My (Spoiler-Free) Review of Frozen 2
Disney’s “Frozen,” which opened in 2013, is the highest grossing animated film of all time. I remember seeing it with my kids and thinking it was pretty cool with its catchy tunes like “Let It Go” and a good, unpredictable plot. Then it exploded in popularity – my daughter was “Elsa” for at least one Halloween, and many other outings like to “Disney on Ice” where we were surrounded by about 400 other little Elsas. Clearly, families weren’t going to “Let It Go” and they wanted more.
Finally, after years of anticipation, Disney’s Frozen 2 is complete. It’s in theatres on Friday, November 22nd, and my kids and I had the privilege of seeing an advance screening of it this week.
Frozen 2 is stunning, musical, entertaining, and funny, but also deeper than the first Frozen. On my Facebook page I posted a question before the movie started: “What should I include in my review?” Many of you were concerned it was darker and scarier – too much for young kids. I would say it wasn’t visually dark or scary – definitely nothing like Moana or even the beginning of the live-action Aladdin. Instead, Frozen 2 was more serious, intense and mature. The story was a bit hard to make sense of, but the themes of family, community and even death were strong but probably a bit heavy for the youngest ones in the audience.
And there were many young kids in the audience during our screening. I didn’t witness tears or signs of fear, though there may have been at some emotional points in the movie. Overall, I’m sure the story, while entertaining, was above their heads. If anything was scary, it was the unknown that was scary – what’s behind the clouds, what’s going to happen next, will everyone be ok? Nothing is truly scary (there are no scary monsters or faces) and everything turns out to be ok – but the suspense can be overwhelming for some kids.
Frozen 2 is about Elsa and Anna – but mostly Elsa. I think with Elsa’s popularity, Disney knew to give fans what they wanted – a movie all about Elsa and her magic.
In the beginning, Elsa keeps hearing a melody sung by a voice coming from the north. Only she can hear it, and it leads her on a quest to find it and learn the truth of her past, and of course she’s joined by her devoted sister Anna, the goofy Kristoff, the loyal Sven, and the funny snowman, Olaf.
Olaf was the comic relief of the film. And he was more mature too – exploring getting older (“Forgive me, maturity is making me poetic”) and sharing interesting facts about the world throughout the journey (including one about water that actually helps him later on). Honestly, he has one scene that’s so funny that it’s worth seeing the movie just for that one scene. When meeting the people of the Northuldra Tribe in the enchanted forest of Ahtohallan, he does a solo reenactment of the entire first Frozen movie that’s truly laugh-out-loud hilarious.
I think that’s what I loved the most about this movie. The story was about the past so there were funny references to the first Frozen movie throughout – the movie makes fun of Elsa’s sexy walk, Elsa is embarrassed by a memory of herself singing “Let It Go,” and Anna is clearly displeased at a memory of Hans.
And Elsa and Anna’s parents play a big role in the movie. There is a flashback at the beginning of them telling young Anna and Elsa the story of a mystic river whose waters contain all the secrets of the past. Then grown-up Elsa discovers the earth’s four elements which reveal that there is unfinished business between the kingdom of Arendelle and the indigenous Northuldra people of the forest (yes, I thought there was a suggestion about European Americans vs. the Native Americans at one point).
During all of this, Elsa and Anna learn some things about their parents they never knew, which helps to make the first Frozen movie make sense, and together the sisters work to resolve the tension between the peoples.
The music, to me, didn’t seem catchy, except for Elsa’s big song “Into the Unknown” which had a catchy hook I couldn’t get out of my head afterward. Honestly I think the scene when she was singing it was way more visually stunning and magical than was “Let It Go.” Disney definitely one-upped themselves here.
And Elsa’s scene in the water was breathtaking as she took on the Nokk, a mystical water spirit that takes on the form of a horse. This spirit uses the power of the ocean to guard the secrets of the forest, and boy does it. The computer animation was remarkable.
Other scenes worth noting – I loved an 80’s ballad that Kristoff sings called “Lost in the Woods.” It was fun and added a different color to the movie. Poor Kristoff, by the way, had a goal involving a ring that kept getting derailed, but he persisted and all the girls in the audience with crushes on him will fall in love with him even more.
Olaf and Anna each had their own songs that for the most part weren’t quite as light and playful as in the first Frozen, but were thoughtful, inspired and fun nonetheless.
Overall, Disney’s Frozen 2 had a lot of depth as well as beauty. It’s worth seeing for so many reasons – besides the obvious anticipation it has created.
If I gave Frozen an A+, I’d give Frozen 2 an A-, only because the plot was somewhat hard to follow. However, I liked that it matured with its audience – the characters had a lot of depth in it. It was entertaining for both adults and kids, even the youngest ones. My daughter, who is now 11, loved it. My son was entertained but felt it was more of a girls’ movie. I could see that, since it focused so much on Elsa and Anna. Kristoff, Olaf and the others were more in the background than anything, except for a few spotlight moments. But I do believe everyone will enjoy it and should see it.
Other questions you asked:
Will there be a Frozen 3?
I don’t think there will be. It’s possible but I didn’t feel the ending indicated this.
Worth seeing in theatres? Or just wait until it’s on Disney+?
I definitely think you should see it in theatres. Adults will appreciate it, and kids will be captivated by it even if they don’t understand it. (And adults will be captivated by it even if THEY don’t understand it.)
Best times to get up and go to the bathroom?
I would say there are no good times to go except maybe early in the movie as it starts out slowly.
What other questions do you have? Leave them in the comments!
About Frozen 2
Why was Elsa born with magical powers? The answer is calling her and threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll set out on a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough.
Click here to open a 17-page PDF with printable coloring sheets and activity pages!
Disney Frozen 2 website: https://movies.disney.com/frozen-2