“Frozen 2” Release Hits Heart of Disney Fans


Walt Disney Studios

“Frozen 2” follows the story of Elsa on she journeys to discover more about who she is and why she has her powers.

Evelyn Wang and Lauren McCormick

Following the unparalleled success of “Frozen,” Disney was certainly not ready to say “Let It Go” to the franchise.

After the original movie grossed $1.27 billion, won numerous awards (including the Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Original Song), and was hailed a cultural phenomenon, a sequel seemed inevitable. But does “Frozen 2” break the Hollywood trend of sequels being notoriously worse than their originals?

It seems “Frozen 2” has certainly delivered financially, earning $127 million on opening weekend in the U.S. The animated feature quickly became the highest grossing film in the box office over Thanksgiving.

However, “Frozen 2” ends up like most sequels: enjoyable, but not as good as its predecessor. While there was adventure, excitement, love, and humor, the film didn’t quite capture the same magic of “Frozen.”

The plot opens up with the story of an enchanted forest in the north that has since been closed off after a conflict between the Northuldra tribe and the Arendellians, which angered elemental spirits of nature. Queen Iduna (Evan Rachel Wood) sings the lullaby “All Is Found,” about a magical river, Ahtohallan. In the present day, Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff, (Jonathan Groff), and Olaf (Josh Gad) live happily in Arendelle, but everything changes when a mysterious voice starts calling to Elsa. The group embarks on an adventure to save their kingdom and to find out the truth about the enchanted forest.

One of the goals of “Frozen 2” is to satisfy the questions left with viewers after the first film. For example, Elsa and Anna searched for answers about their parents’ pasts and the origin of Elsa’s powers, but in doing so, a complex and somewhat jumbled storyline was created. While intricate and adventurous, the story is also dense, exposition-heavy, and muddled at some points. In the end, it remains ambiguous, leaving a few answers up to the assumption of the viewers.

Another question that was widely asked was if “Frozen 2” could deliver a song to match the globally acclaimed “Let It Go” from the original, a song known for its passion, and for being the obsession of numerous children around the country. While it’s yet to be seen if they can meet those expectations, the new songs “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” are both definitely showstoppers on their own. It can even be argued that they hold more emotional value and are more open to audience interpretation.

Additionally, “Frozen 2” comes through with stunning visuals. The entire movie consists of intricate animation, to the extent where viewers can see individual hairs on a character’s head, or the threads in their outfits.

While “Frozen 2” has a considerably darker tone than its predecessor, no Disney movie would be complete without humor, and this movie is certainly no exception. Throughout the movie, Olaf is a constant source of comedic relief. He continues to be his optimistic self, asking many philosophical questions and cracking jokes that bring the whole theatre to laughter.

At the same time, his character also experiences a lot of growth. In the beginning of the movie, Olaf thinks about others growing up around him and the changes taking place, which is represented in his song, “When I Am Older.” For the first time, he experiences unfamiliar and new emotions, like anger.

In “Frozen”, Olaf represents the love between Elsa and Anna and their childhood innocence, but I think this change in “Frozen 2” is representative of Elsa and Anna’s journey. He hopes he’ll know everything and that things will make sense when he’s older. This becomes true for Elsa and Anna, as they learn about their parents’ pasts and about themselves. When Olaf reveals his worries to Anna about people growing up around him, she reassures him that some things never change. Indeed, the strong theme of familial love and support so prominent in “Frozen” does not diminish in the sequel.

“Frozen 2” is an entertaining and charming film that leaves viewers amused, but not without questions. Its soundtrack and visuals alone are enough reason to see it. Though the movie is not without flaws, it still gives the viewer the same magical experience any other Disney film would, while venturing a little bit into the unknown.