What surprises me most about Frozen II is the fact that it wasn’t nearly as popular as Frozen. People didn’t go as crazy for it and it didn’t end up with a song that was covered more times than 9/11. I know that analogy doesn’t fit, but stick with me here.
In my opinion, Frozen II is a deeper movie and the song Into the Unknown is far more powerful and meaningful than Let it Go.
The film, by no means, did poorly and has received mostly favourable criticism, but it should have been bigger and I think I understand why it wasn’t.
Psychologically, as a society, most people are still in that Let it Go state. Most people are still trying to overcome their childhood trauma and reconnect with their emotions. Most people are just beginning to be “woke” and just beginning to understand the scope of the greater journey that lies ahead of them.
Our Western society is stuck in a Road of Trials loop, my Dear Heroines and Heroes, and it’s our responsibility to lead the way to Atonement and Freedom.
Frozen II is a movie that can help if people will give it the chance. Unfortunately, it’s aimed at children, so most adults will ignore it. Unfortunately, it’s a Disney movie, so most adults will ignore it. Unfortunately, it’s protagonists are powerful Feminine archetypes, so most adults will ignore it.
Even those who don’t ignore it may not see Frozen II’s more powerful message if they simply want more Let it Go and more closing up and locking up of doors and then dramatically flinging them open.
And we can’t really blame people for not getting the deeper message, because they simply aren’t used to seeing the Return portions of Hero’s Journeys on the big screen. When you’ve only begun your own Hero’s Journey, it’s really difficult to understand what it means to reach your Best and Highest Self.
Hello, Spiritual Seekers, and welcome to the continuation episode of our deep-dive into the world of Arendelle and the Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys of Elsa and Anna.
As always, I’m your host, Mark, because some things never change even though I’m always changing. My friend, Michael, recently said to me, “You keep changing.” He said he normally wouldn’t say that to someone, but in the context of our conversation it made perfect sense.
I had been telling him that I felt I had deeper places to go and that I’m probably going to get weirder and maybe even a little more detached from physicality as the years go by.
So, it was very encouraging to have Michael’s blessing to continue changing and I’ve found some comfort in Frozen II as well, because this movie is all about going deeper and becoming something greater than you were before.
We last left Elsa and Anna on the cusp of the Return stages of their Binary Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys: Elsa brought The Ultimate Boon of magic and beauty to Arendelle and Anna was Pregnant with the hope of a brilliant future.
As Frozen II opens, we see that Anna definitely seems to have everything she’s ever wanted. She’s completely living in her Bliss. She has friends and love and joy and open doors and she has her sister close at hand at all times.
In fact, if you look at the situation intently, you can see that Anna has become the Mother. In Heroine’s Journey terms, this step is what I call The Housewife. Anna has the perfect life that she’s always wanted and what she needs to be very, very careful about at this point is holding onto that perfect life too hard.
You see, Anna is actually toeing the line of Villainy throughout a large portion of this movie. She mothers and smother Elsa to the point of almost becoming a Devouring Mother archetype simply because she is so afraid of losing her connection with her sister once again.
Ralph from Wreck-it-Ralph II was in a very similar situation in his relationship with Vanillope. I talk about that one in step twelve of my Hero’s Journey series.
Elsa, meanwhile, is in a very different place mentally and emotionally. She actually feels out-of-place. In story-telling terms, this looks very much like a new Hero’s Journey – especially as there seems to be a very literal Call to Adventure that she keeps hearing.
However, Elsa is actually at the Refusal of Return loop of her previous Hero’s Journey. Elsa has a further and deeper place to go and the Voice she keeps hearing is the Rescue from Without help that she needs to get her started on her way.
Now, perhaps you’re slightly confused. If this is Elsa’s Return stage of her Hero’s Journey, shouldn’t she have left from somewhere? Well, she did actually come from somewhere else, she simply doesn’t know that did. The Voice she hears comes from deep Within her as much as it comes from Without her.
Look at it like I explained in my Kung Fu Panda series: in that series of movies, Po actually came out from the Panda Village. He doesn’t remember the Panda Village until he comes across the ruins of it and he doesn’t know that the pandas have made a new home for themselves in the mountains.
However, in Kung Fu Panda 3, Po’s birth father, Li, finds him and brings him back to the Panda Village. That is Po’s Return to where he came from.
Elsa must now make this same journey. While she doesn’t know it yet, her mother was a Northuldran which makes Elsa, by birth and in spirit and Northuldran. Elsa must Return to her homeland.
And this makes Elsa’s Return Journey very, very interesting. Honestly, I can’t say I’ve seen any other Return story quite like it. You see, Elsa’s Journey is kind of a Return loop of sorts, but not in a bad way, because there are further and deeper levels that she must go along the way – it’s more like a downward spiral.
First there is the evacuation of Arendelle and the not-so-Magic Flight to the Enchanted Forest where a Return Threshold must be crossed. Elsa crosses another Threshold when she attempts to cross the ocean and eventually asserts her dominance over the Water Spirit – now there’s a bloody proper Magic Flight!
And Elsa crosses a third Threshold when she enters Ahtohallan and then a fourth Threshold when she jumps into Ahtohallan’s darkest depths.
That, Dear Listeners, is some goddamn serious Soul-Work – the kind that’s generally years in the making. I think it may have something to do with how powerful a person is or what kind of talents and capabilities that they may have: the more capable you are, the more you’re going to be tested and challenged and to deeper depths you’ll have to plunge to reach your highest potential – to whom much is given, much will be required.
All this talk about Elsa brings me to an interesting point in our analysis of Frozen II. There’s only 20 minutes of the movie left and our dearest Anna hasn’t budged from The Housewife step of her Heroine’s Journey. She keeps hearing The Call from Home – the next step of her Heroine’s Journey – and she took the journey with Elsa to the Enchanted Forest, but Anna really wants the problem to be solved and to have Arendelle back as it was with her sister at her side.
That’s genuine Devouring Mother syndrome: having everything you ever wanted and denying change to yourself and to everyone around you.
This is why the movie talks about change so much. This is why Olaf says to Anna:
Change is necessary for each one of us to live our best life and to reach our highest potential. We may not like it. We may not want it, but it’s going to happen.
So, here Anna sits in a dark cave. Her sister is frozen and apparently dead. Her friend is unfrozen and seemingly dead. Her boyfriend has, from her point of view, abandoned her for some reindeer games. Anna’s world has completely fallen apart. Everything she’s ever wanted is now out of her reach and possibly gone forever.
In Frozen II it’s Anna’s turn to almost be the Villain. I’m quite certain that we all know at least one person who has been in that same position: someone who has lost everything so they lash out at the world and blame everyone and everything for their loss.
Anna could very well become that person at this point in the movie. She could give into the same fear that her grandfather did when he attacked the Northuldran because of their use of magic. Anna could blame magic and the Spirits and the Northuldran for the loss of all she holds dear.
Anna could continue the cycle of generational trauma if she so chose.
And in the moment, who could really blame her? She’s grieving the loss of her sister, her friend, her lover and her kingdom. She’s grieving the fact that her wonderful life was built on the blood of innocents. In her grief she could easily turn a blind eye to that fact: she’s hurting right now, it’s not her fault that someone else was hurt decades before, she didn’t do it.
But one thing we all know about Anna is that she’s strong-willed as Hell itself and she’s just too bloody good to let herself go bad for very long at all.
What comes next is what I call The Challenge of the Throne step of the Heroine’s Journey. Anna is grieving and hurting, but she has always been a powerful Queen at heart and every good Queen will put her kingdom and subjects first – even if it means having to destroy it.
Anna knows that she has to do the next right thing. Her past…our past may be built on lies and heinous acts, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it right and move forward. Every good Heroine must make a Sacrifice to reach her Best and Highest Self and in order to move forward, Anna must Sacrifice the dam that holds the waters back from Arendelle.
The dam that holds the deep waters of the Feminine and the Emotions and the Spirit back from our Masculine-driven societies has to be sacrificed and broken down.
Are you seeing the parallels here? Just like Elsa had deeper and deeper levels to dive into, I’m always trying to encourage you to go to deeper levels with your movies and books and art. There are entertainment levels, meta levels, rational levels, political levels, societal levels, personal levels, emotional levels and spiritual levels to all the bits of story-telling and symbolism of the visual elements.
More on that water symbolism in a moment, because what comes before the dam breaks is Anna’s The Empath/The Businesswoman step of her Heroine’s Journey. It comes at the moment that she is leading the giants to the dam and Kristoff and Sven swoop in to rescue her from being crushed. Notice how Kristoff doesn’t try to carry her off, he doesn’t yell at her or try to stop her, he just says:
To which Anna responds with:
That, my Dear Listeners, is Feminine and Masculine energy in harmony. Anna is fully using her heart and her emotions to guide her and she’s using her head and her leadership abilities to get the job done.
All of these frenetic actions lead to the dam being destroyed and Arendelle facing imminent doom, but never fear, my Dear Heroes and Heroines, the Fifth Element is here to save you!
No, not that Fifth Element! Although it’s kind of the same thing…hmmm…
That’s for another time…The bridge between the elements – YOU! You’re there with your powers to temper the raging waters of Spirit. Waters of the emotions that have been dammed up for far too long. They want to be out, to be free. They aren’t aware that they could destroy everything in their path.
But you are there to save your Self, just as Elsa was to save Arendelle.
Which brings me to the end of our analysis today with Elsa and Anna having reached their Best and Highest Self and living contentedly in Balanced Worlds. Elsa is truly a Master of Two Worlds and maybe even more worlds and Anna has given herself The Permission of Happiness even though she doesn’t always have her sister in sight at all times.
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I’ve been your host, Mark, this has been an examination of the final steps of the Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys of Elsa and Anna throughout the film Frozen II and I know that if you make peace with your past that it will change you into a higher version of your Self so that you can make peace with the Kingdom of your Soul and bring great change to your world.
You have all the weapons and knowledge you need within you, everything is working out in your favour and I will see you on all past, present and future episodes of Think Spiritual.
Blessings of Goddess upon you.