Movie Review Flashback: My Review of ‘Frozen II’

Before the behind-the-scenes documentary arrives on Disney+ check out my review of one of the highest-grossing films of 2019: Frozen II. Enjoy!

Before I write this review of Frozen II let me say this, I’m an avid adult Frozen fan. Translated: I’m not as obsessed with the film as little girls surely are but I have seen it multiple times and am a fan of the songs, particularly “Let It Go” which I sing to myself all of the time. So, once again, I love Frozen.

The film subverted what I’ve come to expect with Disney princess movies and told a modern-age story that felt poignant, inspiring, and downright beautiful. Plus, being someone who has a sister that I love to death, it made the story that much sweeter.

When Frozen II came out I couldn’t wait to eventually see it. The reviews weren’t scintillating but I was still intrigued.

Now, is Frozen II better than the first one? Easy answer, no, which isn’t surprising considering that the film didn’t even garner an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, but it was pretty entertaining. There are things about the film that I really liked and things that I felt didn’t connect this time around. So, I’ll detail this review in the pros and cons sort of layout. Let’s get those cons out of the way first.

The Cons

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I loved Kristoff in the first film. He was charming, cute, sweet, kind, he was everything you’d expect in the not-so-obvious-but-totally-obvious love interest of Anna in Frozen. In this movie, he feels like Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World; he’s present but he shouldn’t be, honestly. I get it, little boys watch this film too and they need a male hero to cheer for but geez, he felt really out of place in this story. In fact, he was so out of place, there were at least thirty minutes of the film where he wasn’t even in it and I was not sad about it, I’m telling you.

His storyline felt like it was grasping at straws to stay connected to Elsa and Anna’s storylines, resulting in an over-the-top corny song (I think it was supposed to be a joke, at least I hope it was a joke) that probably singlehandedly concluded in this film not getting an Oscar nomination.

Too Many Mediocre Songs

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Speaking of songs, there were too many of them. Once again, I get it, this is a musical, but there were too many songs that didn’t come across as both memorable or enjoyable. Every song in Frozen was worth memorizing and listening to more than once.

However, I have to say, “Into the Unknown” was kind of magical, (it’s in my head as I write this), and “Show Yourself” was breathtaking. Utterly chill-inducing songs that retained the magic of the first movie…and unsurprisingly both songs featured Elsa.

But like I said before, every other song was just a little meh and when a movie is filled with songs that can be a big no-no.

A Convoluted Storyline

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Even though I recently watched this movie from beginning to end and followed the whole thing I’m still kind of confused in deciphering what the film was about. The story seemed to be yanking us this way and that to prevent from being predictable and even though I appreciate that tactic it was a bit disorienting.

We’re getting all of these revelations and truths of the past and nods toward the future throughout an adventure that feels a bit jumbled and busy at times. But at the end of the day, the film was truly about Elsa.

Frozen was Elsa’s coming-out party. Frozen II allows Elsa to embrace her true self, for better or worse. (I won’t tell you what happens because that includes spoilers but I will say this, the film went there. I mean, this movie definitely decided to turn to a dark place. In fact, I believe it took more risks than The Rise of Skywalker did, which is saying something.)

The Pros

The New Characters

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I liked the new characters, namely Lieutenant Mattias and this little guy. Oh my goodness, this lizard is SO CUTE! I was totally gushing.

Olaf

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If you were worried about Olaf not being as funny in this film, do not fret, he’s still as hilarious as ever. He was a real joy in the movie and his humor came across as natural rather than forced, which I appreciated. And he has hands down the funniest moment in the film, unsurprisingly. I’m talking about belly-laugh funny. I love Olaf.

Elsa and Anna

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And of course, the best thing about Frozen II is Elsa and Anna, mainly Elsa. These two sisters are the driving force of this story and their bravery combined is always touching to observe. But, because this movie was truly focused on Elsa, Anna was a bit left in the weeds in this film.

The story was a bit too grand for the likes of Anna and Kristoff, two non-magical individuals, and so they were slightly swallowed up by this powerful journey of identity and truth-seeking that Elsa had to partake on. However, Anna’s conclusion brought a legitimate smile to my face. It was something I was not expecting and that drives the story forward in an exciting direction.

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However, if you are an Elsa fan, this film did not disappoint. She was at her greatest yet, taking on the unknown with determination rather than fear, allowing us to watch her bloom into this ultra-powerful young woman right before our eyes.

She is an inspiring heroine, no doubt about it, and I absolutely loved her in this film. She had many of the film’s greatest moments, particularly the very last shot that’s covering me in goosebumps just thinking about it. This movie has turned me into a bonafide Elsa fan now.

My Conclusion of the Film

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All in all, this movie had its moments but ultimately will I watch it again? Definitely…but not any time soon. And, unfortunately, it did not make me cry. Frozen did (and still does, to this day.)

This film is good but like Incredibles II, it could not summon that same essence as the first one, becoming yet another movie to suffer under the sequel curse. But if they decide to eventually make another one, I’ll totally be ready to see it.

I’m giving this film 88 out of 100 and 4 out of 5 stars. It’s good but it’s definitely not great.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day.

 

5 thoughts on “Movie Review Flashback: My Review of ‘Frozen II’”

  1. I thought this film was pretty middle of the road. I just straight up didn’t like Elsa’s decisions at the end of the film, I thought the songs were so inferior to “Let It Go” that it watered down a lot of the emotional impact, and frankly I’m still not entirely clear on why Elsa had to get (spoiler)ed other than to contrive a way where Anna’s presence in the film has any point whatsoever.

    To this day, whenever Frozen gets into the first few notes of “Let It Go,” my eyes start misting up. I’m a very introverted soul, and Elsa’s moment of panic, followed by her flight from everyone else suddenly deciding to hate her for being different, and then the dramatic camera movement to emphasize just how far away from the world she is, until you finally find her standing alone on the mountainside, alone in the vast emptiness of the world… this scene is painful to see for me, to this day. It’s enough that when those first few sorrowful notes on the piano hit, it’s all over. It’s the most devastatingly emotional scene in the modern Pixar-Disney library this side of Those Two Scenes In “Up.” (It took me years, probably not until my six year old started wanting to binge repeat that movie recently, before I could watch the scrapbook scene towards the end of “Up” without being reduced to a non functionally sobbing wreck. I’ve had to leave the TV room at home a few times to cry it off.)

    So… all that melodramatic recounting and pausing in writing to grab Kleenexes just thinking about all that sadness later… Frozen II just flat out doesn’t have a moment that rips your heart out of your chest like that. Frankly, Elsa’s struggles strike me as very “get over yourself” compared to the relatable pain she’s going through in the first movie, and Anna’s interactions with Kristoff’s clumsy courtship go even beyond that into “oh, come ON!!!” territory. You know what I mean.

    That said… Olaf is way better in this movie than he is in the first one. In a lot of ways, he’s the one character who gets better in this one than he was in the original. I suppose there isn’t an “In Summer” that’s particularly memorable for him, but his jump cut soliloquy more than makes up for it. My son loves Frozen II much better than the original for Olaf’s greater presence alone. And perhaps in that respect, it succeeded for a six year old better. In watching the first one after seeing the second one, he wanted to skip the whole first third of the movie so that we could get to the part where Olaf shows up.

    For me, though? It just doesn’t get there. It doesn’t even quite win out in the “wait, that’s not how monarchies work” department over the original. The original has two HUGE suspension of disbelief screwups, that frankly get me seething a bit: 1) there is no way that a kingdom in any state of crisis involving the disappearance of the reigning monarch (Elsa) is going to allow the heir to the throne (Anna) to go out after her largely by herself in a freak blizzard. There’s no way the royal court even lets this woman out of the gates. Period. And while I’ve got you set up with that one, here’s the other… 2) sigh… screenwriters, please learn at least some reasonable definition of treason and how it’ll be applied in an absolute monarchy. A low-birth-order foreign born prince doesn’t get to charge ANYBODY with treason, under any circumstances. And… wait for it… he sure as duck doesn’t get to condemn THE REIGNING, ABSOLUTE MONARCH for it. Treason, in a monarchy, means very little beyond plotting against the crown and its government. The monarch — Elsa — literally CAN’T plot against herself. So Hans, based on a wedding he claims happened in secret with no witnesses, is attempting to claim authority as, at best, the widowed prince consort to Anna after maaaaaybe Elsa has been disqualified from the throne, after Anna herself is dead, to condemn Elsa for a crime she’s not even really capable of committing? Um… no. That’s really not how that works. Not even a little bit.

    And of course, this goes from “courtiers willing to see Elsa executed for supposed treason” to “the same courtiers are happily applauding when the guy condemning her gets punched in the face” like twenty minutes later. I mean, the movie is cute, and it sort of gets away with it… but if you’re a history buff who spends any thought on how monarchies really have worked over time, don’t think about it too much.

    And that said, how the dynastic parts of this go in the end aren’t really much better. Frankly, the treatment of how a kingdom reacts to Elsa as queen is a little silly in general. Granted, the first movie doesn’t work in the way it’s made if Elsa does what most historical monarchs would likely do and just forcibly silence everyone who saw her freak out with the ice. That’s going to be a very different movie in general.

    That said… the ending of the second one is very cavalier in a lot of ways, too. I didn’t like that at all, and unlike the first one, it doesn’t really recover from it narrative wise because that’s where it leaves you in the end. I just didn’t like it, frankly.

    Ok, wall of text over. (Hey, Annlyel, the old me is back, how you doing! 😅)

    Like

    1. Ha-ha! Very, very funny. I totally get everything that you’re saying. Especially about Up. I have only watched this movie twice in the course of ten years because it wrecks me so badly. The last time I watched the film I forgot how emotionally impactful and was in a river of tears at the end. It’s truly, in my opinion, the greatest Pixar film.

      Frozen was a great film that managed to make children and adults say wow. If you’re an Elsa fan you’ll love the second one. If not…hang on for the ride.

      Loved this comment. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah…. “Up” is really hard to do. My wife and I were doing random conversation topics off a web site in a restaurant a few months before the plague hit, and the question comes up, “what movie makes you cry no matter how many times you see it?” You know what my answer was without even needing to think about it.

        That said, yeah…. Elsa had a decent role in this movie, and in a lot of ways it focuses on her more than the first one did. That said, I’m still not sure if I liked the direction they took with her in the end. The movie in general is very “all over the place” and it just…. doesn’t hold together very well. It’s not the kind of flaming wreckage that the Matrix sequels or Rise of Skywalker are (both of which are pretty square in “uhhhhh yeah, I kinda wish they’d left the original movie(s) alone now” territory) but it’s not great. Finding Dory was way better. The Toy Story sequels were better.

        So… like I said, middle of the road. Not great, but not terrible. As always, you’re much more generous with your stars than I am. I’d call it a solid 3 to 3 1/2 if I’m being generous.

        Liked by 1 person

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