Six years after Disney produced the highest-grossing-animated film in 2013, “Frozen II” was welcomed into theaters late November. Was it worth the wait? It was, indeed.
This was the first Disney princess sequel that received a theatrical release, and has certainly earned that honor, as it explores the complexity of each character even more so than before. The idea of producing a second movie stemmed from the constant question, “How did Elsa get her powers?” The producers also felt the character’s relationships had just begun at the end of “Frozen.”
The story continues with the dynamic duo, Anna and Elsa, along with their friends, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven. When all seems to be going well for the tight-knit group, the ice queen hears a magical voice she can’t seem to ignore and accidentally awakens something deep within an enchanted forest. Compelled to find what is calling her and to protect the people of Arendelle, the five of them set out on an epic journey filled with adventure, danger and hidden secrets of the past.
Each of these characters are challenged in unexpected ways, which is vital for them to gain a new understanding of their emotions and relationships with one another. Elsa finally feels she belongs somewhere in a world of ordinary people. Anna learns how to keep doing “the next right thing” even when grief weighs her down. Kristoff struggles with conflicting emotions towards his dream gal and Olaf comes to realize that, no, you don’t understand everything once you’re older.
And of course, this grand adventure is accompanied by stunningly beautiful visuals. The animation team paid such close attention to detail, they took a trip to Norway to get inspiration for different visual elements in the movie including clothing styles, food, building structures, landscapes and traditions.
The entirety of the soundtrack was written well enough to send chills down your spine, although a few of the songs are not what some would call a traditional Disney pop song, they were still enjoyable nonetheless. The key change in Elsa’s “Show Yourself” feels powerful and triumphant, while “Some Things Never Change” emphasizes the warm and open relationships the characters have developed since the first movie.
The best song in the movie and quite possibly the best Disney prince song to have ever existed was sung by Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff, as he poured out his heart and soul in “Lost in the Woods.”
Audiences were graced with this heartfelt song with ‘80s power-ballad-boy-band vibes. It sounds a bit odd out of context, but is unlike any other Disney song that has been composed. Groff explained in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he recorded roughly 18 different voice tracks for the song, which includes Kristoff’s melodies and harmonies, as well as Sven’s background layers and harmonies.
It’s hard to say if the second movie is better than the first, because the themes and character arcs are drastically different. Certainly “Frozen II” feels more personal as audiences have gotten to know the Frozen gang over two movies, two shorts and six years. This series holds a special place in my heart.