The arrival of Frozen II in theaters is a *very* big deal at our house. The original Frozen movie just happens to be the first film that our oldest ever clicked with, and she’s been wanting more ever since the credits first began to roll. We went through a stage with her where it was all Frozen, all the time, and then we had her sister who helped carry on the Frozen torch for us over the past few years. Just last week that little one was lamenting that she’s been waiting her whole life for another Frozen movie, and it dawned on me that for once that expression was actually true. We’ve all been waiting her whole life, and then some.
We went into Frozen 2 for the media preview in Seattle with very high hopes, really wanting it to live up to their expectations. And, it definitely did.
The movie starts with everyone back together in Arendelle, living happily ever after three years after the first movie took place. Elsa is queen and Anna is happy to have everyone she loves—Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven—under one roof . But, happily ever after is disrupted when Elsa begins to hear a voice calling out to her.
After that, some strange occurrences start happening around town and eventually everyone is evacuated from Arendelle while all our favorite characters go to investigate. They end up at the enchanted forest that they have only heard stories of the Northuldra people from their childhood. In those enchanted woods they figure out that actions from their distant past are now affecting them and their town, and they must figure out how to set things right, even if it means venturing into the unknown.
As in the first film, this isn’t your typical princess story. There’s no hero to save the princess, and no traditional villain. Instead, the *villain* is fear – fear of the unknown, fear of new, fear of losing someone you love the most. This is an over-arching theme throughout the entire film, and some parts brought tears to my eyes thinking of my children, my own sisters, and of everything changing.
But, sometimes it’s good to venture into an unknown, because that’s how we grow as people. That’s how we find out where we are meant to be and where we belong. For us, and even for a strong queen like Elsa who has magic and courage to get her through the toughest challenges. So, when Elsa faces a dangerous journey into the unknown to the enchanted forest and dark seas beyond Arendelle, Anna is determined to go with her, be by her sister’s side, and help uncover the mystery—along with Kristoff, Olaf and Sven. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough.
In the making of Frozen 2, filmmakers referenced old Norse myths and folklore across the Nordic lands, discovering connections to nature that helped inspire the new movie. The film introduces the four elements—water, wind, earth and fire—that seem to be connected to the voice Elsa is hearing. These elements eventually compel her to embark on an adventure that will take her—as well as Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven—to a host of new places beyond the mysterious enchanted forest, including a black-sand beach and dark sea, a paralyzing cavern and a climactic locale alluded to in Queen Iduna’s lullaby.
According to producer Peter Del Vecho, the characters long ago became more than characters to the filmmakers. “It’s like they are family,” he says. “They are endearing in that they are both flawed and aspirational, and there is so much more to their story. And like a lot of storytellers, we found we couldn’t get them out of our heads. We wanted to know more—go deeper in exploring this relationship between two sisters.”
“If ‘Frozen’ was happily ever after,” says Jennifer Lee, “then ‘Frozen 2’ is the day after happily ever after. Life gets in the way. It throws you curve balls. So, this is about learning to fight for your place in the world, do what’s right—all of the grown-up things you have to do. There’s still fun and humor, but it’s a deeply emotional story about finding out who we are meant to be.”
According to Buck, in “Frozen,” the world had just opened up for the characters. “They were trying to figure out who they were,” he says. “But it feels like they’ve graduated college now. They’re getting their lives together. But there is also so much that is unknown ahead of them. We wanted to know what that means for each of them.
“Some things never change. Like how I’m holding on tight to you.”
~ “Some Things Never Change,” Frozen 2
As in the first film, Olaf was one of our favorite characters again. It’s been a little over three years since Elsa made him, and like all the characters, he’s grown a lot in those years. He’s absolutely fascinated with the various wonders of life: Did you know that men are six times more likely to be struck by lightning than women? And did you know that water has memory? With his new curiosity for knowledge, and his “stop-and-smell-the-flowers” approach to life, Olaf kept us smiling through the whole entire film.
We loved the film so much that we already have plans to go back and see it again this weekend, which we have never, ever done before for a film. Yes, it’s that good. Yes, we loved it that much. The only thing we’re changing for our next viewing? We’re bringing even more people with us because we want to experience it with everyone.