By: Anna DeGoede
Editor in Chief
It feels like the hype from the first Frozen movie is just dying down and yet, here we are, reviewing the movie’s sequel Frozen II. The film brings back all the old favorite characters, including Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Olaf (Josh Gad) while also adding a whole host of fresh faces.
If you go thinking that you’re just going to see Frozen with new songs and new outfits, you’re wrong. Frozen II sets itself apart from its bright, playful predecessor, establishing an entirely new narrative for its characters. Previously, Elsa and Anna were young, inexperienced women- but in this film, they, along with Frozen’s original audience, have grown up. The tone of the movie strives to reflect this coming-of-age with more mature storylines, tones, and songs.
We’ve all been closely acquainted with catchy, playful tunes such as ‘Do You Wanna Build a Snowman’ and ‘In Summer’. But these iconic tunes have been replaced by new songs that explore the characters’ deepest fears and struggles. While some of the first film’s songs had the impression of being written to be iconic, these feel as though they have been written to enhance the movie’s storyline. Songs such as ‘All is Found’, ‘Show Yourself’, and ‘The Next Right Thing’ are haunting pieces that cover themes like self-acceptance, perseverance, and faith in a more understated, elegant way.
The characters’ natural surroundings, which were barely explored in the first film, steal the show in every scene.The autumnal colors are sophisticated and help the series capture the x-factor it was missing in the first film. Another highlight was the scenes that incorporated fire, earth, air, and water. These elements were embodied with a carefully-crafted blend of drama, humor, and skill and made for some of the most visually impactful moments in the film. Instead of remaining in the background, the setting took on a character of its own in Frozen II, becoming one of the most memorable aspects of the film itself.
Frozen II is not without its weaknesses, though. The newfound sense of maturity within Frozen II’s storyline and characters is probably better understood by teenagers or even adults. The issues of prejudice and racism will most likely go over younger viewers’ heads. Younger children might not be able to appreciate some of the lessons that the characters learn to the depth that older viewers will be able to. The negative reviewers who claim that this film isn’t as good as the first one have caught on to the fact that, while Disney marketed this film toward a younger audience, the movie thematically aligns with the original generation it targeted: today’s high schoolers.
It’s no surprise that Frozen II is a beautiful showcase of the masterful animation, storytelling, and music that we’ve come to expect from Disney. If you go into the theater expecting a repeat of Frozen, you’re going to leave disappointed, because this film is more mature and edgy than its predecessor while still staying in the reaches of its younger audiences. But rather than falling in line behind all of the movies that came before it, Frozen II seems to hint at a new, more polished era of Disney animated films. You should definitely go see this film: no matter what age you are, there is something for everyone, whether it’s the aesthetic appearance, masterful music, or striking storytelling. Overall, we rate this film 5/5 stars.