Frozen 2: A Frosty Review

Despite the flawless storytelling of Frozen, Frozen 2 simply does not live up to its predecessor, proving that sequels are not as good as the originals.

Despite the flawless storytelling of Frozen, Frozen 2 simply does not live up to its predecessor, proving that sequels are not as good as the originals.

Shivangi Gupta, Staff Writer

Frozen 2, the long-awaited sequel to Disney’s blockbuster hit, Frozen, one of the most influential and prominent animated films of history, hit theatres across America on November 22, 2019. Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and starring Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell as the voice actors of Anna and Elsa, the film depicts a new adventure far away from the kingdom of Arendelle. 

The film begins similarly to its predecessor; with a cute scene of Anna and Elsa as young girls, sitting in their room and playing. They then have a deep conversation with their parents, during which their father reveals the origins of Arendelle and how everything came to be.  While the film does a good job explaining the backstory and flashbacks while incorporating high-quality animation, it doesn’t relate to Frozen’s plot in any way, and also lacks in uniting aspects of the present to the past. The movie does, however, effectively link the storyline of Frozen by reintroducing the same loved characters, including Olaf and Sven, and referencing popular songs from the original such as “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel. 

In terms of film quality, the movie employs a much more broad range of colors such as pinks, greens, and browns that stick out from Frozen’s use of greys, blues, and purples, enhancing the dichotomy between homely Arendelle and the mysterious Northuldran forest, a new location introduced in the movie. Additionally, the use of exceptional 2D animation effects created moments within the film that could almost be felt by the audience. For example, in one scene, Elsa projects thousands of stars into the clear sky, and slowly, all of them freeze. The film uses a wide-angle shot to show the great magnitude of Elsa’s powers while capturing the clarity of each and every star.

The film’s large soundtrack incorporates 7 original songs, most notably the hits “Into the Unknown” and “The Next Right Thing.” The songs all implement catchy, emotional lyrics that reflect the character who’s singing them’s true feelings and desires. For example, Elsa’s “Into the Unknown” underscores her wish to respond and find the source of the siren that is calling out to her. Anna’s “The Next Right Thing” shows the internal battle she faces when she has to choose what to do next on her mission to help Elsa. The songs help characterize individual characters, but because the film does not tangibly link together the subplots occurring, the film still seems abrupt and choppy. For instance, Elsa is inundated with the task of crossing the ocean to reach an island which may potentially unleash the full extent of her magical powers. However, the solution she uses to cross the ocean is introduced far too quickly, and it isn’t properly explained it was viable in the Frozen realm. This makes me wonder if the movie would have possibly been better had it been longer. 

In addition to using songs to highlight solo characters’ subplots, the film also portrays major character development as a result of them. For example, Elsa’s changing attitude towards finding internal freedom and where she truly belongs is a major motif throughout the film. On the other hand, Anna deals with fits of panic and self-doubt before she’s finally able to realize that she’s fit to be a strong of a leader. Another character who develops into a more mature and successful person is Olaf; he’s given a more comedic role throughout the film and he overcomes his fear of losing his loved ones. He also builds closer relations with Anna and Elsa and Kristoff when he goes on voyages with them throughout Arendelle and Northuldra, the magical river introduced in the movie. 

Ultimately, the film does a good job incorporating high quality animation and developing characters’ personas over time. However, it does lack in linking subplots together, a major downfall of the film that left many fans perplexed and disappointed by the abrupt transitions. Though Frozen 2 was a film that many felt was overdue, it remains dubious as to whether or not it truly lived up to expectations.