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Not recommended under 5, PG to 8 (Violence; Scary scenes and characters)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Frozen
  • a review of Frozen completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 19 December 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes and characters
Children 5 to 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes and characters
Children 8 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Frozen
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may scare very young children
Length: 108 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film opens with two young princesses, Elsa (voice of Idina Mensel) and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) from the mythical kingdom of Arendelle happily playing together. Elsa, the older of the two sisters has been born with magical powers. She can conjure up snow and ice at the snap of her fingers, enabling her to turn the inside of the palace into a winter adventure wonderland. Unfortunately Elsa hasn't yet developed enough control over her magical powers and accidentally injures Anna. The King and Queen take Anna to a tribe of magic forest trolls who are able to repair the damage caused by Elsa, but at a cost. They have to remove Anna's memories or her sister’s magical ability. To keep Anna safe and Elsa's magical talents hidden from the kingdom’s people, Elsa is closeted away and the two sisters becoming estranged.

Years later, the two sisters lose their parents at sea in a shipwreck and Elsa has to come out of isolation for her coronation. During the festivities, Anna falls in love with a visiting prince, Prince Hans (voice of Santino Fontana), who asks Anna to marry him. Anna asks Elsa for her blessing to marry, but Elsa is suspicious of the prince and refuses. During the ensuing argument, Elsa accidentally reveals her magical talents and transforms the kingdom of Arendelle into a permanently frozen winter-land.

Overcome with emotion, Elsa runs off to take refuge high in the mountains where she uses her magic to create an ice palace to live in. Fearing the worst for the permanently frozen Arendelle, Anna decides to track down the sister she still loves and convince her to reverse the spell.

Anna heads off into the frozen wilderness and along the way teams up with a young ice carter named Kristoff (voice of Johnathan Groff), his faithful sidekick, a reindeer called Sven and a magically created sentient snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad). Together the group must battle the elements and both magical and human foes to reach Elsa and convince her to reverse her spell. In the end both Anna and Elsa discover that true love is the ingredient needed to set things right.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Fantasy; magic; family relationships

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Frozen contains some scenes of action violence and peril, some accidental injury, inferred death and occasional threats of violence. Examples include:

  • Anna, as a young girl, is accidentally hit in the head by a bolt of her sister's magic. The bolt of magic leaves her unconscious with a white streak in her hair where she was hit.
  •  Elsa becomes distraught and loses control of her powers, lashing out with her magic and transforming the entire kingdom and surrounding land to freezing winter.      
  • A woman and man speed through mountain country in a sleigh while being chased by a pack of savage looking wolves. After trying to beat off the wolves the man falls out of the sleigh and is dragged along behind with wolves snapping at his heals. The woman steering the sleigh tries to jump it across a wide chasm. She makes it but the sleigh crashes to the bottom of the chasm and bursts into flame. At first it appears as if the man being dragged along dies in the crash, but then we see him pulling himself to safety via a rope. 
  • One scene depicts a man and a woman running from a large snow monster. The man and woman jump off a cliff to escape, but land in a pile of soft snow. In a later scene a group of soldier fire flaming arrows at the snow monster which swats the arrows and bolts aside. A soldier uses a sword to sever one of the creature’s legs.
  • One character sends two assassin-like soldiers after Elsa with instructions to “Take care of the Monster”. When the two men catch up with Elsa they try to kill her by firing crossbow bolts at her. In retaliation Elsa uses her magic to conjure ice spears that threaten to spear one of the men in the face while pushing the other man off a balcony with a wall of ice; Elsa stops before killing the men. Elsa is then knocked unconscious by a falling ice chandelier. When Elsa wakes up she is chained to a prison wall and we hear that she is to be executed.
  • A man threatens to decapitate Elsa with a sword, but Anna jumps in front of the sword as it falls, saving her sister. The sword strikes Anna, but Anna is saved by magic.   
  • Anna is told by a man that he deceived her by pretending to love her and that he intended for her to have “a little accident” once they were married. Later we hear the man telling people that Elsa had killed Anna, who died in his arms, and that Elsa was to be executed.
  • Anna punches a man in the face, knocking him off a boat and into the ocean.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are some scary characters, such as a pack of large wolves with glowing eyes and snapping jaws, and a large threatening snow monster with blue glowing eyes, large hands with icicle-like claws, and a large gaping mouth.
  • Elsa is seen isolated in a castle room fearful, distraught and crying.
  • A friendly magic snow man with a comical appearance loses his head and other body parts from time to time with the disembodied head continuing to talk and severed arms (made from tree branches) crawling along the ground. In one scene the snowman’s face distorts and droops as it begins to melt.  In another scene the snowman becomes impaled on an icicle.
  • One scene features a sailing ship foundering on the ocean in a severe storm, and we hear that Anna and Elsa’s parents died in the shipwreck and see images of their funeral.
  • One scene depicts threatening storm clouds forming over a castle followed by giant spears of ice encasing the castle like a prison and piercing the castle walls with spears of ice narrowly missing Anna who is trapped inside. 
  • A number of ships are trapped in a frozen lake during a magic storm. The ships rise up out of the ice and then crash down, nearly crushing Kristoff  while his reindeer is thrown into the freezing water; the reindeer escapes uninjured by climbing onto a sheet of frozen ice.   

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern in the film, but associated merchandise being marketed to children

Sexual references

The film contains occasional very mild flirtatious comments. Examples include:

  • Anna sings while pretending to flirt with a stone statue, the song containing lyrics about meeting a boyfriend and experiencing romance.
  • After accidentally falling on top of a man, Anna makes the comment “You’re gorgeous”.
  • A group of trolls try to entice Anna to look at Kristoff in a romantic manner  - the song suggesting that Kristoff was a “Bit of a fix it up-er”. 

Nudity and sexual activity

The film contains no nudity, but does depict some revealing clothing and mild romance. Examples including:

  • After briefly meeting, Anna and a man sing a song about how they are suited to each other, then dance and hold hands. The man asks Anna to marry him and she accepts.
  • When Elsa transforms into the Snow Queen she wears a tight fitting dress with a slit up the side.    
  • At the end of the film Anna and Kristoff engage in a quick passionate kiss on the lips.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Champagne is served at a ball

Coarse language

The film contains some mild name calling, and coarse language that young children may imitate. Examples include:

  • She’s a monster; crazy; evil sorceress; feisty pants; watch out for my butt; traitor

In a nutshell

Frozen is a Disney animated musical adventure suited to families and most children over the age of 5. The film entertains from start to finish, but does contains some scary scenes and characters that may disturb younger viewers. It is not recommended for children under 5 and parental guidance is recommended to 8, because some children in the 5-8 age group may find some scenes and characters disturbing, especially in the 3D version. At 108 minutes, it is also quite a long film for younger children.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • People can make bad choices if scared or stressed.
  • Love means putting someone else’s need before your own.
  • People who are different or have unique talents should not be hidden away, or be afraid of exposing their talent.  

 Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Self sacrifice: Anna discovers that true love means putting the needs of others before your own, with Anna making the ultimate sacrifice to save her sister.
  • Bravery and persistence in the face of adversity and shown by Anna and her companions