| Silas Rambles about
much as it breaks my heart I didn't care for Frozen 2. In short I
think visually it's absolutely
stunning but the narrative, at best, is unnecessarily convoluted.
I'm gonna rant for a bit and I'll try to stay as spoiler-free as
I can, save for a little bit at the end.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time you probably know
that I should have been the easiest sell for Frozen 2. I'm a huge
Disney Princess fan and I super latched on to Frozen in a way I haven't
with a movie since Pocahontas. I never really thought about a
sequel but I loved Frozen Fever and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure so if
the creative team is game then obviously so was I. Once the hype train
started rolling about a year ago I was already on board. I bought an
obscene amount of Frozen 2 toys when they dropped (full disclosure:
I’m STILL buying the toys even after being disappointed by the
movie) and watched the trailers on an unending loop. As November 21
drew closer (I had tickets for preview night, opening day and Saturday)
I was ready to go. I’ve been in an art slump lately but that
didn’t stop me from doodling really bad thumbnails of Elsa and
Anna in their spiffy new outfits. But then my Instagram feed starting
blowing up with Frozen 2 ads sporting glowing review quotes and a Fresh
Rotten Tomatoes score. One even read something like “Lives up to
the hype.” Wait. Isn’t this what you do when your movie
isn’t screening well? What’s going on Disney? I started to
get worried but I brushed it off as paranoia and marched right into
So let me gush where gushing is due. Frozen 2 looks spectacular. The
designs are brilliant, the cinematography breathtaking, and the
animation is second-to-none. When the movie gets its home release
I’ll be pausing and replaying parts to soak up and geek out over
every single frame. Everyone on this movie came to work and it shows.
There are parts of the movie I absolutely love. Mattias is amazing and
the HOLY SHIT THEIR NEW ANIMAL FRIENDS OH MY GOD I WOULD DIE FOR
I was so ready to love you Frozen 2. You had some very big icy heels to
fill but I was convinced with Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck back at helm
that you’d be fine. But from the start the prologue had some
weird revisionist history stuff going on. After that I thought it just
goes further downhill. There are strange character motivations that
seemingly come out of nowhere and story beats that ask you to take a
lot on faith. The story is made up of two or three main ideas that are
kinda Scotch-taped together and that tape doesn’t really hold.
I’m not really sure what the theme of the movie is. The trailers
and marketing say “Go on an adventure!” and I was totally
down with that. But the actual movie’s point is muddled to say
Frozen 2 is sorely missing a heart. Sure there are parts that are meant
to be tear jerkers but there isn’t any weight to them other than
some sparse bits of dialog that try hard to make me invested. And
speaking of a lack of heart, there’s Anna. Figuratively and
litererally the heart of the first movie, poor Anna takes a backseat
this time around. I get that Frozen 2 is Elsa’s story but Anna
now seems like a shell of her spunky fireball self and now her only
real purpose in life seems to be to protect Elsa…? It’s as
if someone had a cool Elsa story they wanted to tell and then
remembered OH YEAH I GUESS ANNA’S IMPORTANT TOO LET’S GIVE
HER SOMETHING TO DO SURE. :/
Even the music seems to be an afterthought. I picked up the soundtrack
when the CD first hit shelves (yes, I still buy CDs) and promised
myself to not open it until after seeing the movie so I wouldn’t
be spoiled. Sadly I didn’t feel like getting into it until a few
days after. The songs are okay I guess, nothing really stands out and
there aren’t any earworms. My biggest beef is that the songs feel
like they’re shoehorned in, as if they knew songs don’t
really fit in but they needed to be there because this is a musical.
For most of the numbers I thought “Oh…we’re doing a
song NOW? Oh...okay then.”
I get that at the end of the day Disney is a business and if you can
make money you’re gonna make money. This is a cash grab.
It’s a well-intentioned cash grab, but it’s a cash grab. To
me it’s also further proof that fairytales don’t need
sequels. I don’t know about you, but after seeing Frozen for the
first time I was like “HOLY SHIT THAT WAS REALLY REALLY REALLY
GOOD” and not “GEE WIZ WHAT WILL ANNA AND ELSA GET UP TO
NEXT???” Were the old direct-to-video sequels bad because they
were cheap or were they bad because we really didn’t need to know
what happens after “Happily Ever After?”
There's one part of Frozen 2 that makes me ABSOLUTELY ANGRY. To
get into it I have to get into some minor spoilers if you haven't seen
the movie yet.
At one point Elsa is walking through her memories and she sees herself
singing "Let It Go." When she does she cringes. I
completely admit that I'm probably overreacting to a bit that was meant
to be a throwaway gag. At the same time I'm pretty livid.
Up to that point I was trying to convince myself that I liked
this movie and then THAT happened and Silas said "I'M OUT."
One of the morals of Frozen is to accept who you are yet here is the
sequel, arguably with a moral or takeaway message that's ambiguous if
not missing altogether, completely dumping on the positive message of
its flagship song just for a cheap Buzzfeed-esque laugh. I get
that the joke was supposed to be more like someone being embarrased by
an old high school photo but that's not how I saw it. But in the
end Frozen 2's gonna make a billion dollars so who cares, right?
Oh well. At least Elsa's new dress looks cool. Maybe I'll draw that next.
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