Our family is far from the only one that has fallen under the spell of “Frozen,” the Walt Disney movie that catapulted Olaf to fame. With more than $1 billion in worldwide box office revenue, it recently became the highest grossing animated film of all time.
For those who may not be familiar with the storyline, “Frozen” is a retelling of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale “The Snow Queen.”
The main characters are two orphan princesses, one of whom has magical powers that allow her to whip up winter anytime she wants. Olaf is one of her creations.
“Frozen” is a love story but not of the “boy saves damsel in distress and they live happily ever after” variety.
Even in the age of female empowerment, I have grown so accustomed to this format that I was doing some matchmaking in my head after the two male characters were introduced.
“Ok,” I thought. “She’s into him right now, but she’s obviously meant to be with the other guy. Boy number one really seems better suited for the older sister. Once he falls for her, we’ll wrap up with a double wedding. Cue credits.”
I am happy to report that my predictions were way off base.
The songs from the film are some of the best to come out of Disney since “Beauty and the Beast,” which I consider to be the gold standard for animated movies from my childhood.
Honestly, you might as well learn to love “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and “Let it Go” on first hearing because they are going to be stuck in your head for days anyway.
The only criticism that Zac, Wyatt and I had concerning “Frozen” is that we wanted to see more of Olaf.
The trailers featuring his most memorable lines and antics led us to believe that the whole movie was about him.
In fact, Olaf doesn’t make his grand entrance until about 40 minutes into the film.
Wyatt, who inherited a lack of patience from both parents, was fed up with waiting the first time he watched the DVD with my mother. “Nana, where’s that snowman?” he demanded, seconds before Olaf appeared.
Without question, Olaf is the star of “Frozen.” He melted my heart with his opening line: “I’m Olaf and I like warm hugs.”
All of the other characters have flaws that render them unlikeable at times. The worst that can be said about Olaf is that he is naïve and has an unhealthy attraction to heat.
Olaf is a sharp contrast to the misconceptions about love that abound in “Frozen.”
His affection is untainted by pride or selfishness. We never see him asking “What’s in it for me?” or “What have you done for me lately?”
Olaf is as pure as the snow used to create him. I think that is the main reason that he steals the show, despite having only about 12 minutes of screen time.
I thought about Olaf recently when Zac and I were going over one of his devotions for Lent.
To illustrate “the last will be first and the first will be last” concept, he was asked to recall the last 10 teams who have won the World Series, the five wealthiest people in the world, five people who have won a Nobel Prize, five people who have won a Pulitzer Prize, etc.
Other than the World Series question, he struggled to come up with the answers.
Of course, he had an easier time with the second part of the test, which asked about friends who have helped him through a difficult time and the people he enjoys being around when he wants to relax.
The writer’s point was that the people who get the most attention in this world are rarely the ones who make a difference in our lives.
Although the screenwriters of “Frozen” gave Olaf the fewest lines, they did entrust him with the movie’s most important lesson – some people are worth melting for.