Monday, November 27, 2017

Olaf's Frozen Adventure Adoption Movie Review

(There are spoilers throughout this review)

Olaf, the magical talking snowman, is very excited to celebrate the first Christmas of his life, and the first Christmas that the Kingdom of Arendelle will Celebrate in many years. Queen Elsa and her sister Anna are excited to ring the traditional Yule Bell to open the holidays, and they anticipate sharing the festivities with their subjects, but they are surprised to find that their subjects all return to their homes to participate in their own family traditions. Anna and Elsa realize that they do not know what their own family traditions are, and Elsa takes the blame on herself; her parents were so careful to protect her during her difficult youth that the family did not seem to celebrate any holiday traditions. Olaf is saddened to see his best friends so sad at the holidays, so he and the reindeer Sven set off to discover what other families do around the holidays; he intends to bring new traditions back to the girls to help cheer them up. Although his efforts appear to be unsuccessful, the girls realize that Olaf himself is their family tradition.

The Adoption Connection

Anna and Elsa’s parents have died. Many people who have been in foster care or adopted might be able to relate to Anna and Elsa, as they realize they do not know what their family traditions are. They might also rejoice when Anna and Elsa realize that family is their tradition.

Strong Points

Olaf is a supportive friend.

Anna and Elsa realize that their family is their tradition. They can make new traditions, but being with each other and Olaf is already a significant part of their life. Children might leave this short film able to find peace in the good things that they have in their lives – in a way, it reminds me of the Tigger Movie; Tigger still misses his birth family, but he also is able to accept the people in his life as his family.

The film is long for a short (21 minutes), but the songs are enjoyable, the sentiments are warming, and it is nice to be back in Arendelle for a little while.

There’s a great line in a song towards the end of the film, “Tradition is the family we’ve made. When we’re together, I have all I wished. When we’re together, then my favorite gift is you. When we’re together that’s my favorite time of year.” It’s actually a pretty good sentiment for any family; parents could feel that way about their children, children could feel that way about their parents; siblings or extended family members could echo it. It’s a really good song.


When Olaf’s plans to find new traditions for Anna and Elsa appear to fail, he wonders if he should stay lost in the woods. Anna, Elsa, and the whole community search for him and find him.

Olaf does get in brief peril, as he is chased by wolves. It could scare some of the youngest viewers.


Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is the short film that plays before Coco. Coco is worth seeing, and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure would be worth seeing on its own, but is certainly worth seeing along with Coco. It captures the true sadness that some folks feel around the holidays, and young adoptees might relate to the sadness of feeling as though they have no family traditions. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure provides some help; it’s positive, heartwarming, and perhaps even profound to indicate that our family is our tradition. This application could be hard for kids who have been cut off from their birthfamily, but for others, it could be very helpful. This should generally be fine for kids of all ages.

Questions for Discussion

What family traditions do you already have? What new family traditions would you like to make?

What makes the holidays sad for Anna and Elsa? What makes them happy? Do you think they’ll usually be happy, sad, or both around this time of year?

What makes Olaf such a good friend? Do you have any friends like him?

Have you ever tried fruitcake?

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