“Show yourself, step into your power…” ~ Queen Elsa, Frozen 2
The unthinkable has happened.
After 31 years of irrepressible adoration for The Little Mermaid, my all time favourite Disney film has been demoted to 2nd place.
I know. I’m processing this as well.
The Little Mermaid came out when I was 3 and quickly became my toddler into childhood obsession. I knew every word by heart, sung every trill of every lyric, and however much I loved Disney’s new offerings as I got older, nothing ever quite topped Ariel and her quest for freedom.
But, you see, in December 2019, I took one of my nieces to the cinema for a girly day out, totally unprepared for what the day might bring. Koo and I have many of the same interests because I am, at my core, an 8-year old girl. Makeup, unicorns, mermaids, faeries, rainbows, glitter… I love to unapologetically channel my inner child and live contentedly with the things that make me happy, however childish they might seem to others. So after thoroughly enjoying the first instalment, I volunteered as tribute to take Koo to see Frozen 2.
Sequels aren’t always as good as the first of a series, but I was simply blown away by Frozen 2. Idina Menzel has long been a hero of mine and her performance as Elsa, as always, gives me chills. Kristen Bell makes Anna come alive with a relatability beyond that of any Disney Princess before her. Josh Gad is just wonderful to watch and/or listen to, whatever role he is taking on. But it was the story being told and how Disney brought in so many weighted topics in their family friendly way that really captured my attention.
It’s been out for 9 months already, but I won’t be responsible for ruining someone’s day if you haven’t got round to it yet. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know what happens.
Having now seen the film more times than I can count, Frozen 2 has effortlessly landed itself the spot as my favourite Disney film. Koo rolls her eyes at me and MB doesn’t tire of laughing as I descend into a snivelling wreck approximately halfway through. Every. Single. Time. I’m really moved by this movie and I decided to pen my thoughts on why.
The film carries an abundance of themes; family, friendship, unity, power, trust, self-discovery, growing up, grief. The story is about Elsa discovering not only how powerful she truly is, but also the source of her power and why she alone has the gifts that she does. On their travels, the sisters find out that their parents died seeking the answers to Elsa’s magic and she strikes out alone in search of a magical river where she believes she’ll find the fifth element, Spirit, who has been calling to her.
This was the first time I cried.
Elsa reaches Ahtohallan and finds out she is the Spirit. The scene plays out with the most empowering song I’ve heard in a long while. Show Yourself is an anthem of self-discovery and speaks to me on a personal level.
Step into your power
Into something new
You are the one you’ve been waiting for
All of my life
Oh, show yourself
I’ve been on my own journey for some time now and I still have a long way to travel on my path, but it was a much needed reminder that my power resides in me. My only limitations are the ones I impose on myself. Listening to this song makes my heart near-burst from my chest with excitement and anticipation of what I might be capable of, if I continue to shuck off the shackles of my insecurities.
On a broader scale though, I think the track sends an important message to our young ones about empowerment and self-belief. I strongly believe in enabling children to be the best possible versions of themselves and it makes me so happy knowing that the next generation are being raised on such a foundation of positivity and self-awareness. The younger they are, the less likely they are to understand the full impact of the song, but it will sit in the subconscious working its magic all the same. We are teaching children that they are capable of anything they set their minds to and that is glorious!
Later in the film, the plot takes a dark turn when Anna and Olaf are stuck in a cave. Olaf flurries away and Anna believes her sister has died on her quest. A song called The Next Right Thing begins and again tears spring to my eyes.
I’ve seen dark before
But not like this
This is cold
This is empty
This is numb
The life I knew is over
The lights are out
I’m ready to succumb
This song strikes a chord in me on so many levels. I know that desperation intimately. I choked on the lump in my throat as I thought about my own troubles, my own losses. It’s a beautifully written ode to the deep well of depression that is known to many of us.
Not understanding why I was crying, Koo said to me: “she’s singing about being stuck in the cave, isn’t she, Ren?” and I realised how cleverly the song links the dark place Anna is physically in to the darkness of her grief. The death of a loved one is a delicate topic that many find difficult to approach with children, but sadly it’s something that many of us experience from a young age.
My innocent niece interpreted the lyrics to be about Anna’s fear, whilst I understood them as the weight of bereavement and depression. And I realised that we were both right. Whether it’s loss or fear or anger or hurt, this song reminds us that we can carry on through the worst of our troubles, whatever it is that’s damaging us or holding us back. All we have to do is take one step at a time, focus on the now. And do the next right thing.
I will always love The Little Mermaid, it was such an important part of my formative years, but Frozen 2 has provoked an internal narrative within me that I simply cannot ignore. Thank you, Disney, for awakening my spirit and the reminder that anything is possible when we truly believe in ourselves. I can feel the shift and I’m running towards it!
There are lessons all around us, if we only open our hearts to the wisdom.
Love & light,