This is normally a spoiler free zone, and the first half of the review is indeed spoiler free. However, I will analyze and discuss the plot later on with spoilers, but don’t worry- there will be plenty of signs before there are spoilers!
It was incredibly hard, but I was a good mom and took my kids to see Frozen II this weekend.
The hard part wasn’t taking them to the movie- I’ve basically been waiting for it since Frozen came out six years ago. The hard part was waiting until they could go! If I had it my way, we’d have seen it Thursday night. But alas, bedtime and school nights and their well being takes precedence over premieres. So we waited until we could take them as a family, which was Saturday.
Clocking in at just under a two hour run time, I was worried about taking my four and six year old. That’s longer than most movies, and we’ve hardly ever taken them to the movies. But it definitely didn’t feel like a two hour movie- everything was so well paced and riveting it passed by in a flash. A beautiful, magnificent flash.
I loved every moment. From the Disney castle to the final credit rolled, every moment was perfect, and layered with meaning you’ll be dissecting for weeks in your mind.
Frozen II continues seemingly shortly a year after we’ve left Arendelle in Frozen (this is my theory based off of time continuing in the shorts, Frozen Fever and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure). We find our heroes moving on with their daily lives, bonding with one another. Olaf is questioning the inevitably of change, while Kristoff ponders proposing.
We also get a glimpse into Anna and Elsa’s childhood, complete with a foreshadowing laden lullaby that is still stuck in my head days later.
In fact, all of the music is spectacular. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on a loop on YouTube because I already asked my husband to get me the soundtrack for a Christmas gift! (Yes, I do now realize my error now that I can’t stop singing On the Northwind and Some Things Never Change yet Christmas is still a month away).
I want to see this film again and again. My kids and I all loved it, and I find myself now dissecting each hint and little bit of foreshadowing in every song and moment I can remember.
There are many things that touched my heart that I can’t share due to not wanting to reveal any spoilers. But parents in particular may find themselves emotional in this one. From Anna and Olaf singing about the things that never change that actually do (the feel of your hand in mine– I definitely broke down crying thinking of how my kiddos hands do feel different over time as they grow, and I so cherish the feel of their little hands in mine).
The animation in this film is one of the most gorgeous yet. The water looks truly real, the landscape is undeniably beautiful. Every detail is precise and perfect. The plot, the characterization, the setting, the music– every moment is just right. Bonus- there’s a scene where they gather around a table and basically talk about Thanksgiving so now we have a Thanksgiving movie!
I absolutely loved it, and there are few characters I enjoy the journey of growing alongside as much as Anna and Elsa.
Plot and Message Analyzation
Now, are you ready for some intense analyzation? This next section is chock full of plot details, so if you haven’t seen it yet, TURN BACK!
Don’t scroll down!
HUGE PLOT POINTS REVEALED!!!
Okay, if you’re still here, you clearly know what you’re in for. Here are my favorite messages from Frozen II.
Anna is the true hero of Frozen. She sacrifices her chance at having what she’s always wanted: community, a family. Not only does she willingly give that opportunity up to save Elsa, but she is literally willing to give her life for her sister. If that’s not a hero, I don’t know what is. This theme continues in Frozen II. Anna always does the right thing, even at the detriment of her personal well being.
We get an early look at Anna and Elsa’s childhood, possibly earlier in the night before Elsa accidentally strikes Anna with her magic the night the troll erase Anna’s memories of Elsa’s magic. We hear an epic tale from their father, King Agnarr, detailing his father’s diplomatic dealings with the Northundra. In her father’s telling of this epic tale, he describes the Northundra as taking advantage of the nature spirits they live amongst. This is a wonderful example of not trusting the narrator, as we later learn that Anna and Elsa’s grandfather tricked the Northundra and did them terrible harm. But because this is the story King Agnarr was raised on, those negative feelings permeate his perception. We also learn that his father does not survive the altercation in the enchanted forest which King Agnarr is injured, which is also likely to influence his perspective.
Another positive message hides in Elsa’s story: she is still struggling to feel as though she belongs, and a mysterious voice is calling to her. Her hit of a song Into the Unknown explores her feelings of being torn between exploring the unknown and how her powers are growing, and doing what is best for Arendelle. Although she’s more comfortable with herself than she was in the first one, but she still struggles to find where she belongs in this new world too.
Kristoff really gets some screen time in this one, and it’s well deserved. I have a few key moments I absolutely love with him. First is how openly he discusses his love for Anna. In Some Things Never Change, he reveals he’s intending to propose. Later, Lost in the Woods is all about his big feelings, which boys are allowed to have. Yet despite all humans feeling emotion, this is the first time we really see a male character just explore his feelings (Gaston’s self love doesn’t count). Then later, he shows up to help and simply says, “I’m here. What do you need?” Gosh, talk about saying the right thing! Later, when Anna apologizes, he says its okay, his love isn’t fragile.
His love isn’t fragile. How huge is that? How much better could our relationships be if we lived that way?
Yet another thing I love is how Anna and Elsa react when they discover their grandfather was a villain that intentionally hurt other people he was pretending to make peace with. They don’t react in fear or try and protect this dead man’s reputation. They just accept that he did a terrible thing, and then do everything they can to make it right. We can’t fix the transgressions of our ancestors, we can only acknowledge it was wrong and be different ourselves and do everything we can to make it right. Do the next right thing. What a powerful and necessary message- and just in time for Thanksgiving.
There is so much foreshadowing hidden in their mother’s lullaby that I’m still processing and picking up new tidbits with each re-listen. It’s one of my favorite songs from this film (along with all of the others, obviously, but primarily Some Things Never Change, Into the Unknown, and Show Yourself).
This is also the first time we see a Disney character deep in the throes of debilitating grief. It’s such a hard thing to witness, but oh so necessary. Do the Next Right Thing captures the stronghold grief has while also highlighting the difficult step of continuing to move forward despite the pain.
Have you seen Frozen II? What are your thoughts?