The Many Kinds Of True LoveHeather Spohr
This post contains spoilers about the movie Frozen.
When my brother and I were kids and would fight, my grandmother always chastised us with, “You two need to remember you love each other. When the rest of us are gone, you’ll only have each other.” That lesson – sibling love – is the central theme in the movie Frozen, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
My nearly four-year-old daughter, Annabel, is princess-crazy. I don’t have a problem with that because I have always been deliberate in shaping how she perceives them. She knows that a princess is not something she can grow up to be, and that true love is not strictly between princesses and princes. We also talk a lot about how princesses can save themselves, no prince required. Lately, Disney has been turning the old-fashioned depiction of a princess on its head with bold problem-solvers like Tiana, Rapunzel, and Merida. It’s important that girls AND boys learn to be self-reliant. These modern princesses are big favorites of my daughter’s, but no princess has impacted her quite like the royal sisters from Frozen.
In Frozen, younger sister Princess Anna is told that only an act of true love will save her from freezing after her older sister, Queen Elsa, accidentally puts ice in her heart. Everyone assumes that an act of true love would be a kiss from Anna’s presumed true love, Hans. The twist is that the act of true love is actually between the sisters: Anna jumps in front of a sword to save Elsa’s life.
Annabel didn’t understand that Anna was basically sacrificing her life for her sister’s, but instead thought that Anna was trying to keep her older sister from “getting a cut.” She still gets it, though: I was so proud when she said to me, “Mommy, I would try to stop bad guys from cutting James, too! I never want him to get hurt or cry.” The movie taught my my grandmother’s favorite lesson. As I’ve grown older and been through life’s ups and downs, I’ve seen how important it is to love and cherish siblings. My brother’s support means everything to me, and I count him as one of my best friends. I hope that one day my children will say the same about each other.
Ever since Annie saw the movie (twice now!) she wants to “play Frozen,” where she saves her brother from some imaginary badness. The way she saves him? By hugging him and saying, “I love you Jamesie! My love will save you forever!”
Even a frozen heart would melt at that.