Frozen 2 Review

Hot take: Frozen 2 is better than Frozen 1.

Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s definitely a worthy sequel. It ain’t no Hunchback of Notre Dame 2, okay.

(Probably the worst product Disney has ever created, and this is coming from someone who loved the first one.)


Okay, so if you haven’t seen Frozen 2, I’m basically spoiling everything so this is your last chance to turn back. There was just so many great things they did with this movie that I didn’t necessarily see coming.

Now the trailers are very different from the movie… like there’s a lot of scenes that don’t actually happen in the movie (which is good because I thought Kristoff riding with an army of reindeer was beyond dumb), so my expectations were really low.


But, luckily, the real reindeer scene in the movie was really cute. And Kristoff’s song, that also had an abundance of reindeer, was a bop.

I was super ecstatic about the music. Not the songs. The music. Don’t get me wrong, the songs were good, but the way Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez incorporated the original soundtrack into this one. Like the voice that calls Elsa is a motif from the first movie. We hear it the most clearly when Anna is trying to find Kristoff in the blizzard on the fjord.

And in almost every song when get motifs from the character’s previous songs, like how we get piano notes from Let It Go in Into the Unknown. The Northuldra also sing the chant from the opening credits of both movies.


Another surprise was how much they incorporated the parents into it. Most Disney sequels moved onto other, unrelated problems for their sequels and I expected them to do the same here. But they went the complete opposite direction. Like we get a really, really neat backstory for Elsa and Anna’s parents, their grandfather, and their whole kingdom. Frozen 2 just really built up that whole world even more, and it did it with just Arendelle and the surrounding area without having to incorporate other kingdoms.

Because of this, we got to see Elsa and Anna develop more as characters. If there were other kingdoms involved, Elsa would have just stayed the magic queen that everyone was afraid of instead of really coming into her own.

Like, I know some people were disappointed Elsa didn’t get a girlfriend, but the message they went for, for her was so true to her character. In her song, Show Yourself, her mother sings her the lyrics, “You are the one you’ve been waiting for.”

Again, not only is that good for Elsa, who’s struggled with self-acceptance in both movies, but that’s just a good shift in a message from Disney because, while other Disney heroines are great, most of the time “the one they’ve been waiting for” is a significant other and finally Disney is saying, “You don’t have to wait for anybody. It’s you.”

And it’s really awesome that her mom is the one singing it to her. We didn’t get much characterization from either of her parents in the first one, but it’s really thoughtful that they decided to expand on them seeing how they affected both Elsa and Anna so much.


Usually when sequels retract or change things from a previous movie, it makes it worse, like when Spider-Man 3 tried to convince us it was the Sandman that actually murked Uncle Ben. Some critics say Frozen 2 did the same thing, but not really. We had the story that Uncle Ben was killed by the thief and then they said haha, just kidding. Here, Frozen 2 didn’t retract anything we knew from the parents because we really didn’t know anything to begin with.

So when Elsa and Anna find out that they drowned in the North Sea trying to get answers about Elsa, the audience can easily accept it.

Also, in the first movie, we see the parents finding maps to get to the trolls, so they’re aware that magic exists. To make their mother a Northuldra, a person more connected with nature and magic, not only explains this, but can easily fit with what little we do know about them.


I read a critic that asked how Elsa, Anna, and their mother could be so white if they were supposed to be descendants of these Northuldra people (some of whom are people of color). Well, the Northuldra are based on the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia. They’re not cookie cutter, they can look very fair like other people of Scandinavia or they can be darker like native Siberians. A trait associated with them, also amongst the fairer ones, is having a monolid (think Renee Zellweger, who is of Sami and Kven descent, before she got her plastic surgery). To be Northuldra is not supposed to be synonymous with how someone looks, anyway, it’s anyone who’s more connected with the spirit world. Making Elsa and Anna’s mother Northuldra wasn’t out of left field. How can it be, if you didn’t give her a backstory in the first place?

(Here, I'm gonna make you look at Renee. She's white as hell.)


The writers have also very conveniently left another main character with very little backstory: Kristoff.

Are his parents dead? Are they from another place besides Arendelle? How did he meet Sven? Sounds like a route to take for Frozen 3, if you ask me.


The writers also left out how magic works. I mean, for Frozen 1 we really don’t need to know an in-depth magical analysis of their world, we just have to know that Elsa has ice powers and she can’t control them. In Frozen 2, Elsa’s got a handle on them -mostly- so now we can explore where they come from.

Which begs the question, did Elsa just become the freaking Avatar? On her journey North, we see her learn to control the air spirit by freezing the tornado. Then we see her control the fire spirit by befriending the fire lizard. Then she controls the water spirit by taming the water horse. (We don’t see her have anything to do with earth, but Anna does control the earth giants to some extent by tricking them into destroying the dam and then after the dam is destroyed, balance returns to the universe and the giants are friendly). And when Elsa reaches Ahtohallan (the memory river) we literally see all the elements encircle her as she assumes the space in between them.


I also read about a critic that said the story was too confusing and all over the place. Sure, I agree that Elsa and Anna find out about their past in kind of a cheap way. They’re not actively seeking answers because there’s no real problem until Elsa hears the voice calling her.

That’ really the only problem I have with it, but like I said, we were given no explanation as to why Elsa has powers in the first movie so the writers kind of have license to say whatever they want. And if they want Elsa to have powers because her Grandfather tried to kill a bunch of people and built a dam that messed with the balance of everything, and she has to right his wrong, fine. That’s just fine.


I also think Arendelle should have been destroyed in the end. The people were already all out so no one would have died and it would have been really a sacrifice that Elsa and Anna made to make everything right. Then we maybe could have seen them rebuilding at the end and Anna becoming queen and Elsa being the Avatar and had basically the rest of it the same. All I’m saying is that the stakes were really raised and then squashed right at the end there.

I also read somewhere that the troubles between Anna and Kristoff were a little forced, which it does feel that way at some times, but I think the writers just needed them separated so they could showcase Anna taking the situation into her own hands at the end.


Which is what the movie was about anyway. It’s still the story of Elsa and Anna and how they become the heroes and “the bridge” between the “normal” world and the spirit world. Most of that part of the movie was dealt with really well. Like Anna’s has a big hero moment when she decides to carry on and take out the dam on her own (though she does have help from Kristoff, Matthias, and the other soldiers), and it sets her up as powerful like Elsa, just in a different way.


We see Elsa actually be really happy with her role. Though at the end of Frozen 1, she accepts her powers and her role as queen, it would make sense that her character wouldn’t be completely comfortable with people… not the way Anna is. And the writers handled this transition really well. I mean, the second song in the movie is all about things changing. If that’s not a way to preface what’s going to happen, for your audience so they don’t freak out, I don’t know what is.

To finish up, I thought they kept everybody true to their characters, added new things into the Frozen world really well, and had a pretty decent story surrounding it. I think the reason why some people felt like it was chaotic was because it went in directions that people didn’t expect. Like Elsa getting trapped, or Kristoff being separated, or Anna getting the giants all by herself. It didn’t fit a typical storyline and, you know what, that was good because you could see the betrayal of their grandfather on the Northuldra a mile away so the writers had to keep you on your toes.


And they gave us a whole scene dedicated to Olaf’s retelling of the first movie which was hilarious and a little reminiscent of how the Ant-Man character, Luis, retells events from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so I think it all balances out.


It’s definitely worth a watch.