When I was a kid watching Disney films was a real treat. I grew up with the magic of Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Jungle Book. Singing along and enjoying the classic boy meets girl story. I have written before about how Disney gets the heart of the universal story that we all ache for.
A prince rescuing a princess.
But the other day I watched the film Frozen, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Unlike most other Disney films, Frozen captured more of the Gospel story then ever before.
Salvation plays a big part in the stories we tell. Go to the movies and you will find the story is telling you that salvation is necessary – to be rescued, to be taken from poverty, ugliness, captivity into riches, beauty and freedom. And there is always a saviour, whether that is prince charming or some inner person/ courage in your heart that you just have to find. With salvation, true love is not far behind.
For Disney, salvation is true love. And that true love must be shown as a kiss.
- Ariel’s salvation from being captured in the prison of silence was broken by a true love’s kiss.
- Snow white is awoken and saved from eternal sleep by true love’s kiss.
- In Beauty and the Beast, the beast is free from eternal hairiness by true love’s kiss.
Disney is right, only true love can save. Love does indeed win.
However it is not through a kiss that true love is shown:
…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8,10)
True love is sacrifice. It is through death and giving up ones life for another. The bible tells us that in order for us to be rescued, Christ stooped down and died for us (while we hated him), saving us and reconciling us to His Father.
Death is far more powerful than a kiss and it brings a better salvation.
In the film Frozen, Disney shows this reality. Salvation doesn’t come through a True Love’s kiss but through a True Love’s sacrifice.
Elsa has magical powers (she can freeze people) and it causes relationships to break, she feels guilty and she runs away ashamed. She wraps herself in her own castle of ice and tries to hide, pushing everyone away.
Her sister Anna pursues her. She doesn’t give up.
This is a Hosea moment.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.” (Hosea 2:14)
Anna pursues and woos her.
Later on there comes a moment where Elsa has to die, but Anna steps out and takes her place. Anna sacrifices herself for Elsa and Elsa is saved because of the death of another has taken her place.
Then Anna is resurrected, showing the strength and power of her love.
As with anything, of course it isn’t a perfect representation of the Gospel – but it is a glimpse and a better glimpse then a kiss.
This film would be a good one to explain what true love really is, the cost of true freedom and the love that Christ has for us.