This will all make sense when I am older – or will it?

If there’s one thing about me that I’m only too happy to let people know, it’s that I am a huuuuuge Disney fan and Disney music in particular. My early childhood in the 90s just so happened to coincide with the golden age of Disney’s animated movies and I grew up listening to the sounds of Aladdin, The Lion King, MulanBeauty and the Beast, Hercules and so many more. At 21, I took my first trip to Disneyworld and, as I near 30, I keenly await the arrival of the Disney + streaming service to satisfy my insatiable desire to consume more of what Disney has to offer. So as a lifelong Disney fan, I felt it necessary to go and watch the newly released and highly-anticipated Frozen 2 over the weekend.

In recent years Disney has had a resurgence in popularity due to both original content as well as re-imaginings of classic stories, notably in live action format. When the first Frozen movie was released in 2013, it was an instant hit amongst children and, for a time, became the highest grossing musical film of all time. This time around, all evidence seems to point to Frozen 2 outperforming its predecessor.

While many correctly assume Disney’s target audience to be children, there are many adult themes that can be plucked and analysed from any number of Disney films. One of the most interesting subplots in Frozen 2 is established in one of the earlier scenes when the character Olaf leads a dialogue that reveals his growing anxiety about getting older and not having everything figured out. He is reassured by his friend Anna that he shouldn’t worry since things will all make sense once he’s older. Olaf takes this advice to heart as it appears to appease his anxiety. Further along in the movie, Olaf recalls the earlier exchange with Anna during a moment of panic and breaks out into the song When I Am Older. Simply put, this musical number acts as a form of self-reassurance that although things may be confusing at the present moment, we will figure all of life’s mysteries when we are older and laugh at our childish ways. The lyrics from the song go as follows:

This will all make sense when I am older

Someday I will see that this makes sense

One day when I’m old and wise

I’ll think back and realize

That these were all completely normal events


I’ll have all the answers when I’m older

Like why we’re in this dark enchanted wood

I know in a couple years

These will seems like childish fears

And so I know this isn’t bad, it’s good

Excuse me.

Growing up means adapting

Puzzling at your world and your place

When I’m more mature

I’ll feel totally secure

Being watched by something

With a creepy, creepy face

Ahhhhh! Ahhhhh!

See, that will all make sense when I am older

So there’s no need to be terrified or tense

I’ll just dream about a time

When I’m in my age of prime

‘Cause when you’re older

Absolutely everything makes sense

What I admire most about this song is that it is a tongue-in-cheek way of addressing the way in which as children, we are often told to look to some undefined future time as the moment that all of life’s answers will become self-evident. Then, there inevitably comes a time after which we have settled into adulthood when we realise that the moment we’ve been waiting for may never present itself to us … at least not in the way we were made to believe. Yet, there is some comfort in knowing that there is an order to life and that somewhere along the way we will finally figure it all out. So we persist in the belief of these ideas by passing them down to our children, perhaps more so as a way of avoiding the never-ending stream of questioning that often accompanies the insatiable curiosity of children that, if left unchallenged, will expose our own lack of understanding about most things. This, for me, encapsulates what I believe to be the magic of Disney. It lies in the fact that many of its stories have the ability to charm children and adults alike, encouraging you to suspend disbelief and dream that any and all things are possible while still commenting on the sobering reality of our limited capabilities.

P.S. my favourite song from the movie is Lost In The Woods (of course!)