Disney’s über-popular Frozen debuted months ago, but I didn’t see it until this weekend, and there are a couple of quick pro-naturist points I would like to make about the film.
The story is set loosely in Scandinavia, maybe Norway. In the scene in which younger sister Anna meets ice-cutter Kristoff, a storekeeper is haggling over the price of some goods, and he throws in for free the use of the sauna. He says his family is in the sauna, and then we see, near the counter, a typical sauna door with square window, and the faces of five or six family members pressed up against it from inside the sauna, yelling a muffled greeting. This is a very brief reference – no more than a hint, really -but a positive message nonetheless about family nudity, and about sauna culture open to guests as well as family.
There is another scene worth mentioning, and this one has raised the hackles of nudophobes online. Kristoff, we learn, has been raised by trolls. The animators had a lot of fun with the rolling-stone trolls, rendered with a look somewhat reminiscent of those funky 70s troll dolls with wild hair. We’ve learned that Kristoff is an earthy kind of guy who takes bites from the same carrot as his reindeer and sweats profusely from his manual labor. So when the troll family greets him, we hear a female troll tell him to take off his clothes. There are several voices at once, and it’s not very easy to hear exactly what is said, but it sounds like she might say, take off your clothes so I can wash them. The troll may be his adopted mother; it’s unclear. Kristoff replies loudly that he won’t be taking off his clothes; presumably this is because he is with a guest, Anna. But it’s just as likely that he says this because they don’t have much time: Anna’s heart has been frozen and they need the grandpa troll’s advice.
The trolls, it turns out, are the “love experts” that Kristoff has mentioned earlier in the film, and they try to match him with Anna. It’s evident to the audience that the two are a good match, but Anna and Kristoff resist it, even as the trolls sing about Kristoff’s, and then Anna’s, flaws. The song acknowledges that we all have flaws, physical and otherwise, but what’s important is what’s inside. The song’s message is not right on the mark regarding body acceptance, but it’s not far off the mark either.
The forest trolls are shown wearing mossy frocks and mineral amulets or flower necklaces. With their stony skin and weedy hair, they couldn’t be more “natural.” And their suggestion that their adopted son remove his textiles upon his homecoming out in the woods, is another positive naturist message in a film now seen by millions.