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05 December 2014

Why Disney should let Frozen go

Why Disney should let Frozen go

Creative Commons: Flickr: Ricky Brigante

It would be fair to say that I'm a Frozen fan. I love Frozen as much as the next person – if not far, far more – and could talk of nothing else when the film was released last Christmas. I bored my colleagues no end with renditions of Let It Go, recently got 15/15 in an online Frozen quiz, and even have a soft-toy Olaf sat on my desk at work. As I said… I'm a bit of a fan.

Understandably, when a friend heard the news this week that Disney was set to release a 10-minute follow-up to Frozen alongside Cinderella, they immediately informed me and expected an ecstatic response. Perhaps surprisingly, even to me, I felt a twinge of disappointment. I'm sure that I will be queueing up with the rest of the world to see what happens next in Elsa and Ana's lives, but I kind of wish they had called it a day at one, ridiculously great film.

If you've been hiding under a rock in the middle of nowhere with ears muffled and no access to anyone under the age of 20 for the past year – you may have missed the entire Frozen fiasco. Frozen has become the highest grossing Disney film ever, outranking even The Lion King and Aladdin, and currently sits at number two on the all-time DVD and Blu-ray sale charts. So it makes perfect sense for Disney to monopolise on and maximise this unprecedented success, and give the people more of what they want.

The reason behind my sadness is this: I'm not sure I want any more. I loved it, I sing it, I've got the toy – but it's also a precious, special kind of love that I have for the film. Just go with me here… I fear that a sequel will only ruin it. Sometimes more is not necessarily more, as we've seen time and time again with sequels that have flunked and franchises that have been tainted by repetition.

It's part of our DNA as humans to seek more of what we enjoy. If something gives us a thrill, we want to repeat the experience – and therefore replicate it, doing it to death until it no longer interests us. Attracted by the next shiny, glittery thing, we ditch it and move on.

Jesus came up against this attitude a lot. The crowds, attracted by the supernatural healings they had heard about on the grapevine, flocked to him, desperate to get a piece of the action for themselves. They wanted to witness the magic man doing his stuff: "Did you see that? His hand grew back!", and be wowed, amazed and entertained. But Jesus would have none of it. So when they demanded a sign, he called them a "wicked generation". When he healed people, he told them not to spread the word. When they turned up in their droves, he sent them away and retreated to a hill to pray. Jesus wasn't in the business of giving people cheap thrills – he wanted genuine disciples, people who wanted to be with him, not simply see what he could do.

Jesus knew that the crowds would soon get bored of miracles. You can almost imagine them after watching a few legs being healed and hands growing back saying: "We've seen that before – show us something new! I heard a guy in Tarshish was making people float…" If they can't be thrilled and entertained by Jesus, they will move on to the next shiny, glittery miracle man.

We are called not to be like this. Not to follow the consumeristic, thrill-seeking approach prevalent in our society and dare I say it in the Church, but to seek Jesus himself; treasuring things as they are, not bleeding them dry before moving onto the next craze.

I really hope the Frozen mini-sequel is a resounding success.I really hope it only adds to the glory that was the first film. But I still can't help the feeling that Disney should have quit while they were ahead, and just Let It Go

Phoebe Thompson is editor of Youthwork magazine