Frozen 2 is a deeper and darker sequel that is technically better than the first one but doesn’t feel like the game-changer that Frozen was.
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Summary: Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.
When Frozen came out in 2013 it took the world by storm. Not only did it blow up at the box office, but it was a huge hit with the crucial younger audience. A lot of people said it was a game-changer for the Disney princess movie as it focused less on romance and more on the complicated relationship between two sisters. The twist that the handsome prince was the villain, or at least not a good guy, was cheered by people who were sick of seeing the same fairy tale over and over again. There are parents who have finally gotten “Let it Go” out of their heads today only for a new song to come along with this sequel. The film has a lot to measure up to.
Frozen 2 handles the weight of those expectations flawlessly by continuing to focus on the things that people liked from the first movie. While “love” is important in this movie it isn’t romantic love that will save the day. Once again it is the bond between sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) as they try to save their kingdom and figure out where Elsa’s mysterious ice powers come from. This time the name of the game is lore and Frozen 2 goes deep into its own mythology. The people of Arendelle reacted badly to Elsa’s powers and this movie explains why. We are on a mission of learning the mistakes of the past because they are literally coming back to haunt and possibly destroy the present. Of course, Disney is not subtle when it comes to these sorts of things.
There are plenty of great songs in Frozen 2 as well. While “Into the Unknown” is likely the one that people are going to be talking about and doing covers of for the next several years, it’s “Lost in the Woods” that is the most memorable. To get into exactly why this song is as funny as it is would be a spoiler, but rest assured that when Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) breaks into song in the second act you’re about to watch something amazing. While all of the songs are very catchy and well-done none of them are likely to hit as hard as “Let it Go” did six years ago.
The very thing that made Frozen the hit that it was is likely the very reason that Frozen 2 is technically the better film with a much deeper story, stunning animation, and relationships that feel real. Despite this being a fairy tale, it is still a sequel. The first movie broke the mold in a lot of different ways and there just isn’t any possible way for a sequel to repeat that. It wouldn’t be a sequel to the movie everyone loved if it was completely different from the first. So despite Frozen 2 being superior movie overall you just cannot compete with the impact that the first one had culturally.
Frozen 2 hits all of the right notes for an excellent sequel, and while it won’t change the world the way its predecessor did there is no denying that it has lived up to the impossible task of being better than the first one. It might not have the impact that Frozen did, but it is more than a worthy successor. Prepare to have “Into the Unknown” stuck in your head for weeks.
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