Opinions, Man

Ah, the Internet. That wonderful, magical land where opinions are facts and facts are opinions.

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Well, actually, that mix-up happens outside the Internet as well. But why? Why can’t we just accept the fact that opinion is opinion and fact is fact?

We see and hear it all the time. Here’s an example:

Joe: “Ocarina of Time is the best Zelda game ever!”
Bob: “No it’s not! It’s so overrated. Twilight Princess is the best one. So there.”
Joe: “You think that cheap rehash of Ocarina is BETTER? Ha! Ocarina had a better story, and it was harder, which automatically makes it the better game.”
Bob: “Yeah, right! Twilight Princess was dark, it had better graphics, and the music was way more awesome. That makes it the better game.”
Joe: “Shut up! You know nothing about games! NOTHING!”
Bob: “YOU’RE AN IDIOT!”
Joe: “SO’S YOUR MOM!!!”
*Joe and Bob proceed to fly at each other and begin a fight to the death with lightsabers*


A bit exaggerated, perhaps, but I’m sure you can think of many similar, um, conversations that you witnessed (or were even a part of) either online or in real life.

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Why do we get so defensive over things that don’t matter in the long run? Sure, it’s fine that we all have our opinions on things, but isn’t it unhealthy to state them as fact and get angry when people disagree with us? I would say yes. How, then, should things be handled?

Here’s an idea. How about we all learn the difference between opinion and fact and respect each others’ opinions whenever we happen to be discussing them? I dream of a world in which all opinion-related conversations go something like this:

Joe: “Ocarina of Time is my all-time favorite Zelda game!”
Bob: “Really? I liked Twilight Princess better, but that’s cool. What do you like about it?”
Joe: “I love the story, and the difficulty really kept me coming back. What do you like about Twilight Princess?”
Bob: “Everything! The darker story, the graphics, the music . . . it just really clicked with me, you know?”
Joe: “I get ya. That’s cool! I liked it okay, just not as much as other Zelda games.”
Bob: “To each their own!”


Wasn’t that a lot more pleasant? Unfortunately, we’ll ever reach a state in which people respect each others’ opinions like this all the time. I do think it’s a worthy goal to reach, though, so I say we reach for it!

TL;DR: Have your opinions, but respect others’ opinions as well, and have fun discussing them in a healthy manner. Please and thank you.

See you all next week!

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Well, it’s that time of year again! The most wonderful time of the year, many people say. Christmas is just a few days away from now.

I’ll keep this post short, as it’s getting to be the last fifteen minutes of Sunday, when I publish my new post every week.

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Christmas has been rather harshly commercialized in today’s culture. As soon as Halloween is over, Christmas music is playing on the radio. Stores start breaking out the Christmas stuff as early as October. Buying things and getting things is often seen to be the focus of the whole thing, which understandably stresses many people out. It can get really crazy.

Now, obviously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving and receiving gifts on Christmas. I love it, and I still get butterflies in my stomach from the sheer excitement of waking up on Christmas morning. But I just wanted to share this one thought: as we’re all gathering together, opening presents, giving presents, feasting, and all that jolly good stuff, let’s remember where it all comes from and why we commemorate the holiday in the first place.

Linus said it better than I probably could, so I’ll let him take it from here.

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Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!

In Defense of Bronies and “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”

Let’s just cut right to the chase.

I am a brony.

Once you’ve recovered from your shock, please continue reading. I promise I’m not insane.

All good? Okay.

So, I think by now pretty much everybody is aware of the “brony” phenomenon/controversy. Even if they’re not, I’m sure they’ve at least heard of the My Little Pony franchise, which started back in the 1980s. To give a very short summary, it started out as a toy line and soon spawned TV tie-ins, which included standalone specials, actual shows, and direct-to-video releases. There were three “generations” of the franchise until recently, with Generation 1 beginning in the 80s and Generation 3 in the early 2000s.

Based on a little bit of personal experience (we had a video that came with one of the toys ages ago) along with some research (mainly an hour-long documentary I found on Youtube), I can safely say that the older generations of My Little Pony were what you would think: cartoons aimed squarely at young girls with very little characterization, shallow stories, over-the-top cuteness . . . basically a show that is painful to watch for parents and older siblings.

Those older shows, however, are a thing of the past. In 2010, Hasbro launched a new generation of the My Little Pony franchise on the new Hub Network cable channel (formerly Discovery Kids). The show was headed by Lauren Faust, a veteran of cartoons who is most well-known for her work on Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends and The Powerpuff Girls. When given the task to create the new show, she wanted to make something that would be enjoyable for both kids and their parents.

And boy, did she do it.

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The latest generation of the My Little Pony show was called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It was released to mostly positive reviews from critics, and by the end of the first season was the most-watched show on the channel.

The basic premise of the show is this: in the land of Equestria (haha), in the castle at the capital city of Canterlot (haha), a scholastic pony named Twilight Sparkle (basically the Hermione Granger of the pony universe) lives as a student of supreme ruler Princess Celestia. At the beginning of the series, Twilight is sent to the town of Ponyville to learn about the magic of friendship.

Twilight Sparkle and one of her favorite hobbies: reading.

Twilight Sparkle doing one of her favorite hobbies: reading.

The princess gives her this task mainly because Twilight isn’t very skilled at making new friends. She has books, what other friends does she need? But she goes, and she ends up meeting five other ponies: Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy.

Five of the "mane six," as they're referred to by the fandom. From left to right: Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash.

Five of the “mane six,” as they’re referred to by the fandom. From left to right: Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash.

In each episode, one or more of the characters learns an important lesson about friendship, and Twilight reports these to the princess via letters. That’s the very basic overall story, but it gets much more complex than that as it goes along.

If you thought that all of the show’s viewers were little girls and sometimes their parents, you’d be wrong. The show now has a huge fanbase, which is especially prominent on the Internet (I’m sure you’ve seen some pony memes before), and a significant portion of the fanbase is made up of guys. Not just any guys, mind you — teenage and adult guys. They like to call themselves “bronies,” and I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain the etymology. (“Brony,” by the way, is now a term used for both male and female fans of the show. Another name for a female fan is “pegasister,” but this isn’t as widely used.)

You’re probably already aware of this phenomenon, but you may be wondering: WHY? Why on earth would grown men be interested in a show targeted at 8-year-old girls? Are they pedophiles or something? Or are they just seriously out-of-wack in the head? And for that matter, are YOU out-of-wack in the head? You said yourself you’re a brony!

Well, to answer, I’ll begin with the story of how I became a brony.

My first exposure to the show was through — you guessed it —  the Internet. I saw pictures from the show, memes, GIFs, all that kind of thing. And on some forums, I read about how guys were watching the show. My thoughts were very skeptical — I mean, a cartoon about ponies? And guys were watching this? Psh. What a joke.

Fast forward through time. One day, I walked into the living room to find my sisters watching a cartoon on Netflix. It didn’t take me long to recognize it as that weird new My Little Pony show. I stared at my sisters.

“You can’t be serious.”

They told me the show was funny, and good. I rolled my eyes and brushed it off.

My sisters continued watching the show pretty often, and occasionally I would catch a glimpse of it. I didn’t see anything that convinced me. But after a while, my sisters started calling me into the room so they could show me a funny clip from the show, most often a facial expression or two. And —  against my will, it seemed — I found myself laughing. Quite hard, actually.

As a result, my thought process changed a bit. Maybe, just maybe, the show was all right. That didn’t mean I was going to actually watch it, though. What would my friends think, especially the guys? Well, they didn’t have to know, but still . . . it was clearly a girls’ show, right? My masculinity was at stake.

Still, though, every now and then my sisters would show me another funny clip . . . and I got more and more interested.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember exactly how or when it happened, but I finally sat down and watched an entire episode with my sisters. Followed by another. And another. And another.

And a couple of weeks ago, I finished the entire currently released series on Netflix.

But WHY? I can almost hear your thoughts right now:

WHY ARE YOU WATCHING THIS JUNK?!

I’ll tell ya.

First of all, it’s not junk. Not in the slightest. The old My Little Pony cartoons had little reason to exist other than to help sell the toys. Not this one, though. Friendship is Magic is a good cartoon — heck, it’s a great cartoon! It’s well-written, it has excellent characters, the voice acting is top-notch, the songs are good (no, seriously, they are — and sometimes they’re REALLY good), the animation is fluid and well-styled, and the show teaches great lessons which can apply both to young girls and to anyone else who watches the show. Honesty. Loyalty. Kindness. Generosity. Laughter. These are the kind of things the show encourages.

Okay, you might be thinking. So it’s supposedly not a junky show. But it’s still made for little girls!

Well, that is true on one hand. But on the other hand, as I said before, Lauren Faust and the whole team behind the show made it with the parents in mind. They created a quality show, and quality tends to transcend traditional lines of what kind of things each gender likes or is supposed to like. I don’t hear anyone complaining when a girl is into boyish things. I wonder why it is that guys are ridiculed for being into more “feminine” things? That’s a larger question, though, and I don’t have the space here to fully address that. The main point is that if something is made well, it’ll often reach past the target audience and find fans from all different walks of life, ages, and genders.

This show is good. It just happens to be about ponies, the majority of whom are female. Once you get past that, you might find (as I did) that it’s quite enjoyable. That does not mean in any way, however, that everyone who watches it will like it. It’s not for everyone, and neither is any other show (or book, or movie). But it’s well-made, and I believe it deserves a chance rather than being blown off as a “little girls’ show.”

The show isn’t perfect — no show is. It tends to be overdramatic on occasion (which is also one of my only gripes with Phineas and Ferb), the lessons learned in each episode are nearly always stated explicitly at the end (which sort of makes sense, considering the target audience), and sometimes the villains who pop up sporadically are rather stereotypical (this is largely made up for, however, by one particular villain named Discord who comes at the beginning of Season 2). But, as with Phineas and Ferb, the pluses of the show definitely outweigh the minuses.

Have I mentioned how funny the show is? It’s brimming with humor, and sometimes it’s downright hysterical. There’s word play (e.g. the cities of Manehattan and Cloudsdale), sly pop culture references, fourth wall breaks, and occasionally pure insanity, just to name a few examples. One of the things that drew me most to the show, though, is the facial expressions of the characters. Let me give you a few examples of what the animators are capable of:

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Fluttershy_'very,_very_worried!'_S4E01

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And one of my personal favorites . . .

This is a little girls' show?!

This is a little girls’ show?!

I rest my case.

Look, I get it. It sounds weird. I like a cartoon about ponies targeted primarily at little girls. But hey, I’m not alone. As I said, there’s a huge brony fanbase. Many, if not most of them, were probably as skeptical as I was or as you are. But they gave it a shot, and they found that they enjoyed it.

I bet you know what’s coming next. Yes, I want you to give it a chance too.

If you’re a girl, you’re probably okay with giving it a shot. But if you’re a guy, you’re probably backing away slowly right now.

Am I going to shove this down your throat? Absolutely not! I am in no way trying to get you to do something against your will. If you’re not at all interested in trying it, don’t. Simple!

But, if I have managed to pique your interest at least a little, I really think you should try watching it.

The entire currently released series (four seasons) is on Netflix. You can watch in secret. What’s the worst that could happen? You might not be able to watch more than a few minutes. You might get through a whole episode before calling it quits. Or you might find yourself wanting to keep watching.

So, please, if you’re even a little bit interested, I urge you to keep an open mind and just give it a chance. If you don’t like it, IT’S OKAY! I won’t hate you. Pinkie promise.

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But hey, if you do end up liking it, that’s great! Welcome to the herd, as they say.

So. Episode suggestions.

You should probably start with the episode “Lesson Zero” (Season 2, Episode 3). It’s a great introduction to the main character, Twilight Sparkle, and gives you an idea of who all the other main characters are. Plus it’s really funny. You might wonder why I don’t suggest you start at the beginning of the series — well, I want to show you what the series is capable of, so I want to show you some of the best episodes. The two-part pilot is good, but it’s not the best introduction to the show. So anyway, “Lesson Zero.” Start there.

IMPORTANT NOTE. Don’t be put off by the title sequence. Trust me, that’s the girliest part of the show. If you can get through that without gagging, you’ll be just fine.

If you make it through that episode and want to try a little more, watch “May the Best Pet Win!” (Season 2, Episode 7). This episode contains one of the best songs in the series so far. I was blown away when I first saw/heard it (especially the last minute or so). If you’ve watched these two episodes and haven’t given up, try “Feeling Pinkie Keen” (Season 1, Episode 15) next.

It should be noted that you really do need to watch more than just two or three episodes to get a proper sampling of the series as a whole, so if you’re still with me, here’s a few more, in no particular watching order (although I’ll list them chronologically):

  • “Applebuck Season” (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • “Dragonshy” (Season 1, Episode 7)
  • “Sonic Rainboom” (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000” (Season 2, Episode 15) (This one has a great musical number that pays homage to “Ya Got Trouble” from Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.)
  • “Read It and Weep” (Season 2, Episode 16)
  • “Hurricane Fluttershy” (Season 2, Episode 22)
  • “Too Many Pinkie Pies” (Season 3, Episode 3)

If you’ve watched all of these and still want to try more, just face it. You are now a brony. And you should now just watch in chronological order from the beginning.


Okay, I think that pretty much covers it. Hopefully you don’t think I’m crazy, or feminine, or that I’ve lost my man card or something.

The  main point to take away from all of this is that, yes, the show is made primarily for young girls. But the key word is primarily. It’s a good quality show, and lots of fun, which is why I enjoy it. Just because it’s about colorful ponies doesn’t make it bad.

If you’re feeling brave, give it a shot. Really. Again, if you don’t like it, IT’S OKAY! I don’t want you to watch it if you don’t like it. I just think it deserves a chance. I really do.

All right, I’d better sign off before I ramble too long. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Until next week, friends!

Lessons from “Frozen,” Part 3 of 3: Everyone’s a Bit of a Fixer Upper!

And now, it’s time for the third and final installment of “Lessons from Frozen!” In this post, I discuss a very important point that Frozen makes — a point that really needs to be heard in this day and age. (By the way, just because this is the last of this “trilogy” of posts does not mean I’ll never write about this film again. Just so you know. :P)

Everyone has heard the phrase “nobody’s perfect” countless times in their lives. It seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? We’re human, and being imperfect is part of our fallen human nature. So if that’s true, I have a question: where the heck did the idea of a “perfect companion” come from?

This idea has taken hold of today’s culture. Single (and sometimes not) people everywhere are constantly talking about what their ideal spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or what have you would be like. Many of them even make lists of their traits. “He has to be tall, dark, and handsome.” “She has to have blonde hair and blue eyes.” “He has to be able to sing and cook.” “She has to be a good kisser.”

Many people are guilty of doing something like this at some point in their lives. They create a personal fantasy in which, someday, their “perfect companion” will come into their lives and sweep them off of their feet. Happiness. Rainbows. Unicorns. Blah blah blah. You get the point.

Why do people do this? People desire love, of course. Everyone desires to be loved, as I pointed out in Part 1 of these posts. Everyone desires to “be completed” by someone — a perfect individual who will satisfy all their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Siiigh. It sounds soooooo romantic, doesn’t it?

Well, maybe so. However, I hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but I’m gonna lay down the truth right now.

There is no such thing as a “perfect companion.”

NO ONE on this earth will ever completely satisfy us. NO ONE on this earth will always be there for us. NO ONE on this earth will completely understand and relate to us.

Thanks, Mr. Sunshine, you might be thinking. Way to lift everyone’s spirits.

But wait. Notice how I said no one on this earth will ever complete us. As it turns out, it is God that people are truly longing for. There is a God-shaped hole in everyone’s heart. When people try to fill it with anything that is less than God — meaning anything but God — they are left unsatisfied.

Men and women complement each other. They do not complete each other. Only God completes people.

That is an important point, but it’s secondary to the main point of this post, which is this: Frozen makes a very clear and wonderful message concerning the problem of “the perfect companion.” This message mainly takes root in the rousing number called “Fixer Upper.”

Before we get to the song, though, a little bit of background. Anna meets Hans and “falls in love” with him early in the film, as discussed in Part 1. He seems perfect — handsome, funny, romantic,  a good dancer, etc. (These are traits which probably have appeared on many people’s “perfect companion” list.) She’s ready to marry him as soon as he proposes to her.

Soon, though, reality slaps Anna in the face when Elsa refuses to bless the marriage. An accident happens, Elsa runs away, and Anna goes after her, as we all know. On her way up the mountain, Anna meets a guy who sells ice by the name of Kristoff.

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Kristoff, to Anna, is nearly the opposite of handsome Prince Hans. Kristoff speaks somewhat roughly, treats his pet reindeer like a person, and says that all men pick their noses and eat their boogers. Ew. Not to mention, he’s just like Elsa in that he simply cannot believe that she got engaged to someone she had just met the very same day. Anna can’t wait to reach her sister and thus be rid of her earthy mountain guide.

As the journey up the mountain continues, however, the two do begin to grow more tolerant of each other. Still, though, Anna is in love with Hans and she can’t wait to get back to him and marry him. But when Anna is struck in the heart by Elsa’s powers, Kristoff takes her to see his friends — the “love experts,” as he referred to them earlier.

These love experts turn out to be a troop of rocky, mossy, big-nosed trolls, and they’re absolutely thrilled to see that Kristoff has brought a girl. He hastens to clarify the situation, but they don’t seem to listen. When Anna also insists that there is nothing between her and Kristoff, the trolls begin their song — “Fixer Upper.”

In the song, they ask Anna why she’s “holding back from such a man,” and proceed to list several of Kristoff’s less-than-perfect qualities. Among them are the “pear-shaped, square-shaped weirdness of his feet;” that though he “washes well, he always ends up sort of smelly;” “that he’s socially impaired;” and “his unmanly blondness.”

They sing:

“So he’s a bit of a fixer upper / so he’s got a few flaws…”

“So he’s a bit of a fixer upper / but this we’re certain of:

You can fix this fixer upper up with a little bit of love”

This becomes the glue that holds the message of their song together. The bridge goes like this:

“We’re not saying you can change him, ’cause people don’t really change

We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange

People make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed

But throw a little love their way… and you’ll bring out their best

True love brings out the best”

Now that’s very interesting. How many times have you heard of people wanting to get into a relationship with someone who’s not quite up to standard, and they say: “Oh, I’ll change him/her!” The message here, though, is that you can’t change other people. What you can do, however, is bring out the best in others by truly loving them.

And finally, the clincher:

“Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper / that’s what it’s all about

Father, sister, brother / we need each other to raise us up and round us out

Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper / but when push comes to shove

The only fixer upper fixer that can fix up a fixer upper is true love”

Wow. I want to give whoever wrote this song a cookie.

Read those lyrics! Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper! Everyone’s got a few flaws! But while that may be true, we can build each other up and push each other to become the best we can be through love. True love. What a great message for today’s culture.

Anna finds out that the trolls are right. After she discovers Hans’s plot, and that Kristoff loves her, she falls for him, which she never would have dreamed of earlier in the film. Sure, he’s got a few flaws. He’s not perfect. But neither is she. And they can both help each other grow by loving each other to the best of their ability.

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I am so, so grateful to Disney for making this film. In the midst of a culture that promotes the idea of a “perfect companion,” along comes a film that happily proclaims that nobody is perfect. Everyone’s got flaws. Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper.

And that’s okay. Because true love brings out the best in everyone.

Bravo, Disney. Bravo.


That’s all for “Lessons from Frozen!” I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and maybe learned a thing or two from them.

Got anything to add? Comment, please! I’d love to hear from you. :D

That’s all for now. Until next post, friends!

 

Lessons from “Frozen,” Part 1 of 3: True Love vs. Infatuation

Disney’s most recent animated musical, Frozen, has been almost universally praised by audiences and critics alike, with good reason. It’s a very well-crafted film on many levels, it has great music, the characters are memorable and real, etc. To go further, I’d like to propose that another reason why this film has been so successful is that it teaches wonderful lessons that today’s society is dying to hear. This post will cover one of the three of these lessons that I’ll be talking about, and everyone is more than welcome to add their voices to the discussion! Be sure to leave a comment with your insights!

WARNING: These posts will contain plot spoilers. If you haven’t seen the movie, by golly, see it already! It’s been out for, like, half a year. Come on.

So, this first post is about true love vs. infatuation. If you ask people today what love is, you will find that their answers vary greatly. Some define it as a feeling, some define it as an action. Some will say it is the equivalent of what should actually be called lust. As a more concrete example, here’s the top three definitions that appeared when I did a Yahoo search for “love definition:”

  1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.

  2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.

  3. Sexual passion.

Hmm. I find it interesting that each of these definitions places love squarely in the realm of emotions and feelings. Certainly there are emotions that come along with love, but are they what love actually is?

Frozen attempts to answer that question. I find that the answer it provides is very much in line with the truth.

In the film, we have Anna, one of two princesses of Arendelle, who has been kept locked up inside the castle with her sister Elsa since her childhood, as the result of the accident caused by Elsa’s wintry powers. Quite understandably, she’s dying to get outside and meet everyone on Coronation Day. “I can’t wait to meet everyone!” she exclaims. Then she goes on to wonder, “What if I meet the one?”

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Anna deeply desires love, which makes sense. She’s human. We all desire to be loved — it’s written in our nature. So when she runs into (literally) the handsome prince from the Southern Isles, Hans, she believes that she has found love at last. She and Hans laugh and talk together, skid down hallways in their socks, and even sing a catchy duet about their supposed love for each other.

“Our mental synchronization / can have but one explanation,”

they sing.

“You and I were just meant to be.”

Anna, she believes, is in love. Hans is handsome, a good dancer, fun, and he cares about her. She accepts Hans’ marriage proposal immediately. After all, they were made for each other. He’s perfect.

A little bit too perfect, wouldn’t you think? Hmm.

So when Anna and Hans ask Elsa to give them her blessing, she rightfully refuses, which greatly offends her sister. Anna simply doesn’t understand why Elsa would refuse. So what if they just met? As she tells Kristoff later on, “It’s true love!” Why should it matter how long they’ve known each other?

This is a problem I see often in today’s society. Why are people so willing to jump into relationships with people they barely know? Why are people so obsessed with famous (and, of course, attractive) actors, musicians, and other celebrities? They are merely skimming the surface — they are looking only with their eyes. They see the attractive body but not the soul. What is the result? In the case of dating, not far into the relationship, they get bored with each other — they “fall out of love” — and decide to split up and find someone new.

Is it any wonder that so many people are unhappy in today’s culture? Is it any wonder why America has a 50% divorce rate, at least last I checked? This culture does not understand true love, just as Anna doesn’t.

Fast-forward to later in the film. Anna has been struck by Elsa’s powers again, this time in the heart rather than the head. She’s in dire need. The trolls tell her that “only an act of true love can melt a frozen heart.” Great! She and Hans are in love! All she needs to do is run to Hans quick as a flash and get a true love’s kiss from him! Problem solved!

Or not.

Anna reaches Hans, thanks to Kristoff and Sven. But it’s then that she discovers the terrible truth: Hans doesn’t love her. His sweet talk, his charm, his marriage proposal… it was all fake. He used her. It was all just part of his selfish plans. He leaves her locked in a cold, dark room, heartbroken and dying. I bet many a person seeing this film who has been used in a similar way can relate very deeply to Anna in this scene.

Soon, the snowman Olaf finds her and decides to stay with her, promising that he won’t leave until they’ve figured out another act of true love that can cure her. Anna doesn’t have a positive outlook on this.

“I don’t even know what love is,” she admits to Olaf.

“Well, I do,” he says. “It’s putting someone else’s needs before yours.”

*applauds Frozen’s screenwriter(s)*

And as it turns out, what Olaf says is true. When Anna realizes that it’s Kristoff who loves her, she goes out to find him so he can give her a true love’s kiss. She calls out for him in the cold, and then sees him running toward her. For a moment, it seems to her that everything will be all right after all.

But then she sees something else. Hans is silently approaching Elsa from behind, sword at the ready.

So what does Anna do?

She throws herself between Hans and Elsa, blocking Hans’ sword and shattering it as she turns into an ice sculpture.

Everyone stares in disbelief as Elsa embraces the statue, crying for her apparently dead sister. But within moments, Anna has returned to her normal self.

Once the initial shock subsides, Elsa asks, “You sacrificed yourself for me?”

“I love you,” Anna says simply.

That is an act of true love. That is what love is. Anna was about to die, but so was her sister. And she decided to save her sister’s life. She put someone else’s needs before her own.  As a result, she saved not only Elsa but her own life as well. Anna has matured and learned what true love is.

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Our culture desperately needs to hear this message. So many people fall into the same trap that Anna did with Hans. They see only the surface value of everyone around them and, as the phrase goes, look for love in all the wrong places. They believe that love is nothing more than feelings or attraction. And, tragically, this most often results in heartbreak and/or the use of others as a means to an end.

Frozen sets out to prove that things like infatuation and emotion do not equal love. It shows that true love is selfless — putting the needs of others above our own.

That is a message I deeply hope that people will take to heart when they see this film.


Stay tuned for Part 2: Conceal, Don’t Feel!