WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna embark on an adventure far away from the kingdom of Arendelle. They are joined by friends, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
I was never a fan of Frozen - while I understood why it was so popular when it first came out in 2013, it didn’t exactly make my heart explode into song - and we can all agree that when Let It Go finally managed to disappear into oblivion the world was a slightly better place.
The huge success made it a no-brainer for Disney to announce a sequel, and my expectations were quite tepid - but at least the main song didn’t drill a never-ending hole in my head. By the fall of the last magical snowflake, I was enthralled - a beautifully-told tale, the growth of Elsa and Anna’s affectionate relationship and the healthy portrayal of Kristoff’s love, making him an amazing male role model for young boys. Frozen 2 feels more like a trip to the psychologist, dealing with issues of inadequacy, emotional expression, trust within yourself and the impending doom of death through the cheerful disposition of a sentient snowman.
We visit Arandelle three years after Elsa revealed her powers to her family and kingdom, but now she faces the draw of a mysterious voice to the forgotten Enchanted Forest - where her faith in her sister Anna and herself will be sorely tested.
Like most Disney movies, Frozen 2 is just so beautifully animated - mix it in with creative portrayals of nature’s elements and the magical prowess of Elsa, and you have artists coming up with dreamscapes that you wish you could disappear into. I also much prefer the new soundtrack to the first movie - the songs are less whiny (even Elsa cringes at her past self) and the music has matured into an orchestral masterpiece with a bit of dark in them. Into the Unknown might not get the same love from the kiddies as Let it go, but adults will have a much higher tolerance for it as long as it’s sung by either Idina Menzel or Panic! At the Disco.
When it comes to the story, it flows seamlessly between the previous film and this one - there are no hard turns or out-of-character developments, but instead, a natural progression remains intact throughout. The biggest moments of the movie, which has gone viral, belongs to Kristoff - voiced by Jonathan Groff - and his iconic line "my love is not fragile". While his character arc is something almost revolutionary for addressing toxic masculinity in cinema, I do believe one should not forget the underratedness of Olaf. Played to perfection by Josh Gad, the snowman is coming to grips with the impermanence of the world, dropping nihilistic, yet cheerful nuggets that will leave you gasping for air in your chair.
But beyond the humour, Olaf is the perfect character for kids to identify with, especially when they start hitting that age where they become all too aware of death. He’s a child coming to grips with the dark side of being alive, but his acceptance of things he cannot change makes him one of the most inspiring animated characters.
If you’re a parent dreading the second round of Frozen-fever, this time will be a thousand times better than the first. The sequel has managed to warm my sceptical heart despite its icy premise, and while the mood is darker than before, kids might find a lot more meaningful depth in the message shining through Elsa and her family.