The year 2013 was magical. The movie “Frozen” came out, resulting in kids dressing up in Elsa costumes (blonde wigs and all) and full-grown adults belting “Love Is an Open Door” at every opportunity.
With any successful movie franchise, talks of a sequel always seem to set in shortly upon the movie’s initial release. Given its sky high popularity, “Frozen” was no different. It took some time, but “Frozen II” finally arrived on Nov. 22, 2019- six years later!
The movie is a must-see, especially for Disney and “Frozen” fans, but also anyone! I never hopped on the ‘Frozen” bandwagon back in the day, but this sequel might have — dare I say it? — topped the original.
The movie reprises the roles of all the characters we know and love. Without giving away too much, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven and, of course, Olaf set out on an adventure to free an enchanted forest from being terrorized by elemental spirits (earth, water, air, and fire). On this quest, they learn the truth about Anna and Elsa’s parents’ deaths, the story of the events that took place regarding the people of Arendelle and the forest, and the two sisters’ destinies.
The overall story and plot was well thought out. It was creative in the sense that it painted this entire backstory to be unfolded before the audience’s eyes. Using different creatures to represent the four elements and how they were not just represented, but how they were either appeased or used as an advantage was also interesting, especially nearing the end of the film.
While there was a certain level of predictability to the film, it is not over the top. In total, among the people I watched the movie with, there were only two things discussed that we saw coming. When it comes to Disney movies, predictable events go over children’s heads and play right into what adults are hoping will happen. Overall, not a bad thing.
The highlights overshadow any negatives one might find, and boy, are they hard to find. The music in this movie is by far the most phenomenal part of it. I got literal chills at one point, and I don’t think it has much to do with Elsa’s magical powers rather than everything to do with Idina Menzel’s sensational vocals on the song “Show Yourself.” For reference, “Show Yourself” is the “Let it Go” of this movie (except a million times better). “Into the Unknown” was another standout song. Older fans might relish in knowing that a Panic! At The Disco version of this song not only exists, but is played during the end credits. “Lost in the Woods” performed by Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) also garnered attention from audiences for its classic rock influences, which add to the versatility of the “Frozen II” soundtrack.
Aside from the music, which frankly could be a whole article in and of itself, other highlights include the super adorable fire spirit who takes form as a salamander. There is also no shortage of Olaf moments; at one point, he recalls and sums up the entire plot of the first movie in the most comical way.
Relationship dynamics among characters are what the “Frozen” franchise is most known for. The new movie follows in suit of what “Frozen” started, which is prioritizing sisterhood and girl power. When it comes to Anna and Elsa, the love and trust those two have in each other is admirable and a positive message to send young fans. They care about each other and have each other’s backs in the most genuine way, resulting in success and happily ever afters. A narrative such as theirs is crucial in today’s day and age. Seeing powerful, healthy and platonic love in a feminist framework is a rarity that should be celebrated and emulated.
Kristoff and Anna’s relationship is also portrayed in a profound way. Farewell to the damsel-in-distress stories! At one point Kristoff asks Anna, “I’m here. What do you need?” This immediately grabbed my attention. Normally at this point, the male protagonist would have swooped in to save the day, but the roles have reversed! Instead, Anna is front and center dealing with conflict and Kristoff is there for her, open to supporting her in whatever way she needs from him.
Mom, dad, toddler, middle schooler, or grandma- everyone should watch this movie. Between the killer soundtrack and revolutionary character arcs, there is something for all audiences to enjoy. Besides, what better way to get into the winter spirit?