With so many Christian-themed Hollywood films set to release in the coming months, some are declaring 2014 “the year of the Bible.” While many of these movies will deal overtly with religious themes, one college professor is claiming that “Frozen,” Disney’s most recent animated feature, contains a more covert Christian allegory worth highlighting.
Collin Garbarino, assistant history professor at Houston Baptist University, has said he sees parallels between Dante’s “Inferno” and the central themes and story line present in “Frozen.” In fact, in a recent article about the subject, he wrote, “Disney’s ‘Frozen’ might be the most Christian movie that I have seen this year.”
Garbarino also believes that Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity’s sins is mirrored, to a degree, in the film. To illustrate his points during an interview with Fox News over the weekend, the professor first explained the central tenets of Christianity.
“The Christian message is that people are sinners and have these broken relationships and that Christ comes and takes on the punishment for that sin, dies a death that he didn’t deserve, and then is resurrected and then brings reconciliation through people,” he said.
Then, Garbarino proceeded to explain that Elsa, the main character in “Frozen,” experiences a similar paradigm when it comes to her relationship with her sister Anna.
“In the movie, Elsa has broken relationships and she has guilt and she pushes people away — and her sister is sort of like a Christ figure who pursues her,” the professor continued. “Christ comes and pursues and Anna comes and pursues — and when she pursues her she has to die and then she’s resurrected, which kind of proves the strength of her love and it brings reconciliation and Elsa is saved because her sister dies.”
As noted, Garbarino discussed these themes on his website last month. Specifically citing comparisons between Elsa and Satan, he described how the theme of ice is present — and significant — in both “Frozen” and “Inferno.” He wrote:
While watching this scene I was overwhelmed with memories of Dante’s Inferno. In the Inferno, Dante takes a trip through nine circles of hell, telling about the sinners and punishments he sees along the way. When Dante gets to the very bottom of hell he finds Satan. But the bottom of hell isn’t a fiery pit, as most of us would suspect, it’s a frozen wasteland, and Satan is frozen up to his waist in ice.
Satan has six great wings, and every time he flaps them, they produce an icy blast that further freezes him in place. His wings were a gift, but since he is trying to use his gift to serve himself rather than God, his wings have become a curse.
Satan and Elsa suffer from the same desire. They both long to be free. Elsa wants the freedom to be herself by shedding obligations to family and society. Satan wants to fly. Nothing says freedom more than flight. In both instances their desire for freedom imprisons them in ice. Ice of their own making.
Read the rest of Garbarino’s article here. We’ll leave you with the trailer for “Frozen” below:
(H/T: Daily Mail)
Featured image via Disney Animation’s YouTube account.