How Christian is Disney's Frozen? (Not very.) Part 1

Attempts to read Disney’s monster hit as an allegory of the Gospel greatly overstate their case.

02/11/2014 Comments (123)

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
(Pentecost Sequence)

Beware the frozen heart. (Frozen)

As I mentioned in my last post about gay themes in Frozen, I’m mixed on Disney’s monster hit; I like some elements much more than others. Certainly I’m not surprised that it’s a smash: It’s beautifully designed and animated (apart from a poorly designed but surprisingly endearing snowman sidekick), with energetic songs and two princess heroines — a welcome first for Disney — one of whom has Frozone/Iceman-style superpowers she hasn’t yet learned to control.

There are other things to appreciate. Fans celebrate Frozen as a Disney fairy...READ MORE

Filed under disney, family films, frozen, movies

So, How Gay IS Disney’s Frozen?

Does Disney’s monster hit include the first same-sex couple in the studio’s history?

01/31/2014 Comments (288)

See also: How Christian is Disney’s Frozen? (Not very.) Part 1

So basically everyone loves Frozen except me. I’m fine with that. I’m not a fan, but I don’t dislike it; parts of it I like very much, though other elements I found disappointing and off-putting. I’ve watched it twice now, and both times I enjoyed enough things about it to be frustrated by the elements that ultimately keep me from embracing it.

I’m not surprised that it’s such a huge hit. I am a little surprised at the sustained effort of Christian fans to spin Frozen as some sort of Christian allegory (more on this in an upcoming post).

For now, though, I want to address something I noted in passing in my review: the...READ MORE

Filed under disney, family films, frozen, homosexuality, movies, redefinition of marriage

60s Madness! Mr. Banks, Mandela, Madea, Hustle, Hobbit, Hunger Games, more!

12/23/2013 Comments (7)

Whew! Last week I wrapped up the fall semester in my seminary studies and taped the final episode of our holiday mini-season of “Reel Faith.” Now to start catching up on 2013 movies I’ve missed!

David and I also taped our last 60 second reviews for the year. The final batch includes Tom Hanks/Emma Thompson comedy-drama Saving Mr. Banks; the Idris Elba biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Tyler Perry’s A Medea Christmas; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; and Black Nativity!

Enjoy! And watch our “Reel Faith” holiday mini-season finale at the show’s website.

Saving Mr. Banks (SDG)

Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. That’s almost enough to sell the picture...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, movie reviews, reel faith

Reel Faith is back! New 60s! Frozen! Christmas Candle! Thor! More!

11/27/2013 Comments (2)

The holiday mini-season of “Reel Faith” is underway, and we have a slew of new 60-second reviews below. Check them out!

Note that David and I disagreed somewhat on Frozen and The Christmas Candle, so the 60s below only tell half the story — and our favorite film of those we discussed this past week, the Robert Redford seafaring thriller All is Lost, isn’t in the 60s below. To get the full picture on all these films, watch Friday’s episode of “Reel Faith,” now online at the website!

Frozen (SDG)

The critics love Disney’s Frozen. I think it’s a limp retread of Tangled. (See my full review.)

The Christmas Candle (DD)

Christian writer Max Lucado’s novela is brought to the screen...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, family films, reel faith

Saint Francis movies! Gravity in 60 seconds!

No connection between the two.

10/04/2013 Comments (6)

The Flowers of St. Francis

It just happens that today is both the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and the opening day of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

You can read my full review of Gravity here at For the short version, see below.

Actually, I guess there’s a sort of connection, insofar as Gravity is full of the wonder of creation. It even connects the awe of the heavens with human religious instinct.

Come to think of it, if St. Francis could have seen the Earth from orbit, he might have written a Canticle of the Earth as well as a Canticle of the Sun.

For that matter, if Francis were an astronaut stranded in orbit and attempting reentry, just as he...READ MORE

Filed under movies, reviews, st. francis of assisi

60s are Back! Cloudy 2! Wizard of Oz! Rush! Prisoners!

09/27/2013 Comments (1)

My second year of diaconal studies are well underway, but I’ve got a couple of full-length reviews coming up: Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.

Meanwhile, David and I have returned to NET and shot some new 60 second reviews. Here’s the first batch!

By the way, if you didn’t know, The Wizard of Oz is in theaters for one more week, till October 3, in IMAX and IMAX 3D. Do not miss this chance to see this classic on the big screen.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (SDG)

Part of me kind of wishes they had kept the original title, Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers. (See my full review of the original.)

The Wizard of Oz (SDG)

Digitally remastered from the original negatives,...READ MORE

Filed under 60-second reviews, cloudy with meatballs, family films, movies, reviews

Go Home New York Times, You’re Drunk

09/20/2013 Comments (115)

"The Times said what?!"

So apparently The New York Times is so beside itself over Pope Francis' epic interview yesterday, it can't decide what it wants to say about it.

In fact, in less than 24 hours, it seems there've been at least three different headlines for the same story: an inflammatory headline, a more moderate one, and then a crazy, go-for-broke moonbat insane headline.

The original headline (still preserved in the article URL) was bad enough:

Pope Bluntly Faults Church's Focus on Gays and Abortion

After that, for some reason, in an apparent fit of moderation, a more accurate headline was substituted:

Pope, Criticizing Narrow Focus, Calls for Church as 'Home for All'

Well, of course that...READ MORE

Filed under media, pope francis

So Long! Farewell!

08/27/2013 Comments (31)

Labor Day isn’t until next week, but for all practical intents and purposes it’s time to say goodbye to the summer season. This past weekend Suz and I drove Sarah back to Christendom College — and this week I begin year 2 of my diaconal studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary.

And that means that, along with my studies, it’s time, alas, to resume my semi-hiatus from film reviewing. Over the summer I enjoyed a prolific streak, reviewing movies almost every week, in writing, in 60-second reviews and on “Reel Faith.” (By the way, our “Reel Faith” summer season finale, with summer round-up and fall preview, is online at the show’s website.)

Now, though, it’s time to go back to reviewing...READ MORE

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About SDG

Steven D. Greydanus
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Deacon Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register, creator of Decent Films, and a permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Newark. With David DiCerto, he co-hosts the Gabriel Award–winning cable TV show “Reel Faith” for New Evangelization Television. Steven has degrees in media arts and religious studies, and has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. Steven and his wife Suzanne have seven children.