Very little sequels do much to change the formula left behind by the original, but that’s precisely what Frozen II did. With more back story and new terrains, Frozen II is certainly different, but was it in good taste?
Members of the MovieBabble staff break down some of the more noteworthy parts of the film in our Frozen II Exit Survey. SPOILERS to follow.
Describe your overall enjoyment of the film with an appropriate GIF.
Did Frozen really need a sequel?
Collin Willis: No. Disney is getting a little too comfortable with in-house sequels to their animated classics.
Ashvin Sivakumar: Not necessarily, but there were still some things left to explore and uncover. I’m glad they decided to explore these things.
Sebastian Sanzberro: No, it didn’t really need a sequel, but Elsa’s story was nicely served by a little continuance.
Patricia Henderson: No, but so few movies do, really. Its existence isn’t offensive, though. It doesn’t ruin the first one for me.
Which Frozen movie has a better soundtrack?
Collin Willis: Frozen (2013), if only because the songs are catchier. However, Into the Unknown from Frozen II is a top-tier Disney song.
Ashvin Sivakumar: Oh, 2 for sure… Definitely 2! So many different songs and so much better tunes.
Sebastian Sanzberro: The first film, definitely. Kristof’s “Lost in the Woods” bored the living hell out of me. It felt very manufactured (that pine cone mic…ugh!), and was tacked on to give the character a bit of story-stopping business. None of the songs in Frozen II felt quite as memorable as those in the first film.
Patricia Henderson: The first one is legendary at this point, but there were some lovely musical moments here. I enjoyed it.
Favorite new song?
Collin Willis: “Into the Unknown.”
Ashvin Sivakumar: “INTO THE UNKNOWN!” What a bop. I definitely see myself singing it in the shower for the next 5 years.
Sebastian Sanzberro: “Next Right Thing” had the most emotional punch in an otherwise undistinguished lot, and had a nice lesson about moving on from tragedy for younger members of the audience.
Patricia Henderson: Hands down, “Lost in the Woods.” The way it was presented as a music video made it very memorable (and hilarious). Major 1980s power ballad vibes.
How do you feel about the reason behind Elsa’s powers?
Collin Willis: I don’t think we really needed an explanation. Part of the magic of the original comes from us (along with Elsa) not knowing about the origin of her powers.
Ashvin Sivakumar: It feels like they panicked into picking that reason, but I liked what they chose! Maybe rushed decisions aren’t bad after all.
Sebastian Sanzberro: So…she’s the Fifth Element. I give it a multi-pass.
Patricia Henderson: To be honest, I may need to see it a second time to fully absorb that aspect. Although, I really appreciated the message of being what you were looking for.
How did you feel about the changes made to Anna and Elsa’s family history?
Collin Willis: It was a fun twist, not as cool as the theory that their parents fathered Tarzan after their shipwreck, but still fun.
Ashvin Sivakumar: Well… at least that cancels out the Tarzan theory, right?
Sebastian Sanzberro: I saw it as a missed opportunity because ‘evil grandpa’ was never mentioned or referenced previously. His actions would’ve had far more impact if Elsa and Anna had some affection for him, or were told legends of his being a “great hero” or some such myth. As it was, Elsa and Anna learned that Grandpa was an irredeemable racist prick who screwed people over… basically a typical Thanksgiving day for much of North America.
Patricia Henderson: I liked that. It added a lot of dimension to the story (and more screen time for their parents). I also appreciated the true story of the grandfather.
Disney has been known for its mishandling of different cultures. How well does Frozen II represent its indigenous population?
Collin Willis: As far as representing those characters individually, they did a fine job. As far as making the whitest person in the movie their queen… Disney still has some work to do.
Ashvin Sivakumar: Fairly. Maybe they weren’t given enough representation or screentime (versus that of the main characters) but I felt like they handled that aspect respectably. Being a person of color, it’s wonderful to see more diversity on screen, even in animated films, made by a studio as massively colossal (and capitalist) as Disney. I can’t properly speak for how accurate its representation of its Indigenous population is, but I can say I personally felt like it was respectful.
Sebastian Sanzberro: It kept the “Northuldra” nonspecific enough not to cause outrage for any single culture, and I appreciated the efforts made to make them dimensional. Given some of Disney’s past grievances in this area, I think the Northuldran culture was handled sensitively enough for an animated children’s feature.
However, I took issue with the ending where everything was back to the status quo. Even Olaf’s fate was hand-waved away. There was no sacrifice or deep consequence to Arendelle; the Arendellians committed a grave sin, and the only atonement was the destruction of a dam that was harmful to the Northuldra in the first place.
Elsa sings how “nothing will ever be the same”… yet the ending delivers exactly that. No one dies. No sense of loss. We even see the gang making plans to team up again for charades on Friday night. Ultimately I “let it go” because it’s an animated feature aimed at a young audience, but it felt a bit too “reset-button” for me.
Patricia Henderson: I thought it was handled well. I’m not an expert in such cultures, but it seemed respectful. Nothing too much like a caricature.
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