Wow, I walked into the cinema not really knowing what to expect and I left in complete shock. Frozen 2 is an incredible sequel that combines everything I loved about Frozen (2013) and Tangled (2010) to create a visual heart-filled motion picture. I loved it! Frozen released in 2013 and frozen fever took over, I never thought that the second film could come anywhere close to the first but actually I prefer it! Frozen 2 is a self-aware movie that embraces the first film whilst venturing into new territory, its highly emotional moments create a mature movie, growing with its original young audience. I have so much to say about Frozen 2 and I cannot wait to share it all with you - this might be a long review. This review will have spoilers - read on to venture into the unknown with me.
Firstly let's do a quick fire of everything I loved: Olaf in a dress, Olaf re-enacting Frozen, every new dress, finding their parents ship, discovering their mother was the key, Kristoff trying to propose, so many reindeer, 'Show Yourself', water horses, the cute little fire lizard and sooooo much more.
I'm not going to talk about narrative to much because I have so much to say on everything else. We are reunited with Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Sven as they journey into the enchanted forest in order to save Arendelle from the four elements: earth, wind, fire and water. The narrative is about uncovering the past and self-discovery and I think it's far superior to the first film. What's really interesting about Frozen 2 is its change to the Disney Princess movie formula - the first film broke this by having two princesses and Frozen 2 breaks with tradition due to its lack of villain. Only on my way home did it dawn on me that there is no real villain in the movie and honestly that alone blows me away. Emotion wise this film made me almost cry three times - I cannot even express the level of emotion and meaning created throughout. But there is also a fair dose of comic relief in the form of Olaf (although his existential mindset throughout is brilliant) I could watch him enact the first film on repeat for the next week. This is a completely original narrative; screenwriters Jennifer Lee and Allison Schroeder have created a great Disney movie that blew me away.
What makes this film so great is Anna and Elsa and their relationship, both are strong leading female characters which is inspiring, not just to children but to everyone. I love what they represent, and this movie made me so happy Elsa didn't become the villain she was first intended to be. Elsa has to be the deepest Disney character of all time, the emotions she experiences are so real, so human that you cannot help but relate to her. Anna is a more traditional princess in that she falls in love but without any of the traditional airs and graces. The paths these women take in Frozen 2 are perfect, Anna once again discovers her inner strength, whilst showing some of the insecurity we've always seen in Elsa, but what's interesting about Anna is that when she thinks her sister is dead she is willing to die herself in order to protect her people which is why she is the rightful Queen. Elsa on the other hand takes a path of self-discovery and acceptance, she is the very centre of magic and elements. Elsa is a whole new type of Disney princess, and the sense of freedom she feels at the end is liberating. I'm glad Elsa doesn't have a love interest; she is insecure but whole and it would be unnecessary to introduce a romantic storyline - not every female character has to end a movie in love after all.
Let's discuss songs: my faviourte is 'Show Yourself' - it's a perfect song full of self-discovery and acceptance and it really stood out to me. The next song is 'Into the Unknown' which is clearly the intended 'Let it go' song of the movie, it's a great song but for me it's not the most powerful (I love the Panic at the Disco version as well). The nursery rhyme 'All is Found' is an eerie but beautiful addition that runs throughout. Olaf's addition 'When I Am Older' is hilarious and perhaps not as catchy as 'Summer' but paired with him running through the woods its perhaps more powerful. The only song I really not sure on is 'Lost in the Woods' this felt like a parody, don't get me wrong I laughed throughout but it just felt a little out of place. I loved the voice that called Elsa - it's a beautiful tune and certainly one I am going to remember.
Recently I watched Frozen and Tangled back to back and honestly visual wise Frozen was no match for the detail, texture and colour created in Tangled! Tangled is stunning to look at - next time you watch pay attention to the background, the grass, the light and the rocks because everything is so detailed. But Frozen 2 has taken a Tangled route and is visually great, the detail is there, the colours at points especially the autumnal trees in the enchanted forest are unreal. There is one moment when the water is rushing towards Arendelle and we get a shot of some trees and the water crashing through them and I honestly was blown away by how realistic it looked. These visual adjustments help to create a more immersive world. Frozen 2 is a really beautiful film to look at - the animators that created this film are beyond talented.
There are several references to previous Disney movies throughout. At the start Elsa and Anna are playing with ice figures in the forms of Dumbo and Baymax. Then during Olaf's song 'When I'm Older' we get a dark forest scene that is a clear homage to the first Feature Length Disney animation Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937), I loved this scene for two reasons. The first is because of the link to Snow White but the second is because a teacher at my secondary school once brought up the scene and told us that she really hoped none of us (girls) would act like that in a dark forest and when you look at Snow White she was a product of her time and Anna and Elsa are strong, brave, influential characters that women deserve to see on screen. Olaf also refences Mickey Mouse and gets his very own Marylin Monroe moment (which was fabulous).
I love a good Disney princess dress, and oh my! We get all of the dresses in Frozen 2. Elsa's final white costume is so perfect and beautiful, she created it when she discovered who she was which just fills my heart. But the dress that stole the show was Anna's coronation dress. The blue ball dress from Anastasia (1997) has held the crown for best animated princess dress for as long as I can remember but, I hereby crown Anna's coronation dress as the best animated dress.
I don't know if I've fully expressed how Frozen 2 made me feel, but it certainly left its mark. Disney have created a classic film, full of emotion that goes beyond the surface and leaves you feeling warm and inspired. There is certainly scope for a third movie - I would love to see a Frozen/Tangled cross over that links everything - we already know they exist in the same universe so it would be brilliant to see them come together. Frozen 2 is a visual masterpiece filled with a fantastic narrative, emotion and inspirational characters - it's a triumph and I cannot wait to experience it again.
I might write some more about Frozen 2 at some point as I still have so much to say.
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Thank you for reading xx