Into the Unknown

Disney braves powerful new themes in its exhilarating musical sequel, Frozen II.

Frozen II Title Image

Koen Ross, Staff Writer

Challenge: The title of each lyrical song is hidden in this review article.

Do the next right thing and see Disney’s long-awaited sequel to Frozen. Whether you’re a fan of musicals, a Disney enthusiast, or just a polite tagalong, you won’t be disappointed by this new release. The sheer effort put into this movie might have you thinking:

W​hen I’m older, I want to watch this with my kids.

​This movie soars beyond the message of love, daring to address themes of masculine sensitivity, the treatment of indigenous people, human-environmental interaction, pushing onward despite grief, and of course, the search for one’s purpose. This movie does not run shallow – its intellectual depth provides an opportunity for you to show yourself a new perspective and enjoy a thrilling adventure at the same time.

Frozen II​ features the same lead characters that were previously introduced: the royal sisters, the iceman and his reindeer, and one unique, bubbly snowman. With the exception of the previous antagonist(Hans), the leading cast hardly changes. Queen Elsa is evidently a different person from how she started in F​ rozen.​ Though it is apparent that she is not as outspoken and cheery as her sister, her nature is more sociable and kind; this is mirrored by the soft pink color we first see her wearing at her modern age. Anna’s personality is quite similar to what it has always been, though she is noticeably more protective of her sister. Kristoff, as we learn in the first song, is planning to ask Anna to marry him. However, his opportunity to propose never seems to go as he hopes, and he is stuck in an emotional stress which is highlighted by a musical lament: Kristoff’s only solo. Backed up by a reindeer chorus, the uniquely themed song communicates the importance of his sensitivity and poignant frustration.

Fans will be happy to see that his reindeer, Sven, is still a dutiful companion through whom Kristoff constantly questions himself. While Sven remains as proof that some things never change, Olaf appears to have matured as soon as audiences meet him again. Though this maturity ebbs frequently, it is a spontaneous source through which new ideas to consider arise, e.g., Olaf is the character who shares about the crucial ability of water to store memories. These five well-developed characters create the brilliant music that this new movie boasts triumphantly; through song and relatability, each audience member is connected to the adventure narrative.

The movie’s opening scene actually occurs before the opening scene of its original. In the Arendelle Castle, King Agnarr comes to take the young Anna and Elsa to bed. There he tells them the story of the enchanted forest to the north, a place that mysteriously isolated itself after a suspicious celebration of Arendellians and the local natives, the Northuldra. Both captivated and worried by this tale, the two girls petition their mother for answers and comfort. This sparks the first lyrical song, in which Queen Iduna sings that all answers lie within the Ahtohallan, the river where the North Wind meets the sea. The father’s tale and the mother’s song give context and objective to the quest that the sisters will embark on in the modern plot of the movie.

The plot of this movie truly kicks off after the lead characters enjoy a game of charades. Elsa has recently been hearing a mysterious voice wavering down the fjord from the north, and she at last addresses the voice in song, acknowledging its enigmatic call. Indina Menzel’s extraordinary vocals make this song as chilling as her character’s powers. The song, however, is so powerful that it awakens the elemental spirits that once inhabited the enchanted forest. Water and fire disappear from Arendelle while the earth quakes and the wind rages. Motivated by the arrival of chaos, the quintet of heroes leave their people and town, heading north – to the enchanted forest, and perhaps the river Ahtohallan.

Upon first entering the mist of the forest, the characters appear lost in the woods – but an encounter with past events, new characters, and nature spirits reestablishes and redefines the purpose of their adventure. Elsa realizes that she must venture to the place where all is found to reconcile the chaos, and Anna (ever protective of her sister) insists to stick by her side and do her invaluable part. In F​ rozen​, Elsa left Arendelle in a fearful flight – but this time she leaves in pursuit: of answers, truth, and resolve.

The movie does feature a farcical post-credit scene in which a beloved character gives a very special account of the movie.