Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 is among the best documentaries about filmmaking I've ever seen. This is a insightful look at the everyday lives of people working on a Disney film and the trials and tribulations that come along with it. It would have been really easy to make this series a fluff piece and show just how "INSPIRING" working on this film was. This easily could have been just a long ad to show why you should like and appreciate Frozen 2 and the Disney animated film canon. I'm happy to say the series goes a lot deeper then just being an ad. This film shows in detail so much about how these movies get made and I was surprised by the honesty that comes across. For instance, there were moments in the script they didn't have fully worked out and they were already animating the film. It's a difficult process, especially for Frozen 2 because they had a lot of issues wanting this story to translate and resonate with kids and adults alike.
If you read my original review for Frozen 2 when the film came out, you would know that I wasn't a fan of it at first. I thought the story was a bit messy and the ending was too easy. They retread some themes of the first film a little too closely. However, I saw it again in theatre after having some friends tell me they think I should reexamine the film and I grew a lot more warmth for it. After watching this documentary, I hold a lot of respect and admiration for this film I wouldn't have had before. One of my biggest issues with the Disney Animated Films is that some like to retread the same story beats over and over again. As much as I love Moana and Frozen, well they both follow the same story beats Tangled had years prior and those are beats Tangled stole from Beauty and the Beast almost fifteen years before that. Yet, Frozen 2 goes a bit outside the box and presents a sequel that actually expands on its world and shows the emotional ramifications of its characters. Shown beautifully through Anna's arc which is one of my favorite arcs in any Disney movie.
This documentary explores the inspiration for the song "Do the Next Right Thing" and it is absolutely devastating. It just shows that the filmmakers on these movies are putting real soul and sorrow within these films and are teaching kids to not be afraid of their scariest and most repressed emotions and you have to admire that.
I think the documentary is wonderful and moving and I would recommend it to anyone. However, this hits a sweet spot with me. Ever since I came out of Toy Story 3 when I was twelve years old I aspired to become a Disney Animator and want to make my own animations and stories. Seeing all of these people come together to create this work of art and the type of catharsis they got from that was so refreshing. I felt like, "yes, they get it. They understand this desire I have" and all I do is hope and pray that someday I'll be sitting at one of those animation tables. For now though, I'll just do the next right thing and see where that takes me.