Should Christians Be In A “Frozen” Dilemma?

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I love the movie Frozen. It is awesome. The only bummer I had while watching it with my 5 year old was that I didn’t know the songs which rendered me incapable of singing along! Thanks to Youtube I have learned several of the songs and look forward to watching it with my son again and again… and again.

I, for one, was thoroughly impressed with the movie. Much like this guy and this guy. Frozen had a better story and message than any Pixar or Disney movie that I have seen. It has a better message than 99% of movies that get produced, easy.

Insert: gay family. When I left the movie theater I had no idea a gay family made an appearance in the film. The first I heard of it I didn’t believe  the person that told me. Thankfully, my good friend google helped me see that their probably was a gay family in the movie. I think it is debatable, but that is my assumption after seeing the picture of Oaken’s family. The dilemma: it has a great central message, but it also has a gay family in it-  these two realities led to a friend of mine asking this:

Any thoughts on it being the first animated movie with a gay family in it & advice to families/Christian organizations who may want to boycott it or protect their kids from it because of it?

I am going to answer both of these questions:

1) It sure would have been nice for Disney to leave that out. Not because it had any impact on the movie- it was totally unnoticeable to me when I watched the movie. I wish they would have left it out because now the country is caught up in debating whether or not it was a gay family, gay activists cheering its existence, and many Christians bemoaning that it’s there. All the while the great central message and theme of the movie is being pushed to the side.

I would much rather have our country discussing how sacrificial love is far superior to a “true act of love” than “a true love’s kiss” and other emotion-laden nonsense. Salvation came through a sacrificial act of love. I am sure I have heard that somewhere else.

2) I’m not a perfect parent and I do not have all the answers. Walking our children through these issues and teaching them how to chew the meat and spit the bones is very difficult. I do not fault parents who choose a different approach than me. They will stand before God on how they raised their kids, not me. With that said, here are a few principles as to why I will continue to watch Frozen with my kids, despite the appearance of a gay family.

  •  I would prefer to let my kids watch a film with a fantastically truth filled story with one unnoticeable gay family in it than a movie without a gay family that has a central message that is garbage. The theme of sacrificial love and salvation was crystal clear to everyone while most people who watched the movie didn’t even catch the gay family. It’s overall story is so much stronger than 99% of the animated films those same parents probably let their kids watch already.
  • There aren’t very many opportunities in which a movie gives such an easy picture of the gospel as the movie Frozen. There are several comparisons that can be made with very little mental effort from my kids. Most of the time it is hard to come by a story in which it is such an easy step to the gospel. My oldest kid is 5- it needs to be clear and simple, Frozen does that for me.
  • Gay families aren’t going anywhere. I have no idea when my kids will see their first gay couple kissing, holding hands, etc. It may have already happened and I am unaware. I would rather be right beside my sons when they first experience what will be for them a very abnormal relationship. This opens the door to a helpful conversation about truth, sin, love, and grace.
  • “Everyone is a fixer upper.” This is one of the songs and lines from Frozen. If my kids ever notice the gay family in the movie I am happy to take that moment to show them that one way people sin against God is through gay relationships- they, like the rest of us, are “fixer uppers.” How do you fix a fixer-upper? Love.” What kind of love would that be? The same kind of sacrificial love we see from Anna is why Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. No one is unfixable, Jesus died so that all who repent of sin and believe in Him can be made right with God. Like Anna, he gives them a new heart (we have already talked about that a lot).

In Frozen, we have an opportunity to share the gospel with our kids through a good story. I am thrilled to take full advantage of it. 

8 thoughts on “Should Christians Be In A “Frozen” Dilemma?

  1. Matt,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments on this movie and the message it portrays. I agree with most of what you say. However I can’t help but cringe when I read about another person justifying something by comparing it to others. For example, you mentioned several times that even though you’d rather not have a gay theme in the movie, you still plan to watch the movie again and again because “it’s better than 99% of the other movies”. Isn’t basing your standards off of comparisons around you a slippery slope? For example, you may be right in the sense that this movie’s message is better than 99% of other movies, but that doesn’t necessarily make it’s message worth watching. Just some thoughts…..

    I mention this because I see this same point of view taken in our churches today around this issue. It’s almost like churches and people say, “Well, I guess it’s not as bad as this or that.” At some point we have to have standards beyond what the culture presents us.

    • IA,

      Thank you for your thoughtful, respectful comment.

      My aim isn’t to justify the movie by comparing it to others. What I am trying to do there is dispel the reasoning other people have in watching it despite the fact that the message is in fact 99% better.

      I will watch it again and again, not because it is better than others, but because I think it is great in and of itself. No movie is going to portray a perfect morality.

      As I said above, I would rather watch a movie with a great message that has a gay family than watch a movie without gay family that has a message that is garbage.

      I hope that helps.

  2. Thank you. I have been trying to tell people about Frozen for months now. It is one of the greats.

    As far as the scene at the trading post, an old friend said much the same thing so we went immediately to the theater to see it again. I was actually sitting on the edge of my seat when that scene started so as not to miss anything (I’ve ordered the movie & plan to single frame that sequence to be sure), and what my wife & I saw was a young couple & three small children. I’m trying to understand how that could be considered a “gay family”. Admittedly, Oaken is a bit off the wall, but I still don’t see any gay behavior in him, more like someone who’s just a really caring family man. I see him as a strong mountain man who is also silly about his family.

    I really, really enjoy seeing articles like this as opposed to some of the rather hateful ones. They really don’t help the situation any. Thanks for a positive view of what may be Disney’s best yet. I have a list of 6 (so far) animated movies that I’ve watched lately that have what I believe are positive Christian messages. they are: Tangled, Brave, The Croods, Epic, Frozen and Wreck-it Ralph. I’ve discussed them with a myriad of people (my friends run the gamut of differences in society) and I seem to be getting things out of them that few others see. I dunno, maybe it’s a desire to see something positive in entertainment after years of horrible films. I just know that I enjoy watching them & discussing the messages as I see them. One of the things I’ve brought up is that 4 of them are Disney. My first thought was I wonder if Hollywood realizes what’s happening. As a great-grandfather, I hope that this trend continues. I’ve got a vested interest in seeing my family exposed to some quality entertainment.
    Thank you again.

  3. Well, until reading this blog, I had no idea the family was even gay. If I haven’t noticed in the 2 times I’ve seen it so far, I doubt my 5yo will. Personally, it isn’t enough of a ‘thing’ in the movie to stop watching it or get up in arms about it. (not saying you are Matt. Though I was surprised to find a blog about it, since I had no idea in the first place!) If somehow my daughter does notice and asks, we’ll have a conversation about it, just like we would any other question she has about homosexuality that she’d encounter in other shows, or in the real world. There are plenty of things out there I won’t let her watch. Frozen won’t be one of them 🙂

  4. I didn’t notice the ‘gay’ family when watching the movie in the theater. I only heard of it when I saw a blog post on Facebook – a post that also said that Anna and Elsa’s parents were abusive. After finding the scene on YouTube and pausing it I too saw a man, woman and three children. We all experience life differently based on who we are and where we are. To be honest the song Let It Go encourages me in my walk with the Lord. I know what He’s done for me and because of Him I have power to move forward and let go of the past. The fact is that Disney is one of the last companies that actually has family friendly films and TV shows out there. I was highly disappointed with Good Luck Charlie, but beyond that I find that all of their programming is appropriate for our family to watch. On a side note, I’m highly peeved that Christians are so quick to talk about Gay Days at Disney (which is NOT promoted or put on by Disney, it’s done by an outside group that rents an entire hotel in Orlando and visits the parks on certain days) while they have no idea about the yearly Night Of Joy Christian festival that is put on in Magic Kingdom and IS promoted and put on by Disney. I guess I just get tired of Christians jumping on the internet bandwagon. We see things on Facebook or wherever and immediately panic that we are putting our families at jeopardy over watching a cartoon. The fact is that, though society and TV will impact our kids to some degree, the greatest impact on or children will be our example to them as parents. Maybe we should spend more time doing things with our kids and teaching them how to be like Christ than worrying about a 2 second clip in a movie.

    • I’ve been discussing the abuse issue with a lot of people. First I tell them that it’s not abuse as we normally define it, but that making a child afraid to be open about whatever it is that makes them special can be viewed as a form of abuse. Even though their parents raised them both with great love & affection, maybe that love blinded them all to the fact that above all honesty is the best policy. The toddler Anna should have been taught again as she grew older about her sister’s powers & Elsa should have been allowed to find the extent of her abilities. Elsa grew up afraid to be herself & told to “conceal it, don’t feel it”. This increased the fear that the troll king had warned them about – if you look at that scene you’ll see in the light show that it’s not just that not just fear in others that she should beware of, but fear of herself also. Fear of any sort has a debilitating effect, especially on young children. I know that her parents were doing it out of love & concern for her, but I would think that after several years of seeing her get worse they would try something else like maybe seeking out the trolls for further help. (of course then there’d be no movie)
      As for Anna, she had her own demons to fight in that she felt that whatever had caused her sister to withdraw was somehow her fault, but her natural outgoing spirit made her keep trying to reconnect. In the first rendition of “For the First Time in Forever’, you can see that she’s become more self-centered over the years, more concerned that her life has been lonely without considering that there might be other viewpoints. Yet she keeps reaching out. Because of her great need she’s naive & blinded to the idea that others might use her for purposes that she would find horrifying.
      They’re two sides of the same coin and it’s only in finally reconciling that they can share the qualities that make them whole at last. Finally embracing the love that exists between them gives them the strength to find a solution to their problems.

      As a side note, I’ve read a rather horrible post by two “pastors” that the love between these two sisters is suggestively more that just that of what the Greeks called ‘storgè’, but is more of ‘eros’. Beats me where they come up with such drivel. These two admit that they haven’t even seen the movie. I have little patience for people who supposedly represent the Gospel and yet can only see evil everywhere. Several commentors along with myself, have called their hand on this, and I hope that their particular message goes unheeded. We are in desperate need of good entertainment that also gives us an opening to share the Christian message with this culture. Sorry about the rant.

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