The magic is still alive in Disney’s Frozen II

Frozen II had big shoes to fill following its release in November. The first Frozen film was released in 2013, grossing  $1.27 billion, making it the most successful and biggest animated film of all time. Six years on from the “Let It Go” music machine and Olaf plush toys are still being sold worldwide.

The first film retells the story of Hans Christen Anderson’s tale the Snow Queen but with a twist, Elsa is not a villain. Frozen seems to only borrow the idea of a monarch with mystical ice powers – the rest is pure Disney. Frozen even strayed from tradition of a prince saving the day, instead, the royal sisters save themselves.

The highly anticipated Frozen II broke its own record with the biggest opening weekend for an animated movie in its first three days of release. So far the film has made $358m in 37 different countries worldwide. As a bonus, the film did not disappoint.

Frozen II begins the same as its predecessor with young Anna and Elsa playing. Although the characters animation is almost identical to that of six years ago, we immediately see a new fluidity to the characters movements, a clear development of new technologies.

Following an enchanting lullaby sang by the princess’s mother Queen Iduna, it becomes clear that this is the same night as the ‘build a snowman’ incident, the opening of the first film.

When we meet the more familiar adult versions of the beloved characters you can instantly sense the calm before the storm.

Anna in particular is not the happy go lucky character that the audience is used to. Instead she is tense and worried.  She is clawing out of her role as the little sister and desperately tries to control her surroundings the best she can. A stark contrast to the optimistic princess we all know.

In fact, all of the characters seem more mature. Olaf even takes a moment to break the fourth wall and address that the audience has also grown with them. Forecasting that change is coming and to just do the “next right thing” – did you catch that?

Elsa on the other hand is being haunted by a siren’s call. A call, she is convinced, belongs to someone just like her and who needs her help. Because of this Elsa ventures ‘Into the Unknown’ of the enchanted forest, where we meet our Pocahontas story line. I’ll say no more.

All of these characters experience a whole evolution of growth emotionally, and even though they’re cartoons the vocal performances given are more realistic than some actors could physically give.

Kristoff makes a brief appearance in the film but the storyline didn’t concern him as much as the sisters. However, every moment Jonathon Groff’s character is on the screen is iconic. Groff finally got the solo he deserved and he nailed it.

Kristoff was really well written in this installment; he openly expressed that his love for Anna was not fragile and in her time of peril he did not swoop in to save the day. He asked her what she needed and how could he help. Now. That is a man I respect.

Only time will tell if Frozen II’s new music will be as memorable as ‘Let It Go’ but Queen Iduna’s lullaby is clearly an anthem. I have been humming it to myself for a week now.

Frozen II is without a doubt a beautiful sequel that expands on the story that its audience adores. Although it has darker undertones than the first, it is a stunning tribute to the mythical fairy tale and explores human relationships in way that is accessible to both children and adults. It’s guaranteed to make your heart melt.

Isabella Finn

Image credit: Disney