By Abby Herbert
The original storyline from the first movie is still prevalent in “Frozen II”, however the sequel manages to engage the audience’s emotions through a unique heart-wrenching story about finding oneself and figuring out where one belongs. The sequel starts with Elsa and Anna as kids again–similarly to the beginning of the first movie where the sisters are shown building a snowman with Elsa’s powers. Here, the audience learns important background information on the sisters’ parents that helps build up the rest of the plot. The movie flashes forward to the present, six years after the end of the first movie. Characters Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven are then forced on an adventure to find the source of Elsa’s powers and balance the elements of the Earth again in Arendelle—the city where the movie takes place.
The plot may be what most viewers remember most about the movie, however, the animation, casting, and song choice are all icing on the cake. Even though “Frozen I” was released only six years ago, there are various changes in the density and complexity of the animations. For example, the hair on each of the characters was created with such precision that viewers are able to view each individual strand of hair on the humans’ and animals’ heads. Anna’s hair was made to look more realistic and to react naturally with forces like wind, water, and extreme action (such as running). The animation development is reflected in the clothes that Anna and Elsa wear as well. In the first movie, Anna’s dress looked like it only had about two pieces of fabric on it, but now it is much more detailed with thousands of meticulously detailed jewels and sequins.
Each of these characters needed the right actor to fit them, and Disney really hit it out of the ballpark on this one. Idina Menzel, former “Wicked” Broadway star, is able to perfectly capture Elsa’s dignified, poised, and reserved manner; Not to mention, Menzel can hit the high notes in one of Elsa’s iconic songs in this movie, “Into the Unknown.” Kristen Bell (Anna) and Jonathan Groff (Christoph) play two characters who are deeply in love. Bell’s personality matches up greatly with Anna’s bubbly self, and Groff is easily able to portray Kristoff’s insecurities about expressing his love for Anna. The talent and energy that Bell and Groff bring emphasize the strong emotional connection between Kristoff and Anna in the movie, leaving audiences wishing for their love to keep growing.
While the songs in this movie are not as memorable as the first one, they still bring a powerful and cheerful impact on the audience in the theatre. Songs such as “Show Yourself” and “Into the Unknown” are sung by Idina Menzel and showcase her powerful voice; “Into the Unknown” has even become an audience favorite, however it has yet to reach to the level of “Let it Go” from the first movie. There are other songs, such as “Some Things Never Change” and “When I am Older,” that give the audience that common warm, joyful feeling that most Disney movies bring. The style of these songs also evokes nostalgia for the first movie; they are bubbly and upbeat, just like the songs “For the First Time in Forever” and “Love is an Open Door” from the first movie. “Frozen II” may not be as iconic as “Frozen I,” but it still has a few tear-jerking scenes. For example when Kristen Bell started singing the song “The Next Right Thing” audiences were thrown straight into an emotional roller coaster along with her character, Anna. Movie watches were able to relate to this scene through its depiction of a heart-wrenching goodbye.
Rotten Tomatoes only gave this movie a 77% rating, but audiences have given it a 92% score. “Frozen II” broke Disney’s expectations and brought in $350 million dollars within the first three days, $223 million dollars higher than the predicted $127 million dollar revenue, according to Quartz. “Frozen II” is definitely a family movie worth seeing, especially if you fell in love with the first one. It will bring out emotions in people of all ages.