By Colby Tortorici
It’s been six years and the cold still has yet to bother Elsa.
Like, yes she’s an ice princess but the shoulderless dresses are out of control.
Anyway, with the release of Frozen 2, expectations were high. Considering the massive cultural moment that erupted from the first film, it’s only fair that sequel was so highly anticipated. Overall, it mostly met those expectations, with a few major issues that hold it back from soaring beyond its predecessor by any noticeable margin.
Frozen 2 picks up three years after the original ended. As such, relationships from the previous film have changed significantly. Elsa and Anna are much closer than they were during the last film, and the two live together with Kristoff, a snowman and a reindeer, as one does. They have cute little charades nights that Sven somehow participates in, everyone seems content. Except, of course, Elsa. In her usual angsty fashion, she knows that she’s not where she’s supposed to be, despite being generally happy with her life. From there, things set into motion.
Some flashbacks explain that Elsa’s father once visited a hidden village as a child, and that village hasn’t been seen since. The people of Arendale went to war with these people after a period of peace, and no one knows why. When the Kingdom of Arendale starts experiencing strange effects that force the residents out, Elsa realizes that a voice that has been coming to her was telling her to seek out the hidden village. With that, the sisters, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven set out to save Arendale.
The format of the movie stays relatively unchanged from the first film, which is somewhat of a shame.
Everyone gets separated (both intentionally and unintentionally), and various groups of our five stars go on very separate journeys. Elsa ventures off on her own, no matter how much Anna tries to stop that. While this narratively makes sense and leads to some interesting conflicts, it would have been nice to see Elsa and Anna go on their adventure together, as the previous film set them up to have a good relationship moving forward.
Despite this, each group’s journey is interesting, even if Kristoff and Sven don’t really have too much to do in the film, despite singing an absolutely rocking song. Speaking of, the soundtrack is one of the highlights of the film.
When compared to the original film, Frozen 2’s soundtrack absolutely blows it away. Every single character gets at least one song to themself, and there’s a fantastic collaboration that puts every single one of them together. Anna’s songs are great, Kristoff’s is beautiful and full of laughs, Olaf’s song is just as perfect as the first movie’s, if not better.
Elsa’s big Let it Go moment this time around is Into the Unknown. While it isn’t the immediate earworm that Let it Go was, upon a few listens, it’s such a banger, completely eclipsing its predecessor. Elsa also gets a second ballad that is absolutely stunning. The soundtrack does everything that the first did and does it better. Beyond that, it just does more. There are some great outtakes that are worth a listen, too. In the music department, Frozen 2 unequivocally takes the cake over Frozen.
When it comes to the plot of Frozen 2, there’s some good, and some bad. Frozen 2 overall tells a better story. While Frozen was great and broke down barriers for Disney, Frozen 2 digs deeper. It pushes its characters further and digs into their pasts in interesting ways. Not everything is as it seems in this village, and the reason that they clashed with Arendale in the past pushes everyone to their limits.
Frozen 2’s story is deeper than the original’s tale. It does more with its characters and utilizes most of them very well. Both Anna and Elsa have satisfying journeys that push them in different ways than the original film did, and they’re crafted very well. However, the film’s major drawback comes in its ending.
The ending to Frozen 2 is a letdown. Right when the movie seems like it’s moving into the climax, it just … ends.
Things wrap up in a way that just feels unnatural, it’s far too quick. If the ending had just about three minutes more added to it, it would go a long way for the film. Still, after the climax wraps up, the film’s final minutes are satisfying.
Overall, Frozen 2 is a great film. It’s more ambitious than the first film, and while it does falter in a few areas, the final package is great. Frozen 2 is a better film than Frozen, but only by a slim margin.
With a bit of a stronger ending and some story tweaks, Frozen 2 could have been miles better than its predecessor. Unfortunately, a few issues keep this film from the true greatness it could have achieved.