Frozen 2: Into The Unknown?

Frozen 2 is an animated musical fantasy film; the plot takes place three years later and centers around Elsa, (Idina Menzel), finding out the origins of her powers.

The most notable thing about Frozen 2 is the distinct change in tone it is very much similar to the tonal shift that the Harry Potter films had; with Frozen 2 being much more mature and exploring far darker themes than Frozen.

The overall narrative choice of tieing Elsa’s powers into her being an elemental is an interesting choice. The other elementals, air, fire, earth and water are a mixed bag; fire is a cute salamander, literally to sell merchandise, air and earth are bland and full of plot holes; water is by far the best.

The songs, which are a key part, are even better this time around. ‘Into the Unknown’, is a better song than ‘Let it Go’, as it says more about Elsa’s character motivations while also serving to set up and foreshadow the later plot. That is something that applies to all the songs in this film they no longer just feel forced in because the films needs a song, which Frozen 1 is guilty of. Instead, most of the songs this time around serve a narrative purpose.

The characters except for Elsa and Olaf,(Josh Gad), who I will talk about separately, all feel sidelined in this film, being reduced to caricatures. Anna, (Kristen Bell), becomes so needy and, controlling with Elsa that she can’t let her out of her sight for more than five minutes; which leads to Anna repeatedly putting herself in danger and needing to be saved. Kristoff, (Jonathan Groff), who was already a background character in the last film is now given even less to do; making me ask the question why was he even included if they weren’t going to use him? His whole story line revolves around him wanting to propose to Anna, and it keeps going badly, does that sound funny to you? The first time it’s passable, maybe you think it’s just a throwaway gag, but no that is his whole arc; and it is incredibly unfunny. He does get a song this time around ‘lost in the woods’ which is surprisingly, but that is it. There are some other side characters but, they’re only featured briefly.

The two characters who I think are good in this film and progress in interesting ways are Elsa and Olaf. Elsa’s quest to find out who she is keeps us guessing most of the film, yes at times some of the twists along the way are painfully obvious, but I still respect how her character progresses and, the fact that by the end of the film she is no longer Queen. I think the side plot of her maybe having a romantic moment with a Northuldra woman, is brushed over far too quickly, but maybe we will get that in the inevitable Frozen 3? Olaf, who was mainly comic relief, here has an existential arc where he questions reality and the nature of change; which I thoroughly enjoyed and thought it added a nice bit of comedy for a more mature audience.

To conclude I think that this film could have been better if it was just an Elsa, and maybe Olaf, standalone film. Anna and Kristoff have so little to do why include them? The more mature story is definitely a plus as well as the ballsy ending, but the issues I have mentioned just drag it down for me.

Reviewed by Luke

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