Five Things I Learned about Writing from Watching FROZEN

amyprofile~ By Amie Louellen 

Disney’s Frozen is inarguably the hottest animated movie right now. If you have a little girl in your life, chances are you’ve watched it over and over again. Just like me. Except I have one child. A boy. A teenage boy who couldn’t care less about Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff. Nope, I’m responsible for the constant streaming of Frozen at my house.

But I have a reason for watching it so much. It helps my writing. How? you ask. Allow me to share.

Characters are a product of their environment.

As writers, we know this. It’s one of the first things we’re taught. A character becomes who they are because of the life they’ve lived. This is so apparent in Elsa and Anna. They both grew up in the same castle, had the same parents, were 5 lessonssequestered in their own home at the same time. Yet Elsa is cool (no pun) and aloof, whereas Anna is open and trusting. They are both carefree at the beginning of the movie when they are in the ballroom, Anna playing in the snow that Elsa creates. But a few years later when their parents leave, it becomes evident how different they have become over the years. Anna hugs her parents with confidence and says she’ll see them in two weeks. Elsa is fretful and wants them to stay. I wonder how different their lives would have been had Anna not been hurt in the beginning.

2.    True love takes time

Poor Anna. She’s so deprived of human touch that she falls quickly into Hans’s trap. That she has fallen in love with a man she just met is brought up several times. Even Kristoff the loner admonishes her for agreeing to marry a man the same day she met him. But Anna wants so badly to believe in true love. And it’s true love that finally saves her, though not in the way that we expected. Bravo to Disney for showing us the special love between siblings. One of my favorite lines in the movie is at the end when Anna turns back from ice. Elsa hugs her and says, “You sacrificed yourself for me?” Anna so simply and matter-of-factly replies, “I love you.” The innocence of that phrase brings tears to my eyes.

3.    Research is key

I’ll admit it: I know next to nothing about Scandinavian culture. So when I first heard Hans say, “The fjord.” I immediately looked up the word. And then there was ‘glogg’ in the castle. Well, I had to know what that was too. A fjord is a narrow inlet of sea between cliffs or steep slopes (usually caused by glacial erosion.) Glogg is a hot spiced wine served with raisins and almonds. The tulips and swirls, the North Mountain and the Southern Isles, all of this came together to create a world that was different from any other.

4.    Inspiration can be subtle

I think most of us know that Disney has changed a few details in the tales of old that they’ve made into children’s movies. So when I saw that Frozen was ‘inspired’ by the Hans Christian Anderson tale, “The Snow Queen,” I immediately read the tale. The similarity between the two stories is…snow. And a queen. Yep, that’s about all they have in common. I suppose the inspiration built upon the writer’s “what ifs?” to make the story we have. And I’m so glad it did.

5.    Love is the most powerful magic of all

The land is covered in snow and ice. Everything…everything is frozen. And what can return the world back to normal? Love. What saves Anna from remaining frozen from the inside out? Love. Love for the people of Arendale. The love of one sister for another. Just love.

As romance writers we know how love can heal, but Frozen shows us so much more. I can’t tell you how it warmed my heart that the love Anna held for her sister was the true love that saved her. Even after all they had been through as children, Anna loved her sister and in the end that’s all that mattered.

So there are my five. I can’t say that’s all I’ve learned from the movie. I’m sure there are a few more lessons buried underneath all that snow. So in the meantime, I’m going to watch it again, just in case.

Amie Louellen is the author of eight contemporary romances, including her latest title, Welcome Home, Bethie McGee.

Born and bred in Mississippi, Amie is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, two spoiled cats, and one very lazy beagle.

Amie Louellen is the contemporary pen name for author Amy Lillard. You can reach her at or visit her on the web: * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * PINTEREST

4 thoughts on “Five Things I Learned about Writing from Watching FROZEN”

    1. You do, Adele! It wasn’t what I expected the first time I watched it, but once I knew…Well, sometimes I just turn it on and let it play while I clean house or write. (Okay, write. LOL) The music is great and the story is unique. 🙂

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