When I sat down to watch Frozen 2 with my girlfriend, I expected a fun, interesting and musical adventure. What I did not expect was an unscientific, uneducated advert for homeopathic pseudoscience.
But first of all, what is homeopathy? It’s a kind of alternate medicine which claims that by diluting natural substances in water over and over again until only a few molecules remain, you can subsequently cure yourself by drinking that water. However there is one key problem with this form of medicine, it has been repeatedly proven to perform no better than a placebo. This means that it has zero medical affects or improvements – it’s simply a scam, tricking people into thinking that it works, thinking that it will have the same effect as normal medicine. The consequences of this is major, with many people who believe in it opting to take it over other forms of medicine which could save their life.
But why do people believe in homeopathy? How on earth could simply diluting substances through water until it’s practically untraceable work? Well, the reason homeopathists give, is that water has memory.
Surely Disney would never quote the most common phrase used to justify this kind of medicine as if it was fact, right?
Well, the idea of homeopathy is first introduced by Olaf who says “Did you know, that water has memory? Many people disagree but it’s true” right after saying a list of facts that sound crazy, but are more or less true. Only one of those facts was really false, the one about water having memory.
This is not the only time it brings it up, it’s brought up often throughout the story, and when you really think about it, the entire premise of the story is that water has memory. They need to go to the lake of memory, then they find all these memories in water which tell them what really happened in the past, ultimately saving the story.
At the end of the film, Olaf is resurrected, and he blatantly says that the only reason why he survived was that water has memory. If you watch the final end credits it’s so completely on the nose that the entire films agenda was to endorse homeopathy that its ridiculous. He recaps the entire story in the post credits sequence, with his last line being “Then a bunch of important things happened that I forgot but all that matters is that I was right and water has memory and thus, I live, and so do you” – how on the nose can you get?
There is the argument that it’s just a children’s film and that most of them won’t take it seriously, knowing that it’s not true. But the problem is that not all children would have that reaction! If even a small amount of children believe this anti-scientific nonsense from watching frozen 2, that is a problem.
Children’s minds are less critical, and more ready to accept things told to them by adults. So it’s as if this film is priming young viewers to accept the claims of Frozen 2 if they grow up and later find out what homeopathy is. It was the moral responsibility of the creators to check the film thoroughly so that nothing like this could happen.
This idea should have been rejected from concept. Even if it did make it through, it could have easily been edited to not endorse homeopathy at all, with everyone’s favourite moments still happening in the same way and not affecting enjoyment in any way at all.
The fact that the phrase ‘water has memory’ appears in the film so many times when it is also the defining phrase of homeopathy is completely disgusting to me. The creators would have been fully aware that this was the case yet didn’t change anything.
All films, especially those from franchises as influential as frozen don’t just make a film without thinking about it. So many people were involved with this project that they had to have known. There would have been hundreds of opportunities to change it and they just didn’t.
The film is much too clever to simply try to throw homeopathy in the face of children, it would not be well received for that. What the film does is attempt to sew seeds for later in life and even adults today so that when they come across homeopathy, they are more likely to accept it. The reason why I’ve not been able to find any criticism of this anywhere is likely because it does it subtly…and it’s not like parents are going to suddenly going to stop buying their kids Elsa costumes just because the film supports something incorrect.
Have you ever thought about the fact that in life, there are some things that you also just accept without thinking about. For example when I was young, I had a poster showing the map of the solar system, and because Mars was bigger than the Earth on this map I spent most of my life thinking it was actually bigger despite doing a physics A-level. I only had it pointed out to me later that this wasn’t the case. It was embarrassing, and rightly so, but overall much lower impact than say, someone who took for granted that water has memory finding adverts for homeopathy, and then facing a life threatening illness.
People reject really seriously helpful and life saving medicine, because they would sooner use homeopathy instead. It’s a dangerous kind of belief that takes lives. Not one that should ever be taught to kids.
The fact that I heard no consequences about this from anyone, no objections at all despite this film being out so long is outrageous. We have to be more harsh and critical when these things happen. Frozen is in a position where it can affect so many children so easily, and therefore should be more responsible. We should be angry, people die for refusing treatment and opting for homeopathy. There are no excuses.