Guys, you know I love my job. I also really, really love Disney. HOWEVER, I’ve never been a huge fan of the Frozen franchise. I think it’s because I’ve always been salty that the movie didn’t commit to Elsa being a villain. Maybe it’s because my sister and I have never been as close as Anna and Elsa, so I really can’t relate. The point is, when I got the opportunity to watch Frozen 2, I was less than thrilled. However, I tried my best to approach the movie with open arms. In fact, I kept reminding myself that I love Kristoff and Olaf, so surely, the film would be fine. And Disney sequels are usually good, right? Boy was I wrong. Hear me out.
We begin Frozen 2 with a young Anna and Elsa, who are being put to bed by their parents. Their dad tells them the story of an enchanted forest off of the Kingdom of Arandelle, which used to be the home to a tribe of Sámi natives. The forest was littered with magic spirits, but it is now shut off from the rest of the world by a magical mist. This story sets up most of the plot of the film. I’m obviously anti-spoiler so I will try to keep my criticism brief.
There are some things I absolutely loved about this film. The movie starts with Elsa as queen of the kingdom, and the characters celebrating the seasons changing. Olaf is concerned about change, and things ending and dying. Which is honestly a MOOD. Seasonal depression is a serious thing, y’all. Anyway, the colors of the film are beautiful, and it seems like the film tried to mature with its audience. However, this didn’t necessarily translate as well as it could have. A lot of the comedy of the film comes from Olaf’s ironic comments about sadness and life and from some of the songs, most notably Kristoff’s ’80s number. These jokes definitely land, but they’re not necessarily meant for a younger audience. The songs as always were very powerful, and they were about mature feelings and worries, things that children may not necessarily be incredibly concerned with. Ultimately, the film certainly tries to appeal to both children and adults, which is a great move.
Now, on to some of the things I did not love. The plot is very predictable, which is not even my main gripe with the film. I think that the film tries to do a lot by bringing in a lot of plot elements that bear little to no fruit, other than looking cool? Argh! It’s really hard to write these kinds of reviews while limiting the number of spoilers. Basically, I believe that most of the latter half of the film’s climax served no purpose. The things that the characters do, and the places they visit did not necessarily need to… happen? The plot would have still worked without all this extra fodder. But I guess Disney had to figure out how to include all the songs they wanted in the film.
My other gripe has to do with the native element of the film. Quite often, the film feels like Pocahontas’s unauthorized Swedish cousin sequel. I just found myself cringing entirely too much at the resolution of the movie. The new characters are lovely, and interesting, but the way the film tried to essentially tell a story of genocide and still make it look cute made me gag.
On a minor note, can we talk about how these characters are constantly touching ice for extended periods of time with no gloves? I mean, I don’t know how Ohio does it. I have not lived in this frozen tundra long. I am from Puerto Rico and the only ice I like is in my soft drinks or my margaritas (I promise I will write about margaritas before the year is out). HOWEVER, ice burns your hands! How are they so nonchalant about touching it like it’s nothing? I also need to talk to Elsa’s costume designer. Is her costume made of ice? What’s the big idea here? It’s all very sus.
All in all, the film is okay. I was a big disappointed with the plot and all the cringe. The songs were amazing, though. And young Anna and Elsa are the absolute cutest. They warmed my frozen heart. Solely because of the cringe factor, I give the film a C.