now I have no idea what you think of Disney and its ups and downs as a brand.  Yes, they get some things really wrong.  But this is one movie they got really right.

We went again when my son attended a birthday party that went to see the movie (my 14 year old daughter and I “stayed” and watched the movie again!).

Then yesterday I took one of my best friends to see it again.  And if I get really fortunate, I’ve got another best friend I want to take to see it before it leaves the theaters.

Remarkably, every time I’ve seen it, the movie played to a packed house (and over a month after its release, that’s saying something).  Even more remarkably, every time at the end of the movie, the audience broke out in applause.

So suffice it to say, I’m not the only one who thinks this is a good movie.

For me, “Frozen” feels very personal as well because I’m a lot like Elsa, the sister who is blessed or cursed with the ability to freeze things.  Elsa is told early on that the way to “control” her ability is to “conceal it, don’t feel it.”  That is how I felt and the constraints that I put on myself from as young as I can remember.

I was never supposed to feel — mad, unhappy, scared, worried, etc.  If I felt those things, then I must not let anyone know it.

I’m not sure where I got that message, but it was a message I lived through and through.

In the movie, Elsa goes through several “steps” or “phases” of learning to use her gift rather than trying to conceal it.

I very well remember illustrating this for my Sunday School class one year.  We were talking about gifts/talents that God gives us, and I told them that when I was young, I would separate my gifts.  If you knew that I write, then I didn’t tell you that I also play the guitar.  If you knew I wrote songs, then I never mentioned awards I won for Journalism.  I was literally trying to be multiple people so no one knew EVERYTHING that I did.

Why? Because I didn’t want anyone to “feel bad” because they couldn’t do the things I could.  I didn’t want to hurt anyone with my gifts and so I isolated–both the gifts and myself.

I don’t recommend it, but I’ve also learned we’re all trying to cope and compensate and make it through life the best we can.  And isolation was one of my coping mechanisms.IYB 1-14-2014

In the film, Elsa first tries isolation as a coping mechanism.  She leaves the castle where she’s lived her whole life to go up into the mountains.  There, she can be alone and “free.”

To some extent, I think this is almost a necessary step–detaching from the world that says you have to be this way or that to be accepted.

But there comes a time when alone just doesn’t work anymore.  Elsa learns that, and so have I.

Being with others with them knowing my gifts can be frightening at times, but I’m learning like Elsa, that God gave me those gifts to improve my world.  When I can give them and use them in love, everyone’s lives become better.

So I don’t know that I can exactly explain why or how this movie captured me, but it did.  If you get the chance to go see it, do.  I think it will be well worth your time.


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