It Took Disney 70 Years To Make Frozen. The Value of the Long View.

It Took Disney 70 Years To Make Frozen. The Value of the Long View.

According to historian Jim Hill, Disney has been trying to make a version of Frozen—based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen—since 1943.  Throughout the decades, some of Disney’s brightest and most creative minds took multiple attempts at adapting the storyline into something that would be an amazing experience for the audience, but for myriad reasons, all failed.  Why didn’t they just trash it and move on to something else?

By nature, I am an impatient person.  If I feel a project is not working out or don’t see any return on an investment, my knee-jerk reaction is to pull the plug, shake things up, or try something new.  I’m learning to fight against this instinct; in the hope of seeing the benefit that comes from sticking with something you know is good.  It is a discipline to stick with something you truly believe in—to have a “long view” of things—even if the return isn’t there yet.

While at an impasse on the storyline for Frozen, someone on the story team suggested, “What if we make Elsa and Anna sisters?” It was as if a million light bulbs went off, the story came together in rapid succession, and the top-grossing animated film EVER was born.

In the church, it’s tempting to flit from one branch of “nouveau ministry” to the next because you aren’t seeing an immediate return.  I read a great status update on LinkedIn by Pastor Rick Warren last week that stuck in my head: “What’s in style goes out of style. The only way to stay relevant is to focus on what’s eternal.”  No matter the project, you have to plan with eternity in mind.  If you put together a ministry plan that focuses solely on addressing the temporary needs of people, it may have short-term success, but it won’t hold up over time.  If you run every ministry, every project, everything you do as a church through the lens of eternity, it WILL bear fruit even if you don’t see it right away. In fact, it may take until heaven to see it.

You see, when you know you have a great story it’s worth sticking with it.

My daughter can sing every Frozen song verbatim, choreography included. Frozen is a great story.  But the greatest story is Jesus Christ, loving you so deeply and obeying the Father so purely that a way was provided for you and for me to live eternally.

As a Christian, as the Church, let that eternal truth inform everything we do.  May we have a long view of how we live and how we serve, knowing that even if we don’t see a return yet, we WILL see it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *