“Frozen II” keeps it cool


photo by Disney

The official movie poster from Disney for “Frozen II,” which came out on Nov. 22.

With crashing waves, Earth Giants, and chaos with the four spirits, “Frozen II” has a lot to unpack. It sets up an unexpected storyline,  drastically different from the original blockbuster released six years ago. The sequel is action-packed, and tackles bigger issues head-on, while retaining light humor with fan favorites like Olaf. 

Released on Nov. 22, “Frozen II” takes place three years after the events of “Frozen.” The opening scene is a flashback with King Agnarr (Alfred Molina) telling a story of an enchanted forest to little Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell), setting up the background to the film. In present-day,  Elsa hears a mysterious voice that no one else hears over and over again, and she disturbs the four spirits of fire, water, air and earth trying to figure out where this voice comes from. With the kingdom of Arendelle in grave danger, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad) set off into the unknown to find the source of the voice and unveil the secrets of the past.

In addition to a solid storyline, the character dynamics Disney established in the previous movie continued to be a highlight of the franchise. Not only are Elsa and Anna two strong female leads, they inadvertently work together even when separated. While both heroines continue to worry, Olaf keeps it light, bringing his unique sense of cheeriness with him. 

Though all of the characters develop well, Olaf is still the funniest character. His musical sequence “When I am Older” as he faces chaos in the forest provides audiences of all ages with a sense of comedy and relatability. 

Although not as exciting as the last soundtrack, the “Frozen II” soundtrack still delivers. Most of the songs take on a depressing or adventurous tone. Some of the “Frozen” soundtrack feels reminiscent in the background of the new songs, especially in “Into the Unknown.” At times, the songs did sound very similar. Regardless, the songs do an excellent job of expressing how the characters feel. 

Another key highlight is the animation. The producers really enhanced the magic present in Elsa and the surrounding environment, and the execution was great. It really felt like the audience was immersed within the magic on-screen, and vibrant color contrasts made it a very visually appealing watch. 

“Frozen II” does not seem to have a single “bad guy” as it did in the last film; the plot is more driven by the journey and the transformation of the characters in the enchanted forest. This was a good choice by the producers, as the plot could have become too complicated. 

I did not have high expectations for this movie, as the trailer was vague and confusing. However, combined with the detailed story-line, character development, and animation, “Frozen II” keeps the audience on its toes. Despite the conflicts with the four spirits, it comes full circle by tying up loose ends from the first movie, making it a nice way to chill out after a long day.