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Why is Frozen 2 the best thing for therapists

(and people in general) since Inside Out?

Both Frozen 2 and Inside Out are, in my opinion, amazing movies that help provide generations with the tools for better emotional intelligence. Inside Out gives children (and people) everywhere the tactile understanding that emotions are not good or bad - but *information.* I’ve been speaking about this to clients and groups for years. Our job as humans, often the hardest job, is to be able to be a receptacle for strong, complex, nuanced, and sometimes warring emotions. Inside Out gave a name, voice, and character to some of the Big Feelings, and helped therapists everywhere help clients articulate what they are feeling.

When I went to see Frozen 2 with my kiddos I was expecting a relatively entertaining hour. I was hoping that they would *finally* let Johnathan Groff sing, and that Olaf wouldn’t bug me as much as he did in the first one. I had heard a few neat things about the making-of, but I hadn’t even watched a trailer.

I Was Riveted. Not only was the music phenomenal and the overall aesthetic of the movie gorgeous, there were a few pivotal points that made my therapist heart grow four times bigger.

Number one. “Sven” singing, “your feelings are real, and you feel how you feel…” I have already heard my five year old tell this to other people like eight times since we saw this movie this week!!! It’s cute, it rhymes, it’s said by an adorable animal sidekick, and the message is excellent. Your feelings are real, and you feel how you feel… thank you, Sven, for helping us “let down our guard…”

Second. That whole entire song about grief. Most of us have encountered the feeling before. It was so poignant that I actually had a friend text me and warn me about it ahead of time. Anna literally pulled herself up and out of a hole. The weight. The ever-pressing weight of grief had me pinned to my cushy-movie-theater chair like I had rocks on my chest. It was such a powerful expression of the depth of raw sadness.

Not only did it feel accurate, but it had another important message. “...make that choice to hear that voice and do the next right thing.” Feelings come. Choices still matter. You know how we tell kids, “it’s okay to be angry but it’s not okay to hit your brother?” (or just me? A lot?) It’s okay to have your feelings, it’s not okay to hurt other people as a result of them. Hurt people hurt, the saying goes. It’s understandable, but not excusable. It’s 2020 folks. Do your work. Even when it’s from grief. Your choices matter.

Fourth, Kristoff says to Anna, “My love is not fragile.” This was the point in the movie that I just keeled over and died. He sang an entire song about his feelings AND processed them like a healthy grownup AND didn’t need to make a huge amount of drama about it?! Kristoff, you are my new role model -- and most importantly -- a role model for boys and girls growing up in a world where Frozen 2 is setting the standard.

Speaking of my new favorite Disney fella, “I’m here, what do you need?” I am almost weepy with the thought that future generations of kids will see a prominent, physically strong, male cartoon character swoop up beside his leading lady and ASK HOW TO BE HELPFUL WITHOUT TAKING OVER OR DERAILING HER PLAN. Now that is how to be a supportive partner! I also appreciate that Anna accepts his help! They work together, help each other, grow in separate ways and then continue together. They support each other’s relationships with others, spend quality time together when it’s not all drama (family game night as an example), and are two individual people choosing to be in a partnership.

Bonus awesome that the creators of Frozen 2 did is less about the story and characters, and more about the making of the movie. Disney consulted extensively with indigenous groups in order to respectfully represent their communities in this movie -- and it shows. If you want to read more, check this out.

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