Hidden Movie Messages: What You See Says More About You than the Movie

I haven’t seen Frozen. The Boy and I will likely see it when it hits the cheap theater, since he has asked to watch it, but so far The Lego Movie and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 have been his priorities.

Even though I haven’t watched Frozen, I’ve read all sorts of things about it. Apparently, Frozen is being used to forward the gay agenda and your children’s well-being might be in trouble. (There was a rather amusing tongue-in-cheek response to all the hullaballoo at FMH. I LOL’d in several places.)

Hidden Movie Messages Frozen

As my brain plodded through the post about the nefarious gay message being foisted on children everywhere, it occurred to me that, in many cases, hidden movie messages say more about us than they do about the movie itself. The “Well-Behaved Mormon Woman” (something I can’t really relate to in the first place) watched this movie (three times!) and, even though she confessed she enjoyed it, what really stood out to her was the gay agenda.

Interestingly, though, there were those who didn’t really read a bunch of gay-loving into the movie. “This Mormon Girl” looked at the movie and, instead, saw a message of the Atonement. Rather than freaking out about the gays being out to get her (as if the “gay agenda” is designed to ruin all our lives), she wrote the following:

[C]an we talk about the fact that “Frozen” has undertones of the atonement? That the act of true love Anna participated in was completely selfless? Elsa has struggled and struggled with her powers (sins) from a young age and it has crippled her. Anna (Christ) loved her anyway and was always there for her.

These two women watched the same movie and the hidden movie messages they saw were completely different. One woman watched the movie and immediately drew spiritual parallels that brought her closer in her relationship to Christ. The other watched the movie and reacted in a way that displays her own paranoia that, somehow, Frozen is going to *gasp* lead to homosexuals being treated as people who deserve the same legal status and protections that heterosexuals take for granted. Heaven forbid.

We Bring Our Own Experiences to Art and Entertainment

No matter the medium, we all bring our own experiences to art and entertainment. It doesn’t really matter what the filmmaker or artist or performer “intended.” Your worldview, experiences, and even your fears all contribute to the way you perceive the media in question, and the messages you receive.

Most hidden movie messages really aren’t so much about some deep agenda as they are about ourselves. The hidden movie messages that you see are more likely to say more about you than they do about the movies themselves. Take The Lego Movie. The pop culture references and satire resonated with me, and it didn’t escape my notice that Lord Business was named, well, BUSINESS. At first I thought there was something in that. But as I watched the movie, I didn’t see it as quite the liberal propaganda (of course, as a progressive, I’m desensitized to these things) that a Fox Business host saw.

Hidden Movie Messages Lego Movie

 

Instead, I thought of Lord Business in terms of him being all work and no play. After all, he represented the “business” side of life, where we are always striving to get everything done, and have it all lined up neatly, rather than the “play” side of life. My experience was akin to the Deseret News columnist Aaron Shill’s, since I can relate to the challenges that come with having a Lego-obsessed child, and the pull between keeping those expensive sets in one piece and allowing for creativity.

Even when hidden movie messages aren’t all that hidden, what you get out of it — and the way you react — says something about you. The furor over the heavy-handed environmental message in The Lorax a few years ago is a good example. Yes, there was a very obvious environmental message in The Lorax. And if you had read the book, it makes sense, since it was pretty heavy-handed in the book. I watched the movie, bringing my knowledge of the works of Dr. Seuss to the table — as well as my knowledge of the fact that Dr. Seuss was a paid propagandist before he became famous for children’s books. If you didn’t know these things, you were probably surprised (and perhaps dismayed if you aren’t passionate about environmental issues) by The Lorax.

What you bring to a movie, or any type of media presentation, colors what you will get out of it. The hidden movie messages you see, and the way you either freak out, feel validated, or merely shrug it off, are more about how you view the world than what the movie is trying to accomplish.

And, of course, all the controversy surrounding Frozen is likely to color my viewing of the movie when it finally happens. I’ll probably be looking for gay themes, since I think they are probably likely to be buried deep, if they really are there. But, if I do find them, they aren’t likely to bother me. Because I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to teach children that they shouldn’t be depriving other people of rights on the basis that they don’t fit your own narrow definition of morality.

11 Responses to Hidden Movie Messages: What You See Says More About You than the Movie

  1. I saw that comment on Fox Business News. At the time, before seeing the movie, thought it would be a stretch – It was after seeing it last night. Much about nothing.

    Though that’s not to say overall with movies, espcially some children’s movies it’s completely unfounded.

    Two good examples I can think of are:
    – Cars 2
    – Happy Feet

    Both in my opinion where horrible movies on many levels. Cars 2 was a completely different movie than the first movie: volient, anti-biz, green movement, etc. Overall wasn’t a positive message and many political undertones. Granted the messages would more than likely go over a 5 year old’s head, but it’s the constant themes seen in movies that’s the issue. It almost becomes a form of brainwashing in the long term.

    My primary point is, almost without exception, business owners are the evil character in a movie.

    This isn’t just children’s movies. How many movies is the business owner protrayed as the “good guy” or the underdog? Almost never.

    But movies for the most part are refection of what’s the zeigeist of what’s felt in society, especially in many liberal circles. The bottom line is businesses and more specifically business owners are considered evil and the causes of the wrongs in society.

    • I haven’t seen Cars 2 or Happy Feet. I’m quite picky about my animation, and my son never really got into the Disney movies, although for some reason he loved Cinderella for a little while. But, yeah, movies tend to reinforce popular messages and feelings.

  2. Haven’t seen Frozen, though my wife wants to, so we will watch when it hits Redbox. There are certainly messages in movies though, and it seems like they do tend to skew to the left politically. Probably a function of Hollywood in general being left of center.

    Suppose it doesn’t mean that the messages will always hit home. I remember reading an interview with Michael Douglas where he was relating how Wall Street bankers came up to him and thanked him for inspiring them to go into the business from his portrayal of Gordon Gecko in Wall Street (the “Greed is Good” speech). His response to the bankers was along the lines of “You do understand that I was the bad guy in that movie, right?”

    • Well, they certainly saw what they wanted to in that movie 🙂 I agree that most movies generally have a more progressive slant (which doesn’t bother ME), but I think that, by and large, these messages go over the heads of the children watching them.

  3. Gay agenda, what the crap? I watched Frozen last night with the family for the first time. My older kids had already seen it with friends. I don’t see what all the fuss is about the movie in general, why it’s so popular and everyone loves it aside from the animation being standard of current Disney flicks (very well done, even breathtaking at some points).

    I thought the first plot twist where true love turned out to be treachery was clever but not all that surprising. I found the second twist much more surprising. My mind never went to, “oh these sisters are gay for each other”. They are sisters. That kind of love is supposed to be stronger than the romantic kind anyway, in my mind.

    If that’s the scene people are trying to criticize because of its gay undertones, I’d be more concerned about the incestuous undertones there.

    My wife had one criticism about the movie, aside from not seeing what all the fuss is about either, and that was that the mans kiss was supposed to solve everything like every other fairy tale. When that didn’t end up happening, she was surprised and I think impressed with the way the story unfolded.

    Fanatics will read what they want out of any story. I don’t believe the writers had any hidden agenda when writing Frozen.

    • I still haven’t seen it 😉 But’s it’s awesome that you guys are all out and about and having fun! I don’t even know what they are talking about in terms of gay agenda, unless maybe the snowman? I keep thinking I should go see the movie, but have too much else to do…

      • Oh we aren’t out and about, it was a sick party at home last night. Everyone was laying around in jammies with tummy aches after having the stomach flu so we watched a movie.

        I didn’t think the snowman was gay either…obnoxious, but not gay 🙂

        • Oh. Ha. Sorry you aren’t out, and it sucks you were all sick. But at least you were all sick together… Yeah, I have him kind of pegged as the “comic” relief. The obnoxious character that appeals to the kids.

          • Yea what can ya do. Everyone is slowly getting better now.

            You nailed what that snowman was, an obnoxious clown. But he made me chuckle a few times too.

          • Well, when everyone is healthy, and things are settled a little more, we are really going to have to meet up for lunch 🙂 You are always moving on such interesting projects, and I want to know what else you have up your sleeve!

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