Anna from the Disney movie Frozen made an appearance at this year’s Rotary Santa Claus Parade, and you might be surprised why,
The Brain injury Association of Sault Ste. Marie and District (BIA) used a Frozen theme to decorate its parade float this year after float designer Tami Goslow made the interesting connection regarding the Frozen character Anna.
In the movie Frozen, the character Anna is zapped in the head by her sister Elsa’s magic powers before falling onto the ground.
The accident resulted in her losing her memory and forming a permanent white streak in her hair.
Goslow considered Anna’s experience as suffering a brain injury and thought that made her the perfect symbol to represent their cause.
Goslow is a Brain Injury Association board member, has mild cerebral palsy, and has lived with a brain injury since she was two years old.
Goslow said that while most people watch Frozen and think it’s about Elsa and her magic powers, her experience with the film has always focused on Anna’s struggles.
“Watching the cartoon, I realized her sister hit her in the head with ice, she had memory loss, and she went through all the stages that people go through when they have a brain injury. Because of this I could always relate to her,” said Goslow.
Goslow said the white streak in Anna’s hair represents the fact that brain injuries are often invisible.
When tasked with designing the BIA’s float she thought the Frozen theme could help draw out the movie’s brain injury connection for the public.
“A lot of people are not aware that Anna had a brain injury and I’m hoping that, with the float, they might make the connection that there are people in the Sault with similar problems and to raise awareness about the BIA.”
Goslow also made connections between Frozen songs and the experiences of those with brain injuries.
The song ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ is about the character Anna’s isolation in the castle.
Goslow said this song connects with her and many others experiences of living with brain injuries.
“She felt isolated from her family, rejected, and alone and with my injuries growing up I also felt those things,” she said.
The song For the First Time in Forever is about Anna getting excited about opening up the castle doors, and getting ready for a long celebration after leading a lonely life inside the castle.
“Every person, after they go through their struggles with a brain injury, has to learn to adapt to life in a new way and they have new experiences. When Anna gets a new experience of life outside the castle it’s just like that,” she said.
Goslow said that, for her, one of these new experiences has been making connections with other survivors through the BIA’s support group.
Playing the part of Anna on the float was Goslow’s friend Kim Anderson, also a BIA board member who has lived with a brain injury since she was 8 months old.
“I chose Kim to be Anna because she’s my friend and I just love her spirit,” said Goslow, whose connection and friendship with Anderson highlights the way the BIA is bringing people together.
The BIA’s stated mission is ‘To help people living with a brain injury by providing support, education and awareness.’
They facilitate a survivor support group that meets twice a month, run a ‘Peer/Mentor’ support program, and frequently set up information tables at community events.
Group president Tamara Soltys really liked Goslow’s float design.
“It’s great, most people probably watched that movie and never thought of the brain injury portion. Now they can watch it again and see something new. I really like how this connection can bring brain injury awareness to children,” said Soltys.