It's no secret that "Frozen" has been an international hit. For the past six years, you couldn't escape talks of Anna and Elsa or couldn't block out the notes of "Let it Go." When it released and even to this day, "Frozen" was a ginormous hit with children and adults alike. And honestly, that recognition isn't without foundation. The film provided us with a pleasurable watching experience. The voice acting and singing were fantastic and the songs performed catchy and memorable. The characters were charming and felt solid and relatable on the screen. The animation was lovely with interesting visuals and camera movements. On top of all this, the story was nicely constructed as well with a lovely bond between two sisters. Overall, "Frozen" gave us a lovely product, even if we could roll our eyes with how widespread the "Frozen" merch and hype seemed to be throughout the years.
So when the sequel was announced, you know that fans of the original film were hyped to see it. Honestly, with all the attention "Frozen" was getting, my reactions were a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, I really enjoyed the first film and found it quite charming. On the other hand, sequels don't always fare as well compared to the original films and potentially having "Frozen" going under similar treatment felt a bit daunting. However, as a lover of film and animation, I was determined to see this film franchise through. I went to the theater, bought my ticket, and sat down to see the long awaited "Frozen 2" film.
When I think of reactions to movies, I tend to have a gut reaction that will later transform into a calculated reaction. Usually, my gut reaction tends to be a little hasty while my later calculated reaction gives me the proper time to think and reassess a story in its entirety. While my two reactions for this film differed from one another, they were able to come up with a comprehensive list of positives and negatives for this entire film-watching experience.
First I should probably list off the positive aspects of "Frozen 2." One thing that stood out for me was the voice acting and signing quality. Of course, with the same core cast as the last film, the actors worked especially to bring these beloved characters back to life. Through their performances, I was sucked back into the struggles of the characters and found myself appreciating the quality of both their singing and acting. On similar lines, I also really enjoyed the soundtrack to this movie. For me, the soundtrack for the sequel provided a bit more atmosphere than the first movie. Most songs felt grand and touched the core of the characters. I really loved the first movie and its soundtrack because it provided me with a different experience; the first film felt a lot like a Broadway musical while the sequel felt more atmospheric with its music.
On top of all of this, the visuals were nice to look at on screen. I like the animation and the world created in "Frozen" allows for a lot fun when it comes to creativity and visuals. Lastly, as far as I can think at the moment, I really enjoyed watching Olaf move and interact in the film. Now, I know some people find the snowman to be kind of annoying and, to be fair, I can see how that might happen. Personally, I love that funky little snowman and watching him was such a delight in this movie. I found him to be extremely funny in this film and several moments coming from him had me laughing out loud. From this, you can see that there are many things I enjoyed about the second "Frozen" movie. This was definitely a movie with some hard work put into it and some good charm.
With that being said, I, as a whole, had a few problems with the film. Honestly, most of my problems can be traced back to the idea that this movie's plot is a bit messy. There seems to be a core plot of finding out how Elsa's powers connect to other nature spirits and where her powers come from, but that is divided and buried between the plots and happenings of the movie. For example, while Kristoff was a major important character in the first movie, providing Anna help that she needed and thus moving the story forward, his motivations seem to stop the plot and derail it. His goal is to propose to Anna and that seems to be the gist of it. Other than that, he really doesn't have any motivations or purpose; in fact, he disappears for half the movie and doesn't become relevant again until the very end. I guess I wish they had used his character for a little more than what we were given.
On top of that, the plot is very focused on revealing a truth concerning the kingdom's past with a forest tribe of people. Now, while the message of fear and results of colonialism importance are important in establishing conflict and in relating back to themesof real life colonialism, the twist in the plot itself was not as firmly established as it could have been. The overall twist of the kingdom's past relationship with the indigenous people of the forest was pretty clear cut from the beginning and it did not take much effort to guess how that section of the story would unfold. With this, we don't get much time to spend with this group of people. They are introduced and shown in the film, but don't have active roles in the story. Like Kristoff, they show up and then get left behind until the story needs them again. We are introduced to the interesting culture and lives of these people, but we leave them behind to follow Anna and Elsa.
I suppose a lot of my problems with this film come from the desire to know more, only for the film to take it away or not provide enough information. Kristoff is shown, but not used to his fullest extent and his arch centers on relationship worries and fears that honestly are never really shown to have foundation. The culture of the people of the forest is suggested to us, but doesn't follow through in giving us new characters to really follow or learn more about. The idea that we will learn more about Elsa's powers and the magic world is promised, but we are still left wondering HOW exactly the magic works, what the extent of Elsa's powers are, how exactly did she get them, and how the other spirits fit into everything. With the plot being split between so many different ideas, it just turned into a unbalanced story.
In the past six years, I know a lot of work and revision must have gone into "Frozen 2." It is obvious that a lot of effort and love went into the movie's creation and this shows through the film's acting, songs, visuals and Olaf's character. I just hope in the future, Disney films and sequels get some hard love and care when it comes to sorting out the plot.