Hidden Symbolism In Disney's 'Frozen' Every Fan Needs To Know About

Hidden Symbolism In Disney's 'Frozen' Every Fan Needs To Know About

Here are the hidden depths to Elsa and Anna's story.

Frozen. Love it, hate it, or don’t care about it, it’s still enormously popular. Keeping in the Disney tradition, there’s a plethora of deeper connections in this movie to make it appeal to adults. Here's some of the things that have been placed into the movie to make it more awesome.

The opening song

Hyup! Ho! Watch your step! Let it Go!

Beautiful. Powerful. Dangerous. Cold

Strike for love and strike for fear

"Frozen Heart" is the song that plays whilst the ice cutters are, well, cutting ice. It’s a foreshadow for the rest of the film, establishing the main theme of frozen hearts. This includes Anna’s literally frozen heart, Elsa’s closed off heart, and Hans’ unfeeling nature. Like most songs with a lot of symbolism, the lyrics can be taken a plethora of ways

Most notably, at the end of the reprise of "For the First Time in Forever," the notes of this song are played, since Elsa struck Anna out of love and fear-her fear of Anna getting hurt.


The comic relief character, Idena Menzel (Elsa's voice, for the two of you who don't know) herself has stated that Olaf represents Elsa’s childhood. He also represents Elsa and Anna’s relationship.

First off, he’s created when Elsa and Anna are friends as children. His original form is destroyed when Elsa and Anna’s relationship is destroyed. He’s re-created during "Let it Go." Basically, the first thing Elsa does when she decides that she can do whatever the heck she wants is to build a snowman. She’s clearly wanted to build a snowman for quite some time. His personality is childish, silly, and goofy, again hearkening back to Elsa’s younger days. He’s destroyed during the storm at the end, when everything gets real intense, but he’s then re-created after the melting, when Elsa and Anna’s relationship is healed. Then, he’s kept around permanently.

"Let it go"

The song’s been compared to "Defying Gravity" from "Wicked." If you know anything at all about "Wicked" then you know how similar "Wicked" and "Frozen" are, and that this comparison is extraordinarily easy to make.

Here’s a Tumblr post that demonstrates the similarities between this song and "Tangled."

Elsa’s powers

Elsa’s powers are related to her emotions. Here’s how it works.

Think about Elsa’s powers. In the beginning, it’s all sparkly and fun, because she’s having fun with Anna. But when Anna gets hurt, her powers change. Her primary emotion regarding her powers is fear, and fear makes her powers spiky. During "Do You Want to Build a Snowman," when she accidentally ices the window, it makes spikes. And then there’s the whole bit with the Coronation scene.

During "Let it Go," she’s accepted that her powers are beautiful. So, they make wonderful, beautiful things, from the entire palace made out of ice to her famous sparkly dress.

Then, there’s the reprise of "For the First Time in Forever," where she feels despair over her inability to be with Anna and unfreeze the kingdom. Of course, she accidentally makes a snowstorm inside the palace, and the walls go red. Later, when she is attacked by Hans, the palace goes yellow, representing her fear and rage.

Finally, there’s the climax of the movie. Her grief over Anna’s alleged death and all the other emotions in the movie climax into a huge snowstorm, which rages throughout the entirety of the climax until Anna freezes herself, when the snow breaks, because Elsa’s emotions either changed, or she just stopped feeling altogether


During one of the non-singing parts of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman," Elsa’s father gives her gloves, and she uses them throughout the movie to hide her powers. She takes them off during "Let it Go," because she’s living with her power.

She stops hiding herself.

You know who else wears gloves for the entire movie? Hans. The only time he actually is himself is when he tells Anna that he wants to kill her.

And on that note--

"Love is an Open Door"

Hey! It’s Hans’ villain song!

I’ve been searching my whole life to find my own place. He gestures towards Arendelle as he says this.

When they say “You and I,” Hans says “You” and Anna says “And I,” so they’re both referring to Anna.

“We finish each other’s-“ Hans looks rather shocked when Anna says “sandwiches.”

Of course, this is an animated film. If Disney wanted to, they could get their choreography perfect. But it isn’t in this song. For instance, when Hans and Anna hop up onto the clock tower, Hans reaches for Anna, but she runs around the other side of the tower instead. Throughout the entirety of the song, Hans is simply following Anna around and following her movements and actions, feeding her the lines he thinks she wants to hear.

The song reinforces the metaphor of doors in the movie. Elsa, of course, closes Anna out of her room and leaves the palace doors closed. It can also refer to the closed-off nature of Hans and Elsa’s hearts, but ultimately Elsa opens up her palace doors to let Anna in and leaves the gates open at the end of the movie. Hans, on the other hand, closes the door on her and leaves her to die.

Bonus fact: The idea of doors extends from "Tangled." Mother Gothel’s room had no door, whereas her own room had one--additionally, she had a secret way out of the tower that Rapunzel didn’t know about.

Speaking of, Hans acts as a mirror. Around Anna, he’s all goofy. When he’s around the freezing citizens, he’s kind because the subjects of Arendelle know they have to stick together. He then turns vicious when around the Duke of Weaseltown and his goons. He’s fearful whenever he’s around Elsa

Allusions to the author

"Frozen" is based (very loosely) on Hans Christian Anderson’s "The Snow Queen." Anderson also wrote "The Little Mermaid," as well as "The Ugly Duckling," hence the appearance of ducklings during "For the First Time in Forever." And then, of course, he inspired the names. Say “Hans Kristoff Anna Sven” fast enough and it sounds like Hans Christen Andersen. Several other minor details, such as the ice skates at the end of the movie, originate from the fairy tale.

A big thanks to Disney Wiki for a lot of this information.

Cover Image Credit: Disney / Frozen

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

Related Content

Facebook Comments