Before I leave for work each morning, I typically watch a clip of “Let It Go,” the Oscar-winning song from the animated hit “Frozen.” Though geared toward young woman, the themes of acceptance and being your own person put me in a great frame of mind before heading outside. It doesn’t hurt that performer Idina Menzel has incredible pipes too.
That’s why it’s shocking that bloggers like Kathryn Skaggs have taken the film to task for its “gay agenda to normalize homosexuality” in the popular film. The blog post written by Skaggs rambles on and on and, while she makes some interesting points, she loses the reader’s attention thanks to lack of structure and cohesiveness.
Time to put antiquated ideas on ice
So why the dust-up about a great throwback to classic Disney films? Are Skaggs and her contemporaries afraid that Walt Disney executives are trying to use the Jedi Mind Trick on hapless heterosexual viewers? Given the fact that Disney now owns Lucasfilm, they might just have a point (“This isn’t the type of marriage you’re looking for. Move along.”).
“Frozen” tells the story of two sisters, Elsa (Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell). Elsa was born with the power to freeze moisture in the air, much like one of the X-Men does. The young woman doesn’t have full control of her powers, so her parents isolate her from the world and her sister for her own good.
Skaggs and other critics see this as a reference to being “in the closet” about her sexuality. That could be true, but her isolation doesn’t necessarily have to be sexual. Some women hide their intelligence, thinking their high IQ might scare away potential suitors. Athletic women may conceal their prowess simply to salve a male ego. It’s what we used to call “hiding your light under a bushel.”
Elsa’s powers are both wonderful and frightening; her parents are simply having a knee-jerk reaction. This young woman is something new in their kingdom, and they don’t know how to handle her. She has to break away (leave the nest) and hone her abilities before returning to the kingdom ready to rule.
The “Let It Go” Factor
Most of what Skaggs writes is way off base, especially about “Let It Go.” No one can seriously call this a “gay song,” because it speaks to all of us, LGBTQ or not. I grew up in a tight-knit Catholic parish where every kid was forced into one category or another. I was a nerdy little kid who loved to read and hated sports. I was called “queer” and “pansy” because of my brains and sensitivity, even though I am not gay.
“Let It Go” is the anthem I wish I had as a younger man. By my junior year of high school, I was fortunate to break free of the stereotypes and embrace the diverse person I am. I became active in theater, dated some very nice girls and developed my love for movies and writing. Just as Elsa is liberated by the end of the song, that high school year made all the difference for me.
This “Frozen” song also inspired many YouTube covers. A publicist sent me a list of some of the most popular, including this awesome one by the Piano Guys. Skaggs and her contemporaries can’t understand that this tune speaks to everyone.
Disney did a great thing with “Frozen.” There are no hidden meanings here because the true message comes through loud and clear: “Be Yourself!” That’s what people, especially young people, really need to know and understand.