Frozen 2 takes you “Into the Unknown”

When Disney released the first few trailers for Frozen 2, I was so excited. Though the first movie never particularly resonated with me, I eagerly anticipated the sequel to see how the story would continue. 

Frozen 2 was released on Nov. 22, 2019 and is directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck. The movie follows the journey of Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad), and it introduces a slew of new characters as well.

The film opens with Anna and Elsa as kids, listening to their father, King Agnarr, tell a story of an enchanted forest he once visited as a boy. This forest  was home to magical spirits of earth, air, water and fire that lived alongside the native people, the Northuldra. However, one day, fighting broke out between the Northuldra and Arendellian soldiers, angering the spirits. In the commotion, Agnarr was knocked unconscious, but he was rescued by a girl who sang a mystical tune.

Anna and Elsa are amazed by their father’s story. Then, their mother, Queen Iduna, sings them to sleep with a lullaby about a magical river, Ahtohallan, that contains answers to the past.

Fast-forwarding to the present, Elsa is queen, Arendelle is thriving and everyone is happy as autumn arrives. 

As she stands on the balcony, Elsa suddenly hears the same lilting voice that her father mentioned, calling to her, and she seems to be the only one who can hear it. Throughout the movie, Elsa continues to hear the voice beckoning  her further in her journey.

After trying to figure out the voice’s source, Elsa accidentally draws the spirits’ attention with her power during “Into the Unknown,” the “Let it Go” of Frozen 2, causing them to attack Arendelle. 

To save the kingdom, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven to travel to the enchanted forest in hopes of finding the source of the voice and saving Arendelle.

In the enchanted forest, we are introduced to many new characters including Lieutenant Mattias (Sterling K. Brown) the leader of the Arendellian guards, Yelana (Martha Plimpton) the leader of the Northuldra, Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews) and Ryder (Jason Ritter), siblings who are also Northuldran and have always lived in the forest.

As they arrive at the forest, Olaf remarked that each one of them would be transformed and changed by the adventure. And change they did. Well, most of them anyways.

Throughout the movie, Elsa comes to accept herself more as she seeks to discover the origin of her powers. At the beginning, she feels uncertain about herself, and she is unsatisfied with life in Arendelle, but also afraid of disrupting the comfort and consistency of her current life.

Once their journey begins, Elsa grows bolder and starts to act alone rather than together with Anna. It isn’t until she reaches Ahtohallan that she truly accepts herself and simultaneously discovers the truth about the past. 

As her sister Elsa strives to be more solitary, Anna is trying to accomplish the exact opposite. Anna is determined to keep Elsa safe by staying with her because she can’t bear to be alone again like she was for so long while growing up. 

Despite her best efforts to avoid being left alone, Anna finds herself in that exact predicament in a cold, dark cave. However, she realizes that she must keep going in order to save Arendelle, and she musters up the strength even though she must resolve the conflict by herself.

Moving on to Olaf, I can honestly say that he is my favorite character in Frozen 2. For one, his newfound and growing maturity balances out his goofiness and optimism despite the dire circumstances and the overall effect was refreshing and hilarious. His spoutings of poetic and wise words were surprising contrasts to his usual silliness. 

One particular scene that I loved was when Olaf is reenacting the events of the first movie to fill in the Northuldra and the Arendellian soldiers; Olaf’s abrupt retelling of the first movie had me laughing the entire time.  

As for Kristoff, I can’t say that he transformed much. The entire movie, Kristoff was trying to propose to Anna, but he kept botching his attempts to do so. Other than that, Kristoff doesn’t do much except sing a song about why he’s lost without Anna.

Overall, Frozen 2 was an enjoyable watch, but I had a few problems with it. For one, I disliked how the movie introduced many new characters that barely did anything or contribute to the plot. Also it was hard to take the conflict seriously because it never really felt like much of a threat. I enjoyed much more the journey on which the characters embarked and how they developed and grew. It may not be a flawless movie, but Frozen 2 is engaging and entertaining for the whole family.

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