Movie Review: Frozen 2
Six years ago, Disney released a musical, comedy adventure that followed two sister princesses, Anna and Elsa. Frozen, a perfect mixture of action and emotion, made quite the impact among children and adults alike, collecting just under $1.3 billion in box office sales. This year, directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck deliver the sequel that sends the two sisters, as well as the ice master, Kristoff, and the comical talking snowman, Olaf, on another magical adventure. Set three years after the first film, Frozen 2 focuses primarily on Elsa’s past and the origin of her icy powers. Furthermore, it tests the strength of Anna’s and Elsa’s sisterly bond in addition to Anna’s and Kristoff’s romantic relationship. As a whole, the movie reveals new legends, dark pasts, and magical places.
Returning cast includes Idina Menzel as Elsa, Kristen Bell as Anna, Jonathan Groff as Kristoff and Josh Gad as Olaf. New voices, Evan Rachel Wood and Alfred Molina as Anna’s and Elsa’s parents, replace Jennifer Lee and Maurice LaMarche from the previous film, and Sterling K. Brown, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, Martha Plimpton and Jeremy Sisto all join the cast, voicing new characters in the narrative.
Just like every Disney movie, Frozen 2 comes with a brand-new repertoire of songs. The collection is comprised of “All Is Found,”a melodious lullaby telling of a legendary, all-knowing river; “Into The Unknown,” a traditional Elsa solo; “When I Am Older,” a hilarious Olaf classic; “Some Things Never Change,” a brief introduction that highlights the main characters; “Lost in the Woods,” an extraordinary Kristoff ballad; “The Next Right Thing,” a touching solo by Anna; and “Show Yourself,” another Elsa special with an unexpected guest. The score was composed by Christopher Beck, who also produced music for Ant-Man, Pitch Perfect and Trolls.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! SKIP TO PART WHEN SPOILERS END.
The film begins with a flashback, matching its predecessor’s introduction. Young Anna and Elsa listen intently to their father’s mystical tale of the legend of the Enchanted Forest and their mother’s beautiful lullaby about the omniscient Ahtohallan river. Both the story and the melody hold mysterious themes and unanswered questions. Already, the movie displays a more ominous tone than the first film.
Years later, Elsa starts to hear a voice, compelling her to depart Arendelle on another adventure. She is reluctant to leave her wonderful life behind, but when the angry spirits of the Enchanted Forest strike her kingdom, she is forced to go on an adventure to protect her people. Accompanied by Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf, she treks through the unknown to discover the truth about the past. When they arrive at the Enchanted Forest, they meet the Northuldra people and the Arendelle soldiers loyal to Anna’s and Elsa’s parents, both groups trapped in the forest. Soon enough, Anna and Elsa discover that their mother was Northuldran and saved their father’s life before the two fell in love and married.
Heading north, they discover the truth about their parents’ deaths; instead of sailing to the Southern Isles as they claimed, their parents were attempting to go north to uncover the origin of Elsa’s powers. This significant reveal completely denounces a couple of fan theories: the king and queen were not traveling to attend Rapunzel’s wedding nor did they give birth to Tarzan. Elsa, as usual, blames herself for her parents’ deaths, and in her moment of self-hatred, she pushes her sister away yet again, assuring Anna that she had to complete the rest of the journey on her own. Sure enough, Elsa locates Ahtohallan and discovers the truth about the past: their grandfather started the fight between the Northuldra and the people of Arendelle. She also discovers that she is the fifth spirit of the Enchanted Forest.
The narrative takes a darker turn when Elsa freezes to death. Since Elsa is Olaf’s creator, when she dies, so does Olaf. However, Elsa sends her sister a message revealing the truth. Anna, after recovering from the tragic deaths of Elsa and Olaf, seeks to destroy the dam that was presented by Arendelle as a trick peace offering to the Northuldra. She manages to hoodwink the Earth Giants into breaking the dam, which frees all the people trapped in the Enchanted Forest and unleashes a giant wave. Once the dam is broken, Elsa unfreezes and uses her ice powers to stop the wave from consuming Arendelle. With the help of Elsa, Olaf comes back as well. Ultimately, all of the main characters remain alive, a classic Disney ending.
A tangent to the main plot focuses on Anna and Kristoff’s relationship. Near the beginning of the movie, Kristoff makes it clear to viewers his intention to marry Anna. However, after repeatedly failing to ask her properly, he is left heartbroken, gifting the viewers with his ballad “Lost in the Woods,” which echoes many aspects of a 1980s music video. In the end, Kristoff’s proposal is successful, leaving fans of their relationship elated.
This sequel brings many new elements into play, particularly magical elements. The four spirits of the Enchanted Forest embody different forms: air as a gust of wind blowing a few leaves (which Olaf later names Gale), fire as a tiny salamander, water as a majestic horse and earth as giant rock-beings. Likewise, introducing an ambiguous past to the plot requires the addition of new characters. There are three primary Northuldra characters: Yelana, the leader of the tribe; Honeymaren, whom Elsa befriends; Ryder, who attempts to help Kristoff with his proposal dilemma. Two primary Arendelle characters include: Anna’s and Elsa’s grandfather, King Runeard, and Lieutenant Matthias, who had served Anna and Elsa’s parents. The film also introduces two new locations: the Enchanted Forest and the Ahtohallan river. Directors Lee and Buck were taking a risky leap in adding so many new components to the sequel. However, the sequel fits quite nicely with the plot of the first movie. While the first film dealt mainly with Elsa’s internal conflict within Arendelle, the sequel expands further into the unknown and delves deep into the past, tying ends together neatly.