A Frozen II Review

DENIZ BÖLÖNI-TURGUT, Lifestyles Staff Writer

   Six years after its prequel’s release, Frozen II hits theaters, hoping to become the next animated sensation. Despite some issues, it mostly succeeds.

   The movie begins with a flashback to Anna and Elsa’s childhood. Their parents tell them the story of the magical forest near Arendelle and the fight between the native people of the forest and Arendelle. Back in the present day, Elsa is embracing her role as Queen (and hearing voices) while Kristoff is trying to decide how to propose to Anna. We also meet a more “mature” Olaf. Predictably, the rest of the movie involves a quest to the magical forest to discover the source of Elsa’s powers and the truth about the past.

   Honestly, I was ready to be cynical and talk about how this is a cash grab for Disney, but after watching the movie, my feelings are more complicated. The movie was entertaining but there are many issues which prevent me from praising it outright.

   The plot was not the greatest, especially compared to the first movie. The prologue with Elsa’s parents was a large info dump and the plot twists were not hard to guess. The magic system was pretty basic and the best part about it was the cute fire lizard. Overall, the plot felt as if it was created to fit with what was established in the first movie instead of being a logical continuation. Plot wise, I think that the prequel is much better but that’s not surprising or uncommon. Many movie and book franchises only get worse with each installment. 

   I was similarly disappointed with the songs. The first movie had amazing, and importantly, memorable songs. But the problem I have with Frozen II’s songs is that I can’t remember any of them, with the exception of the one line in “Into the Unknown”. Perhaps these songs will diffuse into pop culture and I will end up memorizing them anyway, but for now they were unmemorable. As for the characters, they didn’t change much and the sister dynamic between Anna and Elsa was just as heartwarming as before. 

   Frozen II has already made $202 million dollars in its first week in theaters and is shaping up to be Disney’s biggest sequel ever according to Forbes. So from a monetary point of view, Frozen II is a success. Yet, as a standalone movie without the backing power of Disney and its prequel, I don’t think it would be as successful. Many of the children who enjoyed Frozen are around my age right now and aren’t exactly the target audience for Frozen II. For me and perhaps for others, the appeal of the movie lies only in the pop culture and nostalgia surrounding the franchise. Because of this, I appreciate Disney’s attempt to appeal to a larger audience. Frozen II tackles more mature ideas with Kristoff proposing to Anna and even Olaf thinking about his “old” age. This movie is also darker and touches on more heavy hitting topics such as ethnic conflict. 

   Yet, perhaps thinking along the lines of target audiences and overused plot devices is not right for this movie. It is after all, a children’s movie. I probably wouldn’t have noticed any plot holes if I was watching this as a child. Even now, there are good aspects of this movie. Namely, the humor. Olaf was an amazing comic relief as usual but perhaps more surprising was Kristoff’s addition to the comedy. I laughed out loud during this movie, which isn’t something I can say about many movies. It’s not my favorite animated movie (Inside Out and How to Train Your Dragon have to fight for that title) but it left me feeling happy and almost like a kid again. That’s an accomplishment I will always appreciate.