I know, this movie came out like 14 months ago, so why am I reviewing it now? Well, the answer is that lately I have been doing research on magic and how it is represented in stories.
I know, big topic. So bear with me.
I’ve had a lot of discussions with people about magic, and one of the things that I encounter a lot during these conversations is a mindset from people that magic is just a fairytale, fantasy thing, and there is really nothing actually dangerous about it. In other words, don’t worry about what Disney is teaching you and your kids, just roll with it because it’s just fiction.
And my response: People, the best fiction is a made up stories wrapped around something that is true. Ever heard the expression “The best lies have an element of truth”? Well, that is something to seriously keep in mind when dealing with the allure of magic.
And I do mean allure.
This draw to power and mystery is exactly what Elsa expresses in the beginning of Frozen II when she is trying to ignore/block out “the voice” (which long story short turns out to be the representation of her own power as the 5th spirit). This voice is encouraging her to venture into “the unknown.” She uses some interesting phraseology during her resistance to the voice’s call, saying things like, “I’m spoken for, I fear.” and “I’m sorry, Secret Siren.” (a signal or warning, in mythology: a seductress, a temptress). But then she starts to ask if maybe the voice is actually like her (desiring power and answers). Elsa then tells the voice that a part of her longs to go into the unknown. At which point she stops resisting and asks the voice, “How do I follow you?”
Are you seeing any issues so far? Maybe, maybe not? Let me walk you through it.
In order to fully see the weight of what is being displayed here. (Because, make no mistake, there is a very big reason Elsa’s desire in Frozen II appeals to us.) But in order to understand this, we need to go back to the very beginning of humanity and ask ourselves the question: What was it Satan used to tempt Adam and Eve to sin?
That’s right, it was in Eden where the concept of humanity accessing power outside of God was first presented to us. Satan told Eve that she and Adam would not die if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but rather “in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” Genesis 3:5
Our temptation was and still is gaining a kind of knowledge/wisdom that will give us power and authority all our own, make us like God. We disobeyed our King because we desired to have power of our own, to “become like God.” (Hold onto this thought, because we will circle back to this.)
But God did not lie to Adam and Eve. Eating of this knowledge and power does kill us, because it deceives us into thinking that we are capable of being our own God and that being our own God we are then capable of dealing with evil and saving ourselves, but there is no other God and we are powerless to avoid being corrupted by evil and thus condemned to death. Only God has the power to save us.
“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” ~ Isaiah 45:22~
“. . . your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” ~1 Corinthians 2:5~
What we are seeking when we seek power outside of God, is to stand in opposition to God. This desire to what caused Satan to fall from heaven. Satan said in his heart, “I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14
“God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; the LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies; the LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” ~Nahum 1:2-3~
Seeking power outside of God is absolutely condemned in Scripture not just because it is a rejection of God, but because the only source of power outside of God comes from the only other spiritual beings with power: Satan and his demons.
Act 26:14 “ . . . for I have appeared to you for this purpose . . . to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
In Frozen II, Elsa is seeking “the voice” which seems to have the power to do all kinds of things, including the ability to help reveal the past, demanding a wrong be righted, control a magical mist, and make magical spirits vanish and reappear. (And of course at the end we learn that this voice is Elsa.) And then we have all the things that Elsa can do, like defeat, befriend, and/or tame the “angry magical spirits” who at the beginning of the movie are called “the most powerful spirits of all.” And when Elsa finally gets to the river of memory to find the truth. What does she find? She is the center of it all (visual imagery does communicate). She is the voice, she is the fifth spirit (the center spirit), she is the power. And when she gets to the “truth” at the river of memory, this is what she is told, “Step into your power.” “You are the one you have been waiting for all of your life.”
Whoa! Yikes! Hold everything! In other words, what Frozen II is saying is that the power of this world is inside of us. We have the power, and we can save the world. This is a total lie that Satan wants us to believe because his goal is to steal us from God and destroy us via turning us against God by convincing us that we can be our own god and king. (Job 2:3, Luke 8:12, 1Pe 5:8).
Now, in Frozen II there is a very interesting commentary made about magic and its power by one particular character. This person says that the Northuldra people cannot be trusted because they “follow magic.” He goes on to say that magic makes people “feel too powerful, too entitled.” And his most interesting statement of all, “Magic makes them think they can defy the will of a king.” You remember that thought I’d said we’d circle back around to? Yep, here it is. The thought that we could access for ourselves a power outside of God, means that we defy our King. Wow, interesting right that here is a truth tucked into Frozen II?
Now this might be encouraging, even profound, except for one glaring fact: this statement is made by the villain, the betrayer, Arendelle’s king. And it is immediately contracted by Elsa who says to herself, “That is not what magic does. That is just your fear.”
However, Elsa does not bother to go on to tell us what magic does do? That is something we have to piece together for ourselves in the convoluted plot of voices, spirits, powers, and magical beings all sourced from where and what exactly? You’ll have to dive deep for the truth. Oh, “but not too deep, or you’ll be drown” says the warning in the song about the river of memory when Elsa is searching for the truth. And my question is why are we supposed to search for the truth but not go too deep once we find it? Maybe because if we go that deep we might actually uncover the real truth beneath the lie this movie is telling.
Look for the continuation of this post next week, where I will dig into what magic does do in Frozen II and the inconsistencies that compile when storytellers try to create a world without God.
Challenge: Don’t just watch movies. Think them through so that you see the lies they are telling you.