Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles “You're melting.” “Some people are worth melting for.” When we think of the word “frozen,” some negative associations come to mind. The word can mean paralyzed, stuck, repressed. We think of phrases like “frozen with fear.” “Fear will be your enemy.” But within the Disney film, Frozen also takes on a positive, creative connotation. “Ice is my life!” Yes, frozenness causes fear and isolation, but it can also foster life and express love. “An act of true love will thaw a frozen heart." In the story, Ice symbolizes the challenges that life relentlessly throws at us. But Frozen shows us that it isn't the ice itself that's negative; it's that we often choose to react to the ice in a counter productive way. [Shouting] “Monster! Monster!” When we're faced with a problem, we can retreat into our crippling, anxious, self-doubting thoughts and shut out the world. Or, we can face adversity with compassion and trust in ourselves. [Singing] “Here I stand, in the light of day!” So while “frozen,” at the beginning of the movie might mean freezing up and feeling “paralyzed,” At the end, Elsa learns to redefine “Frozen:” To mean accepting yourself for who you are and facing challenges with emotional strength. [Singing] “When I finally do what frozen things do, in Summer!!” “I'm going to tell him.” “Don't you dare!” Before we go on, we want to tell you about this video's sponsor, Audible. Audible is the best audiobook service out there. With an unbelievable collection of audiobooks, just waiting for you to download them and listen. Right now you can get any book for your choice, for free. And thirty days of an audible membership, for free. Just use our link: Audible.com slash ScreenPrism. Or text the code, SCREENPRISM, to five-hundred five-hundred. So, go check it out! The characters in Frozen talk about ice in two opposing ways throughout the movie: as an obstacle to be melted “It's okay you can just unfreeze it.” “No I can't, I don't know how.” or as something valuable that can be mined. [Singing] “A frozen heart worth mining.” When Anna's is struck by Elsa's powers and her heart is frozen, we're told that melting Anna's heart is the only way to save her. “Only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.” In this case, the ice has been put in Anna's heart artificially. It doesn't represent an actual part of her identity. Because the ice is alien to her warm and caring nature, it creates a real threat. The ice is melted, destroyed by the emotional warmth of the true love she shows in risking her life for her sister. “You sacrificed yourself for me?” “I love you.” But warmth and melting aren't the only ways to confront a “frozen heart” in the movie. Before Anna's heart is literally frozen, Elsa is the one with the metaphorically frozen heart. She's cold and distant, and refuses to open up to her sister. Anna understands that the way to get through Elsa's cold exterior isn't to thaw and melt the ice, but to mine it. [Singing] “I'm right out here for you, just let me in.” Like the miners at the beginning of the movie, Anna knows that the ice surrounding Elsa's heart shouldn't be destroyed, because it's a part of who Elsa is. “Your power will only grow. There is beauty in it.” Anna wants to understand her sister, and appreciate her frozenness for what it is. “You don't have to protect me. I'm not afraid!” Taking the care of digging through Elsa's frozen exterior, instead of trying to get rid of it, will unearth a deeper treasure within. “[Singing] The cold never bothered me anyway.” There are many of aspects of life that aren't how we'd like them to be. They're out of our control. And that's how Elsa's powers feel to her. But she spends most of her life responding to her ice powers with fear. Her reaction to what's difficult is to completely repress and ignore her emotions. [Singing] “Conceal, don't feel. Don't let them know!” So she becomes totally isolated. Growing up, Elsa's distance causes Anna a lot of emotional pain. [Singing] “We used to be best buddies. And now we're not. I wish you would tell me why!” But Elsa continues to overlook this because she's more afraid of hurting her sister physically. “Elsa, wait!” “No, I'm just trying to protect you.” Like trying to put off any problem, the approach of freezing up can only work for so long. Elsa's holding in her feelings becomes unsustainable. So when she can't contain her emotion, after learning of her sister's sudden engagement, Elsa accidentally unleashes her powers, too. Then, during “Let It Go,” there's a shift in the way Elsa handles her powers. One of the first things Elsa does in this scene is create Olaf. Now that her powers are set free, her first instinct is to recreate a happy memory from her childhood. In this moment, Elsa begins to face her problems in a healthy way— Olaf is brought to life with all the warmth and sisterly love that's represented in that memory. “I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!” One of the things that makes this scene so great is that it's the first time we see Elsa begin to take something she's always seen as negative-- her ice powers-- and turn that into a positive source of creativity. Elsa runs away so that she can express her powers without inhibition. [Singing] “Let it Go” But “letting it go,” completely, doesn't work, either. She's still isolated, separated from all the people in her life. [Singing] “A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen.” And she unintentionally freezes all of Arendelle. [Singing] “Arendelle is in deep, deep, deep, snow”. So when we totally let go all control, we can create consequences that hurt others, even when we don't mean to. When Elsa realizes that her way of coping is causing others pain, she falls into despair. [Singing] “I'm such a fool, I can't be free.” And at her lowest point, her worst fear is actualized as she inadvertently strikes Anna with her powers. Elsa's negative thoughts consume her again, and they manifest literally as her powers slip from her control in the form of a blizzard. So we see Elsa's whole pattern repeat all over again: stress from external factors we can't control can cause cyclical, defeatist thoughts, which in turn lead to damaging behaviors. It takes the extreme consequence of actually hurting Anna for Elsa to finally confront her choices and flip from her fear-based approach to the ice, which clearly isn't working, to a love-based one. “Love will thaw. Love, of course.” Frozen shows us that we have a choice -- we can face the ice, or challenges, in our lives with fear or with love. When Hans tells Elsa that Anna is dead, the previously uncontrollable storm Elsa created suddenly stops. Elsa's worst fear has been made a reality, so her panic over controlling her powers subsides. For the first time, she's able feel only love for her sister, and grief over the possibility of her death. She's unclouded by crippling anxiety and self-consciousness. So if you face life's icy situations with love and understanding, things are suddenly more in your control than you thought they could be. It was never the ice itself that was dangerous, but Elsa's response to it. Her negative thoughts turn her powers into something menacing. But if she reframes her powers as a positive thing, she can learn to control them in a balanced way. Ice in our lives can turn out to be positive. When Anna is frozen, this appears like a momentary death, as the ice in Anna's heart poisons her whole body. But at the same time, it's becoming frozen that saves her. If Anna hadn't had the ice in her heart, Hans's sword would have hit her and presumably killed her. So in this pivotal scene, the movie emphasizes how ice can, counterintuitively, be strong and helpful, it can even shield and protect us. The symbolism is that challenges and hard things in our lives, can actually be good for us, if we learn to face them with openness and emotional bravery.