‘Frozen II’ melted my heart of ice

By Allen Zhang

With gorgeous animations, catchy songs and a chance to revisit fans’ beloved Frozen characters, Disney’s “Frozen II” hit theaters Nov. 22, almost six years after the first film was released. 

[SPOILER ALERT: read at your own discretion]

Infographic by Allen Zhang

While adapting to being queen of Arendelle, Elsa hears a siren calling to her. Around the same time, mysterious elemental spirits begin to attack Arendelle. Overcome by her curiosity and wanting to put an end to the attacks, Elsa pursues the voice, bringing Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven along with her. 

On the journey, the fivesome uncovers the truth of what happened to the Enchanted Forest all those years ago and find out just how Elsa’s powers came to be.

Meanwhile, Anna and Kristoff are finding the rhythm in their new relationship. Throughout the movie, Kristoff attempts to propose to Anna; however, during the first half of the movie, Anna is busy running after Elsa to mind Kristoff’s fruitless attempts, creating an amusing running gag throughout the movie. 

Whilst facing danger, Kristoff doesn’t try to protect Anna, but instead asks her, “I’m here. What do you need?” modeling positive masculinity for young boys watching. Kristoff is the first Disney prince whose storyline is entirely romantically centered versus princesses normally having this storyline.

Concurrently, Olaf is exploring life and all the wonders — or horrors — it can hold. Olaf’s maturing reflects the aging of the audience and brings the movie to more mature levels. Olaf’s line “and you all look a little bit older” reminded me that I was six years older since the last movie and caused me to reflect on how much I have changed. 

“Frozen II” also includes a dark scene, when Elsa falls into a void and is frozen, and her creations, including Olaf, fade to dust, as if Thanos had snapped them out of existence. As Olaf disintegrated, I am not ashamed to report that I cried. (The last movie I cried while watching was “Up.”)

At this point, Anna is in a very dark place, as everything she lived for is gone, but she remembers her personal mantra and sings, “You are lost, hope is gone, but you must go on and do the next right thing.” Anna literally has to pick herself up from the ground and keep going on, which is a huge contrast from Anna’s eternally optimistic persona from the original movie and the first half of “Frozen II.”

What made the movie a let down was the bewildering plot. At one point, I was 100 percent convinced that each character would gain one of the element’s powers. Additionally, after watching the movie, I still have no idea who the fifth spirit was. Was it Elsa, was it her mother or was it the cavern she fell into?

The movie also did not have a strong villain, with the closest being the sisters’ dead grandfather who apparently murdered unarmed natives to Arrendale.

Attempting to make the movie more mature, “Frozen II” includes larger themes such as environmentalism and colonialism. These are meant to give the movie some extra depth, but the way it is implemented makes the movie seem more shallow, as the themes are never deeply explored. 

Images compiled by Allen Zhang
“Frozen II” spoilers without context. You’ll have to check it for yourself!

Personally, my favorite part of the movie was the inclusion of the four spirits: Gale, a mischievous, invisible spirit that controls air; Bruni, the most adorable lizard who controls fire; Nokk, a horse whose body is made of water able to run in and on bodies of water; and giants made of rock who sleep for most of the movie. Major Avatar vibes. 

Overall, “Frozen II” was a satisfying sequel to the first movie, and in terms of animation and characters, I liked it more than the original. What was not as pleasant was the murky plot and weak attempts to add depth to the movie. 

If you decide to watch the “Frozen II,” make sure to stick around for the Marvel-esque end-credits scene!

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