‘I believe in you, Elsa. More than anyone, or anything.’
Considering just how big Frozen became, it was no wonder that Disney weren’t just going to ‘Let It Go’ – a sequel felt inevitable if not totally necessary. Six years have passed and that sequel is here, arriving with rather little fanfare and a late November release date that could easily seeing it be lost in the build-up to Christmas/Star Wars.
If that does happen, it will be a true shame as Frozen 2 is a total delight. As soon as the film starts we’re instantly back in the world of Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell) and their kingdom of Arendelle. Only three years have passed for them, and life is good. Unsurprisingly that peace doesn’t last for long when the fate of their kingdom is shaken by the actions of the past. It’s a beautiful continuation of the sisters’ story arc – this is not needless creation of drama for the canonical gain of carrying on a franchise. This is an expanding of their universe, an extension of their story. And it’s told marvellously well.
There’s no repetition of old jokes or plot points, there’s real character development of all the ensemble. Each goes on a personal journey that pushes them and unravels their character. This is most prominent in the depiction of Elsa, who could easily be described as one of Disney’s most complex Princesses. She’s trapped within herself, unable to accept what she is and could be. And so she must go ‘Into The Unknown’ to find who she is meant to be – resulting in a song that will be as iconic as her ballad in the first movie. Click here to listen if you don’t believe me; it features a howling siren of melody that will be echoing in my mind for days.
It’s a call to arms and a song of empowerment which epitomises what makes both Frozen films so great. They feature two lead female characters who are powerful and strong, but also vulnerable and can be scared – they’re not perfect and sometimes get it wrong. But they always do what’s right, for the care and love of others. Their quests aren’t for romantic love, a la much of Disney’s back catalogue, but for themselves and their people. Finding love happens to be a bonus for Anna, not her sole motivator or reason for living. That’s something our young women really need to see and hopefully feel empowered by.
Making Anna’s relationship with Krisoff (Jonathon Groff) not the centre of her life, but a wonderful addition is the perfect example of Disney moving forward. He doesn’t fight for her, but fights with her. He also utters the most erotic line a romantic lead in a Disney movie has ever uttered – ‘I’m here. What do you need?’ He doesn’t question what has occurred before, nor does he try to take over – he’s just there for her. A partner and equal who is unwavering, supportive, loyal, reliable, caring and loving – this really is a fantasy movie, am I right…?
Seriously though, Frozen 2 is a sequel done right. Dazzling, rousing and rather stunning.
Frozen 2 is in UK cinemas now.