Sequels to critically acclaimed films can often come with a little trepidation. They can either be really really good or very very bad. Most of the time it’s the latter rather than the former. It’s no secret that Hollywood has a current love affair with sequels and reboots. Frozen 2, the sequel to 2013’s surprise Disney hit Frozen, was an inevitability even if the movie didn’t get made immediately after the first. Though Frozen 2, like Toy Story 4, wasn’t a movie we necessarily needed, the powers that be at the House of Mouse knew how to employ good writers to come up with a continuation of a story we didn’t know we wanted until now.
Frozen 2 brings us back to Arendelle where Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven are continuing to live their happily ever after as one big joyous family since the first movie. The kingdom is safe and at peace with Elsa still reigning over it as their queen. Everything seems to be perfect until Elsa is persistently distracted and drawn to a siren call only she can hear, coming from the Enchanted Forest her and Anna’s father had told them about as children. When Elsa decides to answer the call and venture into the mysterious forest with the help of Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven they uncover secrets from the past that will change their lives and Arendelle forever.
To keep this review as spoiler free as possible, I was pleasantly surprised by the new avenues screenwriter Jennifer Lee decided to explore in this sequel. We learn a little more about Anna and Elsa’s parents that goes beyond the royal couple dying tragically at sea, and an understanding of where Elsa’s ice powers originate from. The sequel also builds upon the sisterly bond between Anna and Elsa, showing the sisters continued reliance on one another but also the need to grow in different ways that are separate from the other.
Part of what made Frozen the global phenomenon it became when it was released six years ago, spawning a fervent devotion to drive every single parent crazy with “Let It Go” being played for the 1000th time for their kids, was the focus on the love Anna and Elsa have for each other. It remains one of the few Disney films in recent memory to redefine true love as more than finding and falling in love with a handsome prince or a would-be prince. The love between sisters is just as important as the love between a princess and her prince. There’s also an ongoing theme of female empowerment running throughout the Frozen films, where the women are strong, independent, and more than capable enough to take care of themselves and save the day. One of my favorite things about Frozen 2 is the acts of heroism Anna and Elsa are tasked with. It is inspiring and deeply moving. Just like Frozen, I found myself bawling my eyes out toward the end of the movie when I least expect it. The film really knows where to hit you in the feels.
Frozen 2 is every bit of a worthy successor to Frozen. The movie is not to be missed if you want to be dazzled by beautiful animation, a well thought out story, and entertained by a number of showcase power ballads from Elsa, Anna, and even Kristoff. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, get yourself to the nearest theater. You won’t be disappointed.
Reviewer Rating: 10/10