Frozen 2: the river movie of the decade?

The story of Frozen II couldn’t have come at a better time.

By Amy Souers Kober | December 2, 2019
Tar Creek, OK | Photo by Ian Maule
Tar Creek, OK | Photo by Ian Maule

“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.

Dam Removal, Protecting Rivers

7 responses to “Frozen 2: the river movie of the decade?”

  • Kaeley says:

    Hi Amy, I had the same exact reaction to watching Frozen 2 and I really would like to talk with you. I am organizing workshops and events advocating for supporting Rep Simpson in his Columbia basin initiatives and snake river dam removal (used to be an environmental lobbyist in DC with FCNL, now chronically ill musician). Could you contact me and set up a zoom about how we could collaborate?

  • Sanda says:

    This story is all about ”hoover dam” i suppose. As i found native americans in Navajo suffered from this dam greatly. So i think its better to find alternative power sources and free the water to downstream lands even by breaking the dam and safely release the water.

  • Brenna says:

    It is interesting to read the comments. The challenge is that wind and solar don’t provide steady power at night, we need a base load of power and that is where hydropower supports integrating renewables. There are tradeoffs to all energy choices and avoiding blackouts, curbing gas/coal, and preparing for addressing climate change point to smart hydropower to enable our clean energy future. Maybe that was a bit much for Disney to bite off for 8 year-olds.

  • Darrel R. Martin says:

    It’s a bit of a non-sequitur to suggest that the automatic alternative to hydropower is coal plants. Renewable energy is now cheaper than coal, and investment is far outpacing the ham fisted attempts to revitalise the coal sector.

  • Amy Kober says:

    Actually, it seems like there’s great potential for wind and geothermal in Arendelle

    But seriously, a future of free rivers and clean energy is possible. Check out:

  • Kristin says:

    Yeah, but Disney neglected to point out that they all had to then live in darkness because they have no hydropower.

    The plot to Frozen 3 should be about coal fired plants being constructed to replace the hydropower and thus, caused accelerated global warming that melts Elsa’s ice. There’s a storyline.

  • Marian Stumpf says:

    What a wonderful commentary!!!

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