Review: ‘Frozen 2’ Feels Like a Warm Hug – With an Emotional Punch

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frozen 2 review
Disney
frozen 2 review
Disney

There’s no denying that Disney’s Frozen was a cultural reset. I’m not sure there’s anyone in the world who hasn’t heard “Let It Go” – and beyond that powerful earworm, people of all ages fell in love with the story, the sisters, and the snowman. Now that Frozen 2 is available to bring home, we’re revisiting the sequel – and sharing our thoughts in case you haven’t had a chance to watch yet! (If that’s you… What are you waiting for? It’s time to head into the unknown.)

Frozen 2 finds Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf living in peace and harmony In the kingdom of Arendelle. The people are happy and thriving – but Olaf is concerned about things changing (from the fall leaves to uncertainty about the future, which, mood) and Elsa is hearing a mysterious voice that seems to be calling her to leave home. When Elsa finally engages with this voice instead of ignoring it, disaster strikes – Arendelle is hit with elemental attacks that force all of its citizens out into the surrounding lands. The Trolls roll up and use their magic to determine a course of action: Elsa needs to go into the nearby enchanted forest, discover the truth about the past, and keep on doing the next right thing until it’s safe for her people to return home.

From there, all of our faves head off on an adventure to save Arendelle. Their journey takes them deep into the enchanted forest, which is populated by angry elemental spirits – not to mention a squadron of Arendellean guards and a group of indigenous people who have been stuck there for years. Elsa must calm the spirits and follow the voice, hoping to find answers about what’s going on with her kingdom… and herself.

Frozen 2 takes everything you loved about the first film and dials it up – from the sisterly bond between Anna and Elsa to the budding romance between Anna and Kristoff, Olaf’s antics and surprisingly deep musings, and songs that will be stuck in your head long after the credits have rolled. There are some very clever callbacks to Frozen, including a recap a la Olaf that is truly a cinematic masterpiece. The story goes so far beyond the original, while still tying into some of its lingering questions, such as details of the girls’ parents’ fate and the source of Elsa’s powers.

If there’s anything to criticize about this movie, it may be that the plot is trying to do a little too much. We’ve got the question of Elsa’s powers, the angry elemental spirits, a clash between the people of Arendelle and those of the forest that is shrouded in mystery, and the relationships between all of our favorite characters in the mix, which may be a little much for more casual viewers. That said, I re-watched the film for the Digital release (after seeing it in theaters when it released last November) and found myself with a deeper appreciation for all the layers of storytelling.

Frozen 2‘s callbacks and evolutions of everything we loved about the original Frozen, the way it raises the stakes, and the way it addresses some real – and really complex – emotional and cultural issues, and the stunning animation and catchy tunes make it a must-see for all Disney fans. Do the next right thing and watch it… now. (Samantha?)

Frozen 2 is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital.