It’s Not Time to Let It Go Just Yet! The Frenzy Behind ‘Frozen 2’

No longer is it the first time in forever! Already breaking records and generating over $1.1 million in box offices, this long-anticipated sequel has had an undeniably groundbreaking impact on the movie and animation industry, becoming one of the most defining features of 2019.

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Kelly Huang ‘21 reminisces about the nostalgia that she felt after watching this newest addition of the Frozen movies. “I remember watching Frozen vividly when I was younger. It was one of my favorite movies. So, I definitely couldn’t wait to watch this sequel,” Huang said.

With the chilly atmosphere of the winter season upon us, the buzz about Disney’s latest release of Frozen II is rather fitting. 

Six years have passed since the premiere of Frozen, which had us falling in love with characters like Elsa, Anna, and Olaf, and singing along to the film’s iconic tunes so many times that we know them by heart. For most of us, Frozen comprises a notable part in each of our childhoods. Thus, it’s quite fair to say that the anticipation building up after the sequel’s confirmation last February had many on the edge of their seats, so excited that they just couldn’t hold it back anymore!   

Having hit theaters last November, the long-awaited sequel features the return of our beloved characters to the big screen. Picking up three years after its prequel, questions that were left unanswered in the first movie are brought back to light as we follow Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven on yet another journey of self-discovery. Upon the sudden arrival of a mysterious force threatening to disrupt the peace and stability of Arendelle, the five must endeavor into the unknown to prevent a disastrous fate, all while tackling new challenges, encountering new characters and learning more about their past, their family, and themselves along the way. 

Many aspects of Frozen II remain consistent with its prequel. With Elsa and Anna’s close sister bond, Olaf’s heartwarming humor, Kristoff and Sven’s adorable bickering, as well as Anna and Kristoff’s affectionate (and more progressed) relationship — all of which contribute to the unfaltering theme of family, friendship and love — it won’t be long before viewers find themselves  caught up in nostalgia. 

Furthermore, the sequel builds upon the foundation set by its predecessor and approaches its plot through a new perspective. It adds an element of mystery that was not as prevalent before, one that has us questioning what we knew from the first movie. 

While the first movie portrays how Elsa learned to control her powers, Frozen II revolves around the origins of Elsa’s powers. To do so, the film channels into the past, placing a prominent emphasis on the history of Arendelle and the ancestry of the royal family. Elsa and Anna’s parents play an especially significant role in the unravelling of events, as we not only revisit the mystery behind their obscure deaths, but also trace back to each of their roots and beginnings. As new information is uncovered and new discoveries are made regarding these enigmas, a level of complexity and depth is added to not only the plot, but also the characters, changing Arendelle in ways that could not have been foreseen. 

Another difference to be expected is a newfound confidence in Elsa, signifying a noteworthy growth in her character from the original film. It cannot be denied that the movie’s strong sense of feminism and leadership conveys an inspiring message for its audience. 

For me, the biggest change is not as much the animation as it was the that they approach the character of Elsa. We were used to making her apologetic all the time for herself. ‘I am sorry I have these powers. I’m sorry I almost hurt everybody and…’ You know, that was more of like the first movie. She was always fearful that she was going to endanger the people that she loved with this power. In this film, she steps into it and she owns it,” Menzel explains in an interview with journalist Steve Weintraub, “It’s Anna that’s actually afraid for her sister all the time, and worried about what’s going to happen, but Elsa has this certainty. She hears this voice, but there’s something all-knowing that she knows that if she just follows this thing inside of her that she’s going to find whatever it is. It feels right. It feels powerful. It feels good.” 

Accompanying character development and a blast from the past, the sequel introduces us to a world beyond the borders of Arendelle, with the conflicts faced, discoveries made, and new people met (including a mystical tribe!) throughout the journey taking place on unfamiliar territory. Going hand in hand with the geographical location of the film, Disney’s exemplification of Norwegian culture was another highlight. The media company’s decision to feature Scandanavian mythology in the sequel’s plot gives it a more realistic, historically accurate touch that we ought not to overlook. 

Perhaps one of the most anticipated aspects upon the release of this sequel was its music. Was it on par with the iconic hits of the 2013 film? Was it good enough to follow after the brilliant soundtrack of the first movie? That’s up to you to decide. As Elsa and the gang travel across new lands and sail across waters, the stunning vocals of Menzel, Bell, Groff and Gad once again do not fail to amaze us and entertain our senses. In addition to the original cast, the film also features new vocals from Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Queen Iduna, Elsa and Anna’s mother, in “All is Found,” as well as Aurora, a Norwegian singer who plays the voice that calls upon Elsa to go North, leading her to discover the source of her powers. With seven new songs, the most popular arguably being “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself,” certainly it won’t be long before we find ourselves singing along to the lyrics by heart. 

Now, the ultimate question: Did the movie satisfy our expectations? Was it worth the wait? Was it as good as its prequel? 

According to the responses of many fellow Bronx Science students, most enjoyed the film. “I absolutely loved the movie. I thought the music was amazing, and the plot was an interesting take on the events that occurred in the first movie,” said Yu Zhen Lin ’21. 

“My favorite part of the movie was uncovering the mystery behind the deaths of Elsa and Anna’s parents, which I was curious about from the first movie. I also really enjoyed Olaf and Sven’s humor, which had me laughing throughout the whole film,” said Kelly Huang ’21. 

However, there were some opposing opinions about whether the movie was on par with its prequel. “While the movie was really entertaining to watch, I don’t think it was as good as the first movie because personally, I prefer both the plot and the music from the original Frozen soundtrack rather than that from Frozen 2,” said Sommaya Haque ’21. 

“I liked the sequel much better than the original movie,” said Saptabourna Baura ’21, “I really liked the character development that occurred during the movie, and I feel that this plot was more mysterious and intriguing, especially when they uncovered more information about what happened in the past and where Elsa’s powers came from.” 

With this success, it’s clear that audiences have yet to let go of the Frozen franchise. We can only hope for a not too prolonged wait before another addition to this series of films. 

“I really liked the character development that occurred during the movie, and I feel that this plot was more mysterious and intriguing, especially when they uncovered more information about what happened in the past and where Elsa’s powers came from,” said Saptabourna Baura ’21.

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