By Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy)
As Disney’s Frozen starts, we meet two sisters who love each other. Eldest sister Elsa has magical powers that allow her to create snow and freeze things, and younger sister Anna is always begging her to build a snowman. During one of their play sessions, Elsa accidentally injures Anna.
From that moment on, Elsa isolates herself from Anna and from everyone, even after their parents die. When Elsa finally loses control and sends the kingdom into eternal winter, Anna sets out on a quest to bring her home and help her.
It’s a visually beautiful movie with amazing music, but what impressed me most were the five important lessons about love I found inside.
I can’t write this post without at least a couple of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie and would be bothered by knowing what happens before you do, then I recommend you just read the bolded points.
#1 – You can’t fall in love in a day.
Anna is extremely lonely. Since the death of her parents, she’s been locked in the castle. Her older sister, Elsa, won’t allow people in, but Elsa also refuses to spend time with Anna.
When the gates are finally thrown open for Elsa’s coronation, it’s no surprise that Anna “falls in love” with the first handsome man in her age bracket that she meets (and he just happens to be a prince as well). She thinks it’s love, but she finds out in the end that it wasn’t. He didn’t love her, and she didn’t really love him either.
Many things can be mistaken for love—loneliness, pity, need, attraction, lust. When we say it was love at first sight, it was usually one of those at first sight and real love grew out of it over time.
I loved this lesson because it reminds us that for love to be real and lasting it has to be accompanied by knowledge of the person’s personality and character. Love is about the other person. It’s not about something in us.
#2 – Everyone is a fixer upper.
When Anna’s heart is accidentally frozen by Elsa, Kristoff (the ice merchant helping Anaa find Elsa) takes Anna back to his family, thinking they can save her because of their magical powers. His family tries to match-make, and breaks out into a song about how everyone is a fixer upper.
I loved this lesson because it’s an important counterpoint to the warning against love at first sight. It’s just as dangerous to wait for the “perfect” person. There’s no such thing. Everyone has flaws. Usually big ones. In a good relationship, we work on improving ourselves together. And, sometimes, we just have to overlook the annoying parts of our partner because the good in them far outweighs the bad.
#3 – Love means letting others help you.
One of the big mistakes Elsa makes in the movie is shutting Anna out. Anna loves her and would do anything to help her. Many of the problems of the movie could have been avoided had Elsa let Anna in.
Elsa kept Anna at a distance because she was afraid of hurting her, but also out of a stubborn independence.
I know not everyone will agree with my view on this, but I loved this lesson because I believe that a good romantic relationship is a partnership. You make the important decisions together. You don’t keep secrets. You have to let go of some of your independence and allow the other person to help you when you need it. When they need it, you help them.
#4 – Love means making sacrifices.
In the final moment before her heart freezes solid, Anna has a choice to make. Run to Kristoff for true love’s kiss and save herself or throw herself between Elsa and the evil prince’s sword. Because she loves Elsa, she sacrifices herself to save her sister.
A lot of times, love is sacrifice. Love is compromise. You give up something you want to make the person you love happy. And rather than that making you unhappy or resentful, their happiness should fill you with joy. In a good relationship, they will also take their turn sacrificing for you.
#5 – Love for your family is just as important as romantic love.
Anna needed an act of true love to thaw her heart and save her. Since it was a Disney movie, you’d expect it to be a kiss, like in Snow White.
But it wasn’t.
It was Anna’s act of sacrifice, trying to save Elsa, that thawed her heart.
The importance of familial or friendship love is an often untaught lesson. We need more in our lives than just a spouse. We need friends and family to love and be loved by as well. That love is equally important.
I’d love to hear what you think. Did you see the same lessons? Do you agree or disagree with the messages in the movie?
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