As I mentioned in my daily column yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Beast have both used an obscure pastor and blog post to trash conservatives in general, and religious Christians specifically, as gay-panicked over Disney’s animated hit “Frozen,” which arrives on Bluray next week. The media using nobodies to smear everyone on the political and Christian right is nothing new (See: Akin, Todd), but that doesn’t mean the obscure pastor and blog post are wrong.
So, is Disney’s “Frozen” an insidious but brilliant piece of homosexual propaganda?
No. No, it’s not. Not even close.
I don’t pretend to be very good at much of anything but one thing I am good at is spotting a political agenda in a piece of entertainment from a hundred yards. Last night I screened “Frozen” and there was … nothing. My antennae was up and spinning but it just kept spinning. Nothing stopped it. “Frozen” is only “gay” in the original sense of the word: it makes you smile.
*MINOR SPOILERS COMING*
Thematically you can read whatever you like in the central premise of “Frozen.” A young princess named Elsa is born with a power she cannot control. Her touch and emotions create ice — sometimes a little of it, sometimes a whole lot. As small children, after this power almost kills her younger sister, Elsa’s parents hide her from the world and her sister (in a humane way and with Elsa’s blessing). But after the parents are killed, Elsa has no choice but to present herself before her public to be crowned queen. An argument with her sister reveals her powers to the world. People freak. Elsa runs off into the forest and with the show-stopping tune “Let It Go” chooses to embrace who she is but to do so in isolation.
That’s a universal theme — a metaphor — not an agenda.
The whole idea behind a universal theme is that it’s universal; anyone in the audience can relate to the metaphor because it touches something inside of them about themselves. Sure, in the case of “Frozen” it could be lesbianism. But it could also be a hundred other things people hide about themselves for fear of being laughed at or ostracized. That could also include being exceptional, which is what Elsa’s talent will make her if she can ever learn to control it.
In that respect, “Frozen” could be looked at as a conservative film in the same way we look at “The Incredibles” as a conservative film — the difference between the left’s human spirit-killing philosophy of “each according to his need” and the right’s “each according to his abilities.”
Elsa isn’t even “Frozen’s” main character. Her younger sister Anna is our heroine and she’s juggling two hunky heterosexual guys. The story is so innocuous I didn’t even sense a “grrrl power” agenda. Anna’s character is plenty strong but not obnoxiously and stridently so. Without the help of one of those hunky heterosexual fellas (Kristoff) Anna wouldn’t have gotten very far.
At the risk of getting in the weeds on this I do think it is fair to say that from an objective perspective the “gay agenda” claim doesn’t hold water. If we’re to believe that Disney is using Elsa’s power as a metaphor for the virtues of lesbianism, how do you reconcile Elsa almost killing Anna with that power when they are children? In fact, as an adult, Elsa’s power almost kills a lot of people and does some real damage to a lot of innocents. A pro-gay film is not going to claim that lesbianism in any form can hurt and even kill.
Furthermore, heterosexual love, romance, and marriage are all portrayed as virtuous throughout the entire story.
Overall, “Frozen” is a pretty wonderful movie. The songs are surprisingly good, the computer animation is gorgeous, the pace hums, and the plot is impressively original. The best compliment I can give “Frozen” is that its story is so clever and its heart is so big that it reminded me of a Pixar film in the pre-“Cars 2” days.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC