Sarah Reviews "Frozen 2"

Do you wanna build a snowman (again)?

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

So I don’t know about y’all, but I have been anticipating Frozen 2 as much as the next Disney fan. Ever since Idina Menzel blessed us with the undeniably catchy song “Let It Go”, I’ve been counting down the days to the sequel. When watching all of the interviews and press for the movie, the main cast described that this film would be not only for a new wave of Frozen fans, but also for the kids who watched the first film five years ago. Frozen 2 is supposed to be more mature for its more mature audience, along with keeping younger viewers entertained as well.

In this article, I don’t want to talk about the quality of the song content or plot line because I honestly don’t think I have the credibility for making those criticisms. Instead, I’m going to speak to the content of the movie and how it sat with me.

The more and more I think about this movie, the more I wrestle with how I rate it. When stepping right outside of the movie theater, I thought it was wonderful and better than what I expected. Now, I’m not so sure. Yes, there were some great parts, but at other times I was conflicted about how to feel.

Speaking of how to feel, one of the themes I loved about this movie was all of the emotion and use of feeling from each one of the characters. As a person who works a lot with kids, consequently who watches a lot of children’s content and media, there aren’t a lot of movies out there that really speak about one’s feelings. I know that there are films such as Inside Out, a Disney/Pixar release about different emotions characterized as animated figures (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Envy), but in total there aren’t many who take on such large amounts of emotion (other than happiness, of course).

Being happy is a somewhat easy task for artists to create for children’s content because we were all raised with the mindset that you want to be happy. No one has learned through a Disney movie, or any other popular children’s media, that you want to be any other emotion than happy because why would you want to be sad? Going even further into emotion, there is usually a prince who saves the day, a spell that erases all the evil, or the villain dies to restore peace back to the community so they can feel “happy” again.

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

What I appreciated about Frozen 2 was the variety of feelings through all of the characters: Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Christophe. Not giving too much about the movie away, there are lots of tears from multiple characters along with multiple songs all about emotion. In fact, most of the soundtrack is songs about feelings. Especially the songs: Reindeers Are Better Than People (Cont)., Lost In The Woods, and The Next Right Thing, go into much detail about the emotions people hold in their hearts.

“Lost In The Woods”, a song about Christophe’s feelings for Anna, was actually a bit problematic for me due to the silliness displayed on screen. Although the song is great in concept (a song about an identifying cis-gendered man feeling a large sense confusion because his love is not with him,) due to the fact that there are currently no songs out there like this, the way Disney chose to portray it was poor. The scene almost looked like a 90s boy band music video, with lots of different shots and tone changes. This is where my conflict with the movie arose. On one hand, there was the potential for an incredible song to be shown in the full feeling that it deserved, but on the other hand perhaps Disney believe that the average American audience was not ready for a male character to truly sing about his feelings. It was a shame that this song couldn’t be seen as serious due to its important content, but at the end of the day, at least it still made it into the film.

 

The last song sung by characters in the movie, “The Next Right Thing,” was sung by Kristen Bell who voices Anna. I believe that this is the most underrated song because of the hype around Idina Menzel. I really appreciate this song because it brings to light the topics of grief and loss, an extremely important subject matter to grasp for anyone, no matter their age. I also liked how the song’s message wasn’t that “everything will be okay.” Instead it’s about just knowing the next step--literally, the next right thing to do when everything around you seems to be crumbling.

The short reprise of “Reindeers Are Better Than People (Cont).” includes the quote, “You feel your feelings and those feelings are real,” which I believe is astonishing for a children’s movie. What you usually see is surface-level information through a great quality plot line and character development, but I think Disney took this movie to the next level. Indeed it was certainly for a more mature audience, but I believe that any age could benefit from hearing these messages.

Overall, I would rate Frozen 2 around a 70%. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the emotional honesty of the movie, there were some key moments that disappointed me as a viewer. If you’re debating on whether or not to see it, I would say go (if you have the ridiculous $15 to spend), but if not, I wouldn’t worry and just catch it on Disney+ when it becomes able to stream. Although, if you’re looking for something to do over winter break with friends or family (of any age), grab some popcorn and go ~into the unknown~.