Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and the sequel to the 2013 film, again loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen‘s fairy tale The Snow Queen, Frozen 2 is set three years after the events of the first film and sees Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.
A sequel to an origin story that delves into the origins of its characters even more, Frozen 2 is definitely a more mature follow-up to it hugely successful predecessor which is full of messages about growing up, belonging, dealing with change, and overcoming struggles that you may not have faced before.
The songs may not be as big showstoppers as they were in the first film, but Menzel and Bell’s powerful vocals still hit the big notes perfectly and the catchy songs will definitely remain in your head for the rest of the day. And in the same way that they did the first time around, the lyrics play a huge part in the storytelling and hold a lot of meaning in their powerful words.
The film certainly deals with some big topics, the most unavoidable one being Anna’s depression. I’m not sure if people noticed this as much as I did as I haven’t seen many comments on it, but it massively stands out to me every time that I watch this. However, I’m not sure if I admire the film for tackling such a big issue with its younger audiences who may not know how to deal with such emotions, or if I feel a little uncomfortable because I think that the target audience is too young to see an animated character feeling so unworthy and say that she doesn’t want to go on.
But I do really feel for Anna in this film, maybe more so than I should for an animated children’s character. The story is all about the origins of the Snow Queen, so Elsa is rightfully front-of-stage. But I find her character so selfish and can see why she is the villain of her story, as much as Disney has tried to sugar-coat her and pretend that she’s a family-orientated person.
Because she’s not. Elsa’s overjoyed to finally have some answers, but it’s only when she’s pushed Anna away that she can feel truly happy. Anna’s made to feel like the less important daughter and, although I like the message at the end about them both being the bridge, I still feel like her character is neglected, only needed when Elsa finds herself in trouble, yet again.
Kristoff finally gets his moment, though, and ‘Into The Woods‘ really brightened up my day. But there are a few things that are missed out on regarding his character, as well. I thought we were going to get some explanation into Kristoff’s upbringing, too, as there seemed to be a build-up regarding his connection with Ryder. It felt wasted in the end, though, as nothing came of it.
I also feel like Olaf was massively misused in this sequel. It was like the writers completely changed his personality just to help get the messages across of things changing and of understanding your emotions as you grow up. Whilst these two songs get their messages across well, I think the use of Olaf to open up these conversations felt forced and that this could have been done in a much better way.
And why was there not a single “Yoohoo!” from Oaken?!
But putting aside my few personal annoyances, Frozen 2 is still a hugely entertaining film that I’ve enjoyed just as much as my three-year-old, and the animation is absolutely stunning. With the first film focussed around backdrops of snow and ice, this sequel welcomes all of the elements – earth, wind, fire, and water – to showcase even more beautiful landscapes, animation, and attention to detail.
I only bought the DVD yesterday and I’ve already watched this twice, but this is a film that I’ll be happy to watch on repeat.