Report: White House Wants to Use ‘Frozen’ to Teach Climate Change

Frozen, copyright Walt Disney
Walt Disney Co.

The Obama administration is reportedly looking to enlist the Walt Disney Co. to inform children about the dangers of climate change by using the popular animated film franchise, Frozen.

Administration official Robert Papp, who has been the State Department’s special representative for the Arctic since July 2014, recently met with a Disney executive to discuss the idea of using the film’s characters to teach children about the impact of global warming on polar bears.

Papp spoke of the meeting at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø, Norway this week:

In explaining why we wanted Disney’s assistance on this, I said, ‘You’ve taught an entire generation about the Arctic. Unfortunately the Arctic that you’ve taught them about is a fantasy kingdom in Norway, where everything is nice.

And I said what we really need to do is educate the American youth about the plight of the polar bear, about the thawing tundra, about Alaskan villages that run the risk of falling into the sea because of the lack of sea ice protecting their shores.

Disney executives apparently weren’t too warmed by the idea; they informed Papp they preferred to produce more optimistic films.

(Frozen tells the story of a queen who accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice, to curse her home into an infinite winter. The queen’s sister, Anna, then teams up with a mountain man, a reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather.)

“We’re regrouping on our story line and we still have Disney engaged,” Papp said, “but there’s more yet to come there.”

After hauling in more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office in 2013, Frozen has been better known recently for inspiring countless covers of “Let it Go,” off the film’s soundtrack.

If Disney again refuses, Papp, who is also a retired Admiral for the United States Coast Guard, could always just “let it go.”

Watch: Disney’s Frozen “Let It Go” Sequence, Performed by Idina Menzel


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