Oh, Frozen. You amazing, over-marketed, Disney-scented icicle. We all love you still.
Frozen 2? I…liked it. Yeah, guys. I actually like it. Despite the problems.
There’s not much I can say about this franchise that hasn’t already been said. The sequel has a decent score on Rotten Tomatoes, even many critics liked it. I think a lot of people who didn’t like it, really didn’t like it, which is why you may have heard some grumbling here and there. I can see why they felt this way, and I’ll explain why. And if you’re one of those and you’re wondering why I did like it, I’ll also explain why.
So, Frozen 2. It’s been six years for us, not that long in Arendelle since the showdown with Hans. Kristoff wants to propose to Anna, and Elsa is reigning over a successful Kingdom, and seems to have her powers somewhat under control. However, she hears a voice in the distance. She wants to ignore it, but the calling is relentless. After she sings the new “Let it Go” song (which honestly is pretty good, it’s called “Into the Unknown“), Elsa communicates with some forest spirits, who begin forcing everyone out of Arendelle. The mysterious enchanted forest is the source of the strange calling and the spirits, so she sets out to find the origins of, not only the song, but possibly her powers, and what happened to her parents those years ago. Of course Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf come along, and we meet some new characters in the mysterious magical forest.
Firstly, the film is beautiful. The designs, the landscape, and the songs are all breathtaking.
The plot points? Well, Elsa’s mysterious powers and the strange history of Arendelle is captivating- at first. The people of Northuldra (I apologize if that’s spelled wrong, I have seen it FOUR DIFFERENT WAYS) are also interesting- at first. Kristoff wanting to propose to Anna is cute- at first. My point is, not only do we know what’s going to happen for the most part, BUT some of the things that are supposed to impact us fail because they focused on the wrong things. I’ll have a spoiler section below.
It may seem at this point that I didn’t like the movie. Well, it’s just that I do see the problems. The songs aren’t as great as the first one, there’s no reason that Kristoff and Anna couldn’t have been married already, and we don’t get to know the new characters very well. There is a lot of potential that they can still capitalize on (books, TV shows, maybe some Disney + specials), but when it’s not explored in the main film itself, that’s a bit disappointing. It brings up the issue of when writers won’t reveal things simply betting on the fact that fans will buy other franchise products in order to learn more about certain characters, backstories, and touched-on names and places. In the money-making scene, yeah that makes sense. Still, herein lies the reasoning behind why in this franchise that doesn’t make sense, and also why overall I didn’t let the big problems bother me:
It’s a movie for kids.
Now, I’m not saying that you should make things overly-simple, and not try so hard just because something is marketed towards children. But I think that a lot of people were betting on this movie being a total masterpiece, something that drew them in, answered questions, and satisfied their hungry souls with complexity, intrigue, and character development. The thing is, while you should get some of those elements, I think we shouldn’t depend on it so much in something like the Frozen franchise. Remember, it is made for children, to sell products, and to entertain you. There’s nothing wrong that. Sure, maybe they could have done some things better, but overall, keep in mind what this is. A Disney franchise to make kids smile. I saw it with a good friend of mine, and we both laughed and enjoyed the whole thing. It made us feel like kids again. But that’s what I liked about it, and that’s what I liked about the first one, too. Sure, the first movie had a great villain, and some great twists. The second one does not. There’s no Hans, and there’s not really a twist. But keep in mind, that’s okay!
Overall, if you enjoyed the first movie, I bet you’ll like this one. You’ll definitely like the songs, Olaf is still Olaf, Elsa does develop as a character, and the ending is good, if not very Disney-fied. Overall, check it out, but don’t expect too much, Just enjoy it for what it is: a Disney movie with lots of ice.
The first problem I had: when they find out what happened to their parents. It doesn’t mean anything. We’ve already experienced their loss, and there was no hint whatsoever that their parents might still be alive. If there was, then it would have been even crueler and harder to watch Anna and Elsa lose them all over again. Instead, it’s sort of just…yeah, the people who died already are still dead. And Elsa is more hurt by it than Anna. Honestly Anna didn’t even seem fazed.
The other problem was with the history of Arendelle and the forest. I knew right away that we would find out it was Arendelle all along that really started the battle. Again, it doesn’t impact us, because we have never met Elsa and Anna’s grandfather. If they had revealed some really fond and nice memories of him being a sweet and kind grandpa to them, then suddenly we learn what he did, that would have been much more of an impact. Compared to the first movie, these “big reveals,” are very weak.
Also, Kristoff and Anna. His music-video-inspired song was hilarious. My friend and I were laughing so hard throughout the stupid thing. But again, everyone watching knows that in the end, he’s going to propose, and she’s going to say yes. There’s ZERO suspense. They should have been married already. Leave more room for other stuff. Maybe even Kristoff should have stayed behind to protect Arendelle or something.
Lastly, the new characters. They were likable, certainly. But we get small moments with them, and they aren’t impactful enough to make us care that much. Small moments are fine, when done well. Instead, they sort of just explain things, and sing. Without all of Kristoff’s drama, we would have more time to get to know them, and maybe meet Anna and Elsa’s mother’s family. Yeah, remember that? Their mother was one of them? So where’s her family? She should have cousins or maybe even siblings!
Again, these are just small complaints. I don’t expect it to give me much more, because of what it is. A franchise to entertain us, mostly kids. These certainly didn’t ruin the movie for me, but I can understand why they did for some people. If you agree or disagree, let me know in the comments.
For one thing, I think we can all enjoy the soundtrack. I won’t mind hearing “Into the Unknown,” for a while. There’s no reason we have to leave behind the days of singing along to Disney soundtracks. It’s movies like Frozen and Frozen 2 that allow us to be big kids, and we all love Disney for it.