I had low expectations when I first walked into the theater. I’ve always loved Disney, but their sequels? Not the greatest. I thought this would be another classic attempt at milking the success of the first movie and a waste of my time and money. Elsa was already the queen and Anna had already found her true love. What more could Disney have added? A lot, apparently. Do I still have questions? Yes. Were the songs as good as the original? Nope. But all in all, Frozen 2 is a pretty damn good movie.
The premise of the plot is told in a flashback, in which Anna and Elsa’s father tells them a bedtime story about the Enchanted Forest up North. The kingdom of Arendelle built a dam for the Northuldra, a tribe of people living in the forest, and a group of them went to celebrate with the tribe—but according to Anna and Elsa’s father, the Northuldra spontaneously attacked them. Honestly, half the time all I could think was ‘if they go any farther North, they’ll end up going South.’ But this scene set up a solid plot, which was one of the biggest strengths of the movie.
In current time, Elsa has been hearing a voice calling to her, which turns out to be the magical spirits of the forest. One of the reasons why Elsa is so appealing is that she is such a brave character who, after the first movie, has gained the confidence to be proud to be different. In her song “Into the Unknown,” she sings about her struggle between staying in Arendelle and going, you guessed it, into the unknown. In this sequence, Elsa, unbeknownst to her at the time, wakes a bunch of angry spirits with her powers, so she has to take the gang into the Enchanted Forest to stop them.
Speaking of songs: what the heck, Disney. If “Into the Unknown” was supposed to compare in any way, shape or form to “Let it Go,” yikes. The songs are good, sure, but they’re not nearly as powerful as the songs from the first Frozen. Anna and Olaf’s song about fall, “Some Things Never Change” is real cute, but not a hit like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” or any of the other songs from Frozen. And Kristoff’s ballad about how he keeps missing his chance to propose to Anna, “Lost in the Woods,” made me think it was either a Bollywood song or a Backstreet Boys throwback. I’m willing to “let it go,” however, because they made up for it with the gorgeous animation and well-thought-out plot.
What I appreciated the most is the fact that Anna and Elsa realized that the conflict between Arendelle and the Northuldra was the fault of their ancestors, and they were willing to do whatever it took to make things right, even though it could have cost them their entire kingdom. I thought it was very mature that even fictional leaders could take responsibility for their actions.
In conclusion, Frozen 2 is a Disney sequel that is actually worth watching. That, I suppose, should’ve surprised me a little less as they did take six whole years to develop a decent movie that wasn’t just a blatant money-maker.