watching, reading, and writing stories

Big Hero 6 and the Importance of Relationships

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I really really really wanted to see this movie and I got to go see it this past weekend. I usually love the animated Disney movies and this one was no exception. It had great characters, a well developed plot line, jokes and touching moments. Everything you would want in a good Disney movie. If you want to stop reading here and just go see it, that’s fine. Maybe you can read the rest once you’ve seen it, if you don’t want any spoilers.

But now on to my thoughts about some of the deeper messages in this film. One thing that stood out to me was the importance of friendships. It can be easy, especially in America to take the individualist approach and say I can handle it on my own, I don’t need help. The protagonist of the movie, Hiro, felt this way. But as the plot progresses, we see the importance of strong relationships. Not only are friends and family important in working through life’s difficulties, like grief, but they also help us stay on track and keep us from making mistakes that we’ll regret later.

In the plot of the movie, I really liked how close Hiro comes to playing a villain role, I think it shows that every person is capable of being a hero or a villain. Indeed Hiro and and the villain share similar goals; taking revenge on the person who was responsible for the death of someone they loved. But because Hiro has friends to tell him what’s right, even if he doesn’t want to hear it, he eventually becomes aware that revenge will not heal his hurt and he must let that desire go. He even tries to help the villain in this story see what he learned and stop the destruction, but it is too late for the villain and he continues down the path he has chosen.

These lessons of friendship and the ability in each person to be a hero or villain remind me of truth in my own life. As a Christian I know that I am a sinner, and that I am capable of horrible things and am no better than any other person, even a murderer. Just like Hiro, I have the capability of being a villain. But because Jesus has saved me, I can choose to follow Him, to do what is right and good, and be heroic. But I cannot do it alone, I need Jesus’s help and the help of a church family. It makes me sad to think that a lot of Christians think they can watch a sermon online or listen to some worship music and that’s all they need, when it really isn’t. Just like Hiro needed his brother, Baymax, and his friends from school to keep pointing him back to what was true and right, I need people in the church to remind me to follow Christ, to not give up, and encourage me when I’ve had a bad day.

So, that’s what stood out to me from this movie. I hope you’ll go see it, if you haven’t yet. I’d like to see it again, that’s for sure.

I’ll end with a preview.

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The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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Have you ever had a bad day? I know I sure have. Most people do. There are some days where everything seems to go wrong.

Well, the other night I went to go see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Although the title seems a little over the top, this movie was actually quite good. It struck at something that most people go through in life, at least eventually: a bad day. A day when everything that could go wrong does, and you just have to deal with it. I enjoyed the fact that a lot of the things that went wrong in the plot of this movie were ordinary things, but when piled on top of each other, they turn into something that’s really hard to deal with. (Just like in my own life). I know I’ve had my days where it seemed like I was being overwhelmed with all the little things going wrong.

But this movie included a positive message, and I didn’t find it cliche. The message was not “be positive and you’ll automatically get what you want, or everything will work out,” but more like, “stick together through the tough stuff.” Bad days are hard, and your attitude may be able to help, but one of the biggest things that helps is going through it with someone else.

Oddly enough, this is also what stuck with me from my church’s sermon on Sunday. Our pastor mentioned the fact that we should have joy in suffering with Jesus, or in joining in His sufferings. I never really understood that before. How is both of us suffering a good thing? Why should I want that? Hasn’t Jesus suffered enough for the both of us? I always took it to mean that Jesus was with me when I was suffering. But then my pastor said, when you suffer together you’re relationship deepens. And it just clicked. Like of course! You have friends that will have fun with you, and stick with you on your good days. But the people who stick with you in the hard stuff, that’s who you’re really close to. And that’s how close I want to be with Jesus.

Just like in the movie, the family drew closer together through all the hard stuff. This realization brought to mind another show I had recently rewatched: Band of Brothers. This TV show follows the story of a group of men who served together in WWII and details all that they went through together. Even though it was horrible stuff, it made their relationships supper deep, to where they really felt like brothers; like family.

So, maybe this week, you’ve had a bad day, or several bad days, but maybe if you step back and look at the relationships you have, and remember what you have to be thankful for, those bad days, as Alexander said, “can help you appreciate the good ones.”

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Why I Love Frozen

Sven from The New Disney Move Frozen

Alright, I admit it, I’m a sucker for kid’s movies. I’ve grown up watching Pixar classics and that animated real world just attracts me. I think the scenery is gorgeous and I love being able to step into this “perfect” world and enjoy a good story.

But the real reason that I enjoyed Frozen is because of its use of “love.”

I’ve seen countless movies, and read plenty of books that deal with the love story. Meeting a prince, falling head over heals, overcoming obstacles, and usually “true love’s first kiss” ends up saving the day. But Frozen takes a different spin on the word love.

In English we only have one word for this strong emotion, but really there are several types of love and they all can be very strong. There’s a parent’s love for their child, a sister’s love for a sister, a woman’s love for a man, and a friend’s love for another friend. All of these loves can make a sacrifice for another person. But usually we are made to believe that the love between a man and a woman is the greatest kind of love.

And as the movie begins, we might think that this is true in Frozen, we are soon pulled into a quick romance between the younger princess Anna, and her perfect prince Hans. Even as the movie progresses, we are encouraged to think that his love for her can be the solution to her problem.

Then we come to the plot twist, the perfect prince’s love was not real love, it is a selfish love, or lust really, that was only seeking power. So we turn our attention to Kristoff, the friend who has sacrificed so much to help Anna. Surely he can save Anna with his truer love.


But Frozen takes yet another twist and takes the definition of love even further. At the last second Anna abandons her hope of being rescued by her friend Kristoff and instead thrusts herself in front of her sister, to save her from the now villainous prince. Her sacrifice ends up saving her, and we can see that it doesn’t matter who the love is directed towards; a man, a sister, a friend, if it is true sacrificial love, then it can break any curse.

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Throughout the movie, we are shown that genuine love is not the romanticized story of a girl and boy falling for each other, it’s about putting another person’s needs before your own, even if they don’t deserve it. This is real sacrificial love.

Both the trolls who sing about falling in love with a fixer upper and the snowman that suggests “some people are worth melting for,” show us that love is real when you stop focusing on yourself and what you want and put your focus on what’s best for the other person.

And that’s why I love Frozen, it gives us a truer look at what love is.

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