January 16, 2021

Autism in Disney’s Frozen 2

By rosieweldon

In 2013 I watched in awe as Elsa sing the lyrics:

‘A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I’m the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see,
be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.’

I was 22 and undiagnosed. Alongside many others, something inside me connected with Elsa’s journey of self-acceptance. To not hide who she really was.

Today, at 28, diagnosed as autistic, I walked into the cinema to watch Frozen 2. This time I knew what I saw in Elsa’s struggle. I saw someone ashamed of a part of them that they could not control and resonated deeply with it.

This time the lyrics that bought me to tears were, yet again Elsa’s, who sang:

‘I’ve never felt so certain,
all my life I’ve been so torn.
But I’m here for a reason,
could it be the reason I was born.
I’ve always been so different,
normal rules did not apply.’

The words caught my breath as I connected with them. I realised while watching Frozen 2 that my own journey reflected Elsa’s. I was no longer searching for self-acceptance. I am proud to be autistic and I do not want to change that. We are who we are, we cannot change that. But, like Elsa, I am still unsure of my place in the world.

If I could have anything from Elsa’s story, it would be Anna. Anna believes in who Elsa is resolutely. When she didn’t understand in the first journey, when Elsa pushed her away, Anna stands firmly and proudly by Elsa’s side.

So often I am told I am too much of this and too little of that. I live life in the extremes and hear comments of being ‘too emotional’, ‘caring too much’, or the opposite and being ‘too clinal and heartless’. It takes a special person to come into our lives and love us for who we are.

If you can do anything for your autistic loved one, love them as boldy, proudly, and for just who they are, as Anna does for Elsa.  

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