Joanne Costantino: “‘Frozen’: It’s Just a Movie!”

Tayler and Toddy in 2015 snow

When the Disney movie Frozen was released early last year, I was in no rush to see it.

Then I stumbled across a post by Kathryn Skaggs, who blogs at “A Well Behaved Mormon Woman.” The post was entitled “Frozen: Not Gonna ‘Let It Go’ When Movie Advocates Gay Agenda.

At first I thought her initial post about the movie was amusing. She saw subversive messages, particularly advocating homosexuality, as the whole point of the movie.

What followed after her blog post was essentially an onslaught of negative responses that were often so tasteless and rude, she had to shut down the comments. Rightly so. She was expressing her views in her own venue.

My grandchildren had seen the movie, twice, and had already purchased the soundtrack and memorized every song. After reading the post and her follow-up post, “Frozen: My Response to Outrageous Reactions” I decided to check out what all the fuss was.

I really enjoyed the movie, and even bought the soundtrack for myself. I wanted to share my feelings with Ms. Skaggs, but she had locked out reciprocal comments. It’s understandable. Although the social online forum has opened up a means for all kinds of engaging conversation, it also opens an avenue for some folks to respond anonymously with false bravado and self-righteous scorn, as happened in this case.

Kathryn Skaggs is someone who is forthright about her discipleship to Jesus Christ in the Mormon Church. With a great deal of personal fortitude, through her beliefs and testimony, she is a bold voice in opposing what she finds contrary to the LDS Church and teachings. She is admittedly conservative.

And yet I find that she and I have a lot in common with our life paths. Although I hold much more liberal views than Kathryn, we were both married at 18, have successful marriages, a passel of grandchildren and are proud of the lives our own children have forged for themselves.

We find our writing to be meaningful. I write about the “Life I Claim I didn’t Sign Up For” and she writes about her life as an active, socially conscious and well-informed conservative woman with a firm belief in the doctrine of her Church. We are both good listeners and always open to the discourse of any subject, especially if it’s about what we value and believe.

But we will not hesitate to respectfully disagree. She opposes ordination of women. And being a liberal minded Catholic lay woman, I am a proponent of ordained women in the Catholic Church – it is time. We find purpose in our words as strong women. Most relevant to me is that we are both young grandmothers.

Back to the movie “Frozen.” If I saw the same movie over and over, as she did, (I think she saw it about four times with her grandchildren), I’d probably begin to see some subversive message as well. No wonder she couldn’t let it go!

I enjoy taking my grandkids to see a movie, ONCE, not over and over and over. I want my time with the grandkids to be entertaining and enjoyable, not a necessary teaching moment in reality, let alone morality. Movie theaters are dark for the main reason that the viewer will be undistracted and suspend reality long enough to be entertained – let it go.

It is questionable to me that my 8, 17 and 18 year old grandchildren would make the assumption that “Let It Go” is an allegory for any kind of sexuality, unless they were directed to that line of thought.

As a matter of fact, the 8 year old Meghan (Todzilla) was fascinated by Anna more so than Elsa. She found Anna to be spunky and brave in her determination to seek out her sister on her own and convince her to return home. It also didn’t hurt that Anna sang more songs. Our Meghan is pretty spirited herself; maybe she relates to Anna’s spunky spirit.

The 18 year old, a first year college student, sings “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” on her iPod, out loud, as I drop her off at her train station in the morning. I enjoy the childlike joy this blossoming young woman exudes as she sings about playing in the snow with her sister.

THAT’s what “Frozen” is about to me: family, fearlessness, and letting go long enough to just play and accept the grace of just being present in each other’s life. And that’s a powerful message.

mike and Joanne prom

Joanne Costantino is a Philly girl and “cafeteria Catholic” laywoman living in the wild suburbs of South Jersey, where she still pines for city life. She graduated from college in 2008, two weeks shy of the birth of her 4th grandchild. The “accidental matriarch” of a life she didn’t sign up for, Joanne chronicles that life at www.weneedmoresundaydinners.blogspot.com.

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