(Me, on the left – my friend, @arielchiaroscuro on the right)
Last night, I attended a 9:45 PM showing of Disney’s Frozen II. The splurged on the special popcorn bowl, cup, and mini snow globe—I dressed up, and I made my friend take pictures with me in front of the giant display outside the theater’s entrance (the picture above is where I am, perhaps, the least blurry from rapid, excited movement).
However, you didn’t start reading this to get hyped or read about my hype. You probably came to find out if the movie lived up to said hype… So, did it?
Well, it depends.
To me, yes—but not in the ways I was expecting. We learn that the supposed theories or confirmations that Elsa and Anna’s parents later birth Tarzan are incorrect because we see their confirmed death in an unexpected way. We learn too that Hans, who was “promised” a redemption does not get one—instead, they make jokes more than a few times about his villainous nature. The rock Trolls are still good, at least in this movie, and Elsa’s power over certain elements is explained. You’ll have to see the movie yourself to see how this all comes together, and I do recommend seeing it, but I don’t think anything will be a surprise as you watch.
For example, at the first introduction of a “fifth element,” which bridges the four others to the humans of the world, you can probably guess what or rather who it is. That’s not the only thing either that’s abundantly obvious as you watch, since anyone who saw the first movie where Elsa abdicated her throne, temporarily, and heard “Into the Unknown” could probably guess that Elsa is officially handing over Arendelle’s throne to Anna.
It was, overall, a mild movie with the most exciting things to me being how the songs I’ve been endlessly looping interacted with the story overall. I could see a lot of merchandising in the film, and felt like it overtook the more emotional moments that I expected given the trailers I’d seen leading up to the release. Moreover, I kept obsessively thinking about how Anna must have a really high tolerance for the cold because she gets dunked in that stream in movie one and when we see her multiple times in this sequel hugging, holding, and such with snow she doesn’t show so much as a shiver. Like, I would be freezing with half the things she did, and I’m sure most of the audience would too.
My most significant criticisms of the movie aren’t that it’s not surprising, though, because I wasn’t expecting a massive twist in the first place (after all, it’s a children’s movie, and you rarely get a Hans-switch-twist like that more than once in a series). It’s not poor storytelling either, which I’m sure some might criticize since the story is very A to B to C and so on. Instead, I disliked that there were some scenes, more than 10, I would say that appeared to be purely about marketing. They didn’t push the story forward, they weren’t very inspiring or character telling, they were instead images meant to sell a toy and did little more than that for the movie. Moreover, they took several minutes from the film to re-tell the events of the first movie, just in case anyone forgot. One retelling, done by Olaf, was really long and comedically broken up by one of my new favorite characters, Lieutenant Mattias, responding as though he was watching a soap opera while everyone else looks horrified and confused. Was it funny? Yes. Did it endear me to Lieutenant Mattias? YES. However, Lieutenant Mattias was not very present in the whole of the film, meaning that the endearment will really be paid off in later installments of the Frozen canon. Honestly, Olaf’s retelling would have been better after-credit scene than the one we got, which could easily be moved to the end of the movie before the credits.
So, overall, I still think it is a good movie, and I love it. I give it a 7.5/10. Negatives are how much the merchandising pulled me out of the movie-watching experience and the repeated retellings of Frozen I instead of just featuring a callback image or line.
It’s not as great as, for example, How To Train Your Dragon 2 was following HTTYD 1, but its nowhere near as poorly executed as HTTYD 3.
BTW, anyone see the new advertisement for HTTYD Homecoming? Because I’m READY. DEC. 3rd, Y’all!