Frozen II Review

Brooke O'Flaherty, Design Editor

Frozen, a story of two sisters reuniting after lives of isolation, made about 1.3 billion dollars in box office, while its successor, Frozen II, has already passed the one billion dollar marker having been out less than a month. With such a profit, one can be left asking: well, how good was Frozen II?

Simply, the visuals and music of the movie are astounding. Instead of another winter-wonderland, the sequel took on a more autumnal aesthetic, aside from a few scenes which were meant to stand out in their appearance. The animation is incredibly done, leading to the characters looking as beautiful as they did in the first movie, and the magic coming to life through its exposition. Musical numbers had incredible visual accompaniment to tie in the scene and truly pull the audience in.

Unfortunately, wowing visuals and catchy music numbers are as in depth as the movie becomes. Frozen II seemed to take a lot of inspiration for its predecessor, as the movie follows the original’s pacing and emotions near beat for beat. Conversely, while Anna was the protagonist of Frozen, Elsa takes on this role in the sequel; however, as Elsa was a supporting character to Anna without much character of her own, little character work is done with her outside of that which Elsa had already been through in the original. Anna, who had before been dynamic character, becomes very shallow in her role, and experiences dramatic shifts in character rather than development or growth. All the characters take a back seat to the, as said by baby Anna, “epic” lore, while the actual story was an afterthought. 

It is hard to rate the story of Frozen II as the film is largely stuck in the exposition stage. Following the story behind Elsa’s magic, the picture feels more like a lore-dump without stakes or hurtles than a story. There are only brute-force conflicts within the plot which Elsa is capable of out-forcing fairly easily, and dilemmas with no negative outcome for other characters to work through; the movie instead focuses on the parents’ connection to magic, changing them from fearful, unsure parents doing their best in the face of an unknown, dangerous powers to two parties who fully knew about and had experienced or grown up with magic, as well as the general source of Elsa’s powers. Though this could be seen as a minor grievance, it does highlight how extreme and cruel their treatment of their daughters was in childhood. 

Overall, Frozen II was enjoyable but not great. It serves its purpose as a fun film to see with friends but standalone had no story and poor character-work, with several events which contradict the first movie.