Elsa and Anna in Danger in Frozen 2!
|Elsa and Anna lead their group to success in"Frozen II" (2019) (all pictures courtesy of Disney).|
When the long-awaited sequel to the hugely successful animated feature film "Frozen" (2013) finally arrived in November 2019, audiences flocked to see it. This was no big surprise given the original film's extraordinary popularity. The story is slightly different and there are new songs to sing on those road trips, but otherwise little has changed. Essentially the entire Disney team that created "Frozen" returned for the sequel, so you know what you are getting. Watching "Frozen II" is so similar to watching the original film that you might have flashbacks. Let's look closely at "Frozen II" to see whether you'll like it.
|Elsa dominates the movie posters of "Frozen II."|
|The soundtrack of "Frozen II" proved quite popular, though not as popular as the original soundtrack which topped many charts. It features seven new songs. Weezer, Panic! at the Disco, and Kacey Musgraves contributed.|
The Frozen II StorylineThe events of "Frozen II" are set three years after the conclusion of "Frozen." Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, and their travel team of Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven undertake a journey of exploration from their kingdom of Arendelle.
The story begins in flashback style when King Agnarr (Alfred Molina) of Arendelle tells his children Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) about their grandfather, King Runeard (Jeremy Sisto). Many years earlier, King Runeard established a treaty with the tribe of Northuldra by building a dam where they lived in the Enchanted Forest. Unfortunately, King Runeard perishes when a fight occurs, and in response, the basic spirits of the elements of earth, air, fire, and water depart the Enchanted Forest. Runeard's son, Agnarr, somehow escapes from the Enchanted Forest with the help of a mysterious entity, but everyone else is trapped there until the basic elements return.
Returning to the present, Queen Elsa hears a mysterious voice calling out to her. She follows its call and accidentally awakens the spirits of the basic elements which had departed from the Enchanted Forest. This causes problems in Arendelle which must be solved, and Grand Pabbie and the Trolls arrive to advise Elsa on what to do. She learns that the only way to make things right in Arendelle is to undertake a journey to learn Arendelle's past and fix things at that destination.
Encountering the Northuldra and some lost Arendellian soldiers who are still fighting each other even after all this time, Elsa and her party are attacked next by the fire spirit. Once again, Elsa is able to stop this attack and calm down the spirit, which turns out to be a magic salamander. This leads to a truce between the warring men of Northuldra and Arendelle. At this time, Elsa learns of the existence of a fifth spirit which may solve Arendelle's problems.
Elsa, Anna, and Olaf head north leaving Sven and Kristoff behind. Discovering the wreck of her parents' ship and a map showing a route to Ahtolhallan, a mythical river which is reputed to explain the past, Elsa continues on alone. The water spirit, Nokk, now appears guarding the way to Ahtohallan. Elsa calms him down, too, and continues to the river. There, Elsa learns that the mysterious voice which initiated their journey was that of her mother, Queen Iduna. She further learns that nature bestowed upon her magic powers due to Iduna's rescue of Agnarr. This makes Elsa the fifth spirit.
|"Frozen II" is all about sisterhood.|
Alerted, Anna realizes that the only way to set things right is to destroy the dam. She finds the enormous earth spirit and manages to draw it to the dam. The earth spirit accidentally destroys the dam, which sends water flowing toward Arendelle. However, destroying the dam frees Elsa, who manages to return to Arendelle and stop the flood.
With the dam broken and the kingdom saved, Elsa and Anna reunite and Olaf returns to life. Kristoff proposes to Anna, who accepts. Elsa decides to abdicate as Queen in order to return to the Enchanted Forest and be its protector. Thus, "Frozen II" ends with Anna as the Queen of Arendelle and Elsa the protector of the Enchanted Forest.
The Impact of Frozen II"Frozen II" is a film for fans. It greatly expands upon the "Frozen" universe and gives it context without really changing the "Frozen" dynamic. We learn the reason for Elsa's magic powers, for instance. Both Anna and Elsa wind up with specific roles to play with important purposes to maintain peace, but their relationship remains unaltered. "Frozen II" thus ties up loose ends from "Frozen" which many fans probably wondered about. Make no mistake, "Frozen II" is a beautiful film with new animation techniques which, in the most stunning sequence, give the character of Nokki a realistic liquid-like appearance. While the storyline is darker, that creates tension which otherwise would be lacking. In the final analysis, "Frozen II" is quite worthy as a sequel.
|The Disney Frozen II Sugar Cookie Castle Kit would make a nice snack while you watch "Frozen II."|
The original source material for "Frozen" was Hans Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen." That is a dark tale and not at all the whimsical sort of derring-do that the "Frozen" films became. Perhaps the "Frozen" films are edging back toward that serious quality. Elsa's grim expression and defiant attitude on billboards and in other advertising certainly hint that she is not someone to be trifled with. A hint of darkness always has hovered over Disney animated feature films. Witches are destroyed, kind-hearted people such as Cinderella are treated poorly, and, most famously, there was that shocking ending of "Bambi." "Frozen II" seems to continue this tradition because things are destroyed and powerful creatures are subdued. Arendelle itself is placed in jeopardy. There are lasting consequences of bad choices, though everything works out well in the end as you would expect. There is a clear moral subtext to "Frozen II" which wants to burst out from beneath the colorful animation and happy ending but never quite reaches the surface.
The "Frozen II" songs certainly are catchy, but there are no breakout hits like "Let It Go." They are tuneful and easily forgettable. The characters are fierce and fun, but they were more fun and less fierce in the original "Frozen." There is no true villain in "Frozen II," just a succession of roadblocks to drive around or over. Do you really care about Anna and Elsa? If so, that will make "Frozen II" a wonderful experience to you. If you aren't already a fan of "Frozen," though, you may struggle through "Frozen II." While an adequate sequel, "Frozen II" is best seen as a routine continuation film and not one that can stand alone on its own merits as a masterpiece. There is nothing wrong with that, and the superior animation and engaging characters carry the day anyway.
Audiences quickly made "Frozen II" a success, so critical qualms don't matter. "Frozen II" is immensely popular with girls and women while also drawing some boys and men. "Frozen II" had the highest opening for an animated film of all time, and that speaks for itself. Many viewers seemed to like it as much as the original, but it's easier to please people who are already fans than it is to create new ones. During its opening weekend, "Frozen II" got off to a quick start and almost certainly will match the stellar box office performance of "Frozen." It set records for the best opening of all time for an animated feature film in France and the United Kingdom, and the best opening for a Disney or Pixar film in China, Japan, Germany, and Spain. "Frozen II" is a huge success and Disney was wise to make it.
ConclusionEveryone experiences film differently, which is part of their magic. "Frozen II" is a tale of sisterhood, and that isn't going to grab everyone. "Frozen II" does not fully capture the magic of the original "Frozen," but few films do. "Frozen II" should be on the must-see viewing list for girls looking for fierce role models. The main drawback to "Frozen II" is that it doesn't take too many creative chances. There is nothing in "Frozen II" that you haven't sort of seen before in "Frozen." "Frozen II" is exactly the sequel that you would expect when you just want to expand upon a winning formula, not change it. If you saw the original "Frozen," you will get more of the same in "Frozen II," and there's nothing wrong with that at all.
In terms of impact, I place "Frozen II" squarely in the company of "Toy Story 4" and "Ghostbusters II." These types of films simply place the same characters into new adventures as audiences expect. In sum, "Frozen II" is more of the same, which isn't a bad thing in a franchise as warmly received as the world of "Frozen."