I was originally going to write about Frozen II in a triple feature review alongside Knives Out and A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. Then I saw it again.
I originally watched Frozen II in theaters on November 22nd and thought it was great. I had a fantastic time watching, I cried when Elsa sung “Show Yourself,” and I had only a few small nitpicks mainly about Khristoph lacking character.
Watching it again, I noticed more problems.
Before we get to those first let’s get through the good stuff. This movie with its many problems is still a good movie after all.
The animation and cinematography is amazing. There’s a stunning amount of detail in every frame and the film has a pleasing style that mixes more muted colors of black, grey, and dark blue while also giving more bright colors of magenta, bright blues, and whitest snow you’ve ever seen. It’s a technical marvel and just covered in details.
The music is also fantastic. The songs are well composed and catchy as ever, understandably so as you need to get all that money from soundtrack sales. I love almost every single song and they are an absolute delight to listen too, my favorite of them all being “Show Yourself.”
The message I got from it is also great but we’ll get to that in a minute.
But that’s where my praise falls short.
The story, sadly, is a mess.
But I have a strong feeling that isn’t the director’s fault or any of the writers faults. I feel like this, was higher ups of Disney’s fault, let me explain.
Elsa is bothered by a noise from the north which keeps calling her to enter into the unknown. Its revealed that that the noise is coming from what they believe is the enchanted forest which was enclosed by a mystical fog preventing anyone from entering or leaving. Elsa awakens the spirits of the natural world, fire, water, earth, wind, love, Captain Planet, ect. This causes Arendelle to be in danger. The adventure begins.
It seems like a lot was cut. From Elsa having a romantic intrest, alot of the dynamic between Elsa and Anna, Anna being an equal and even more skilled than Elsa in some ways, Kristoph having an actual character, and some other things.
I refuse to believe that the team behind Frozen II worked for years on a sequel to one of Disney’s most profitable franchises just to make something that had a happy ending that tied everything in a pretty little bow. There are so many things untouched and unresolved like the fact that Elsa and Anna barely do shit together.
The fact Anna only becomes capable of doing shit in the third act when it shows throughout the movie she’s well read and pretty knowledgeable about history, a handful of skills (sword fighting, canoeing, etc.), and architecture.
The fact that Kristoph has no character other than “guy who fails to propose at the right time.”
Even the fact that Elsa maybe could’ve had a girlfriend, but it seems like they cut that before the movie began production as they couldn’t write in a other romantic intrest in a way that makes sense and doesn’t detract from the dynamic between Kristoph and Anna.
There are remnants of these all throughout the film but it seems they were cut either for time or because it worked with the expected audience of 7 year old girls all wearing one of the DOZENS of Elsa dresses that leave glitter on everything they touch.
This sadly made the movie feel empty. It was disappointing to see this film be an empty husk of corporation. It still has a great message about having to deal with your problems whether that be depression, coming out, or hearing voices, and that you need to love yourself but you also need to accept that there will always be someone there who wants to help.
It’s a good message asking its viewers to be yourself and never fear asking for help. Not the most unique of moral messages, but still good nonetheless.
I had a great time watching Frozen II, but knowing it could’ve been something more experimental, something more mature, makes me just disappointed on how safe the movie was as a sequel.