Elsa or Anna?

A year ago, the movie Frozen hit theaters and this song became the spiritual anthem of millions of people.

It is an unbelievably catchy song, and I think it speaks in an powerful way to a longing that girls and women feel. I don’t say men and boys don’t have the same longing, but the way I see females sing this song is different. It’s coming from a deep place that I’m sure I don’t fully understand.

I always hear the song with a bit of irony, though. In the movie, Queen Elsa sings this song as she locks herself away in an ice castle alone — just as alone as she was in the stone castle of her parents — and she sends the land all around her into a frozen and cold wasteland. The song is triumphant, but the world it creates in the movie is barren and cold and isolated. It is even nearly fatal to her sister, Anna, whose heart is frozen by Elsa’s power.

In the end, it is not Elsa’s self-assertion but Anna’s self-sacrifice that breaks the power of winter over the kingdom. It is love and connection, not icy independence, that give Elsa the power to control what she most fears about herself.

That, it seems to me, is the point of the movie.


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