Frozen: A Guest Post From the Meadow Room (5yr)

This is a guest post from Nancy Sowder, who teaches with Robyn in the class of the oldest preschool children. See more Sabot preschool blogs at sabotpreschool.blogspot.com

A Story for the Girls, Part 2: A Theory
Pretend play based on the movie Frozen continued for the entire year.  We read a beautiful version of The Snow Queen and after finishing the story, which took more than 2 weeks, the children immediately wanted to read it again.  We have gone on to other Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales.

The children also wrote their own stories and performed them in circle.  These stories combined many characters from disparate sources; movies, invented characters, and video games.

Robyn and I went to see the movie Frozen earlier in the year so we would know the story the children were playing out.  There were some parts that we questioned, and we were surprised that the children were drawn to Elsa, when Anna seemed a more likely hero.  After all, Elsa was challenging - "she couldn't control her system." (Caroline, 5)

This is what I have come to believe:

Many people celebrate the fact that Frozen is, at last, a Disney movie in which the princess is not rescued by a prince; and that is refreshing indeed.  I think it has captured the children's interest for a variety of reasons, (beyond dresses and costumes) including the love of two sisters.

But I believe there is a deeper reason that this movie has taken their attention so completely.  I do not think it is a coincidence that the children, who are all working hard to learn to control impulses and make generous choices, who sometimes make mistakes and hurt others in spite of their love and desire to nurture, who may be separated from their closest connections as a consequence of not having that control; are drawn to a hero who has power that is at first beyond her.  She is a hero who unintentionally hurts someone they love, who suffers, and regrets, and tantrums, and puts herself in "time-out".  But in the end, a hero who offers hope and reassurance:  transgressions can be righted and power can be harnessed.  Maybe they too can gain control, as we know they will, and transform that unruly, unpredictable quality of their own power at this stage in their life, into the capacity to bring wonder and joy to others.  

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