So the weird news is that I didn't see Frozen 2, which came out well over a week ago, until tonight. (A result of some combination of the fact that we were traveling that first week and that I have 2 boys who weren't dragging me into it.) The good that comes from that is that I can talk openly here without fear of spoiling it for anyone, since I'm pretty sure I'm the last person in the known world to see it.
So what was my reaction?
I loved it. And what's more – I respected it. It didn't pander. It didn't try to stand alone as a new storyline. In fact, in all honestly I don't think the movie stands on its own if you haven't seen the original. What it did was give an incredible new depth to one of the most successful movies that Disney has ever produced.
It would have been so easy to crank out a spin off story with a pile of catchy new songs. What we got instead was a complex storyline that explains Anna and Elsa and gives them purpose. Isn't afraid to make fun of itself. (Olaf mocks the original movie openly on two separate occasions.) And brings back more mature and interesting versions of all of the original characters.
We find Anna and Elsa grown and trying to settle into their new roles. Elsa fighting (and ultimately giving into) the desire to lead a more risk-filled and exciting life. And through her journey, accompanied by Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, we find out that their family has a somewhat dark history, learn exactly who their parents were, come to understand why Elsa has magic and Anna does not…and then, in the end, see both women embrace the roles that they were apparently born to fulfill.
“Into the Unknown” is a stunning song and while it doesn't quite have the smack-you-in-the-face-wow-moment that “Let It Go” does, it's going to stay with me.
“Some Things Never Change” is as delightfully singable as “Love Is An Open Door”. Or at least it comes close. 😉
The visuals are incredible. Larger than life. There is one scene with swirling droplets of water that I could have stared at for an hour.
I again loved that the main storyline was about the love and loyalty of two sisters.
And more than anything, I love how this just fell seamlessly into the unknown spaces that we still had after the original.
In fact, I really only had two complaints about the movie. First, it left me wanting more on some of the new characters. I would have loved more time with Lieutenant Mattias, Honeymaren, and Ryder. (Ryder's chemistry with Kristoff is golden. And I loved Elsa and Honeymaren together.)
And, perhaps unfairly, I just couldn't settle in with Kristoff's rendition of “Lost In the Woods”. He sounded great. And the lyrics were beautiful. But it all just felt a little oddly 80s-pop-star to me. Just ever so slightly out of place in the overall movie and a bit odd for Kristoff's character.
But those are my only sort-of-complaints. All in all it was just a really smart movie that also managed to keep my kids' attention the entire time. They were gripped by the entire movie, asked to stay for the credits to hear their favorite song again, and talked all the way home and into bedtime about the storyline.
I'm not sure what I expected going in. I'd seen Anna and Elsa's new meet and greet costumes so I kind of knew going in what their ending roles would be (or at least Anna's) – but I managed to avoid all details and reviews until now.
Final word? I dug this movie. A lot.
Have you seen it yet? I would love to hear your thoughts.