“The past is not what it seems. A wrong demands to be righted.” An image of a massive dam appears on the screen, and that’s when you know: Frozen 2 rocks. It is a river movie, a rallying cry for the environment, a story that couldn’t have come at a better time. High five to Disney, for making a movie that celebrates free rivers.
In the movie, the problems begin when the king gives the native people a dam to “strengthen their waters” as a “gift of peace.” But the dam wasn’t a gift, it was a trick.
The dam becomes the root of all problems, leading to fighting and angry spirits. A mist engulfs the forest, locking everyone out.
Elsa and Anna, hearing this story, ask their mother if the forest will wake up. “Only the river knows,” she tells them. The river is the source of memory and knowledge. It holds the answers to the past, what we’re all a part of.
Elsa hears a call from the forest and follows the voice. She wants to find the truth. She learns about the harm her grandfather caused to the native Northuldra people. She sees a vision from the past: A Northuldra man is talking about how the dam has hurt the forest and his people.
Her grandfather says patronizingly, “Let’s sit down and have some tea.”
The river is the source of truth, power, magic. Anna realizes they need to break the dam to free the forest and save Arendelle.
Your heart will soar as Kristoff gallops up on Sven, the reindeer, and tells Anna, “I’m here! What do you need?”
“To get to the dam!” she shouts.
You will cheer as the earth giants hurl their boulders. [Note: will you ever float a river again and not see the canyon walls as the bodies of giants that could come to life?]
Once the river is flowing freely again, all is well. Balance and justice are restored.
This is a story we need right now, as our world is sorely out of balance. We need more stories that celebrate the natural world and our place in it. We need more stories about listening to nature and each other.
Here’s hoping Frozen 2 inspires a new generation of river protectors.