Going Into The Unknown

Winter Comes Early This Year With The Latest Release Of ‘Frozen 2’



Movie poster for Disney’s ‘Frozen 2’.

Patrick Deliz and Faith Nicholas

‘Frozen 2’ sends chills through the audience after its release on November 22. The movie brings us into another snowy tale of adventure, love, laughs, and a long-lost past.

The movie sets sail to the ancient gates of Arendelle, three years since the kingdom froze over. The two sisters: Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) have finally settled down since the previous movie and are enjoying each others company. However, a mysterious weather pushes Arendelle’s residents to leave their beloved kingdom. It is up to Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, (voiced by Jonathan Groff) Sven, and Olaf, (voiced by Josh Gad) to find a way to stop this mysterious force. For the sisters, this would mean they would have to go back and see their past to understand not only what is going on in the shadows of Arendelle, but also the key to Elsa’s powers. 

“The past is not what it seems. You must find the truth,” Pabbie the troll tells Elsa. “Go North across the enchanted land and into the unknown, but be careful.” 

With this, we already know that Elsa has been developing her powers. In ‘Frozen’ the troll Pabbie warns Anna that Elsa’s powers might be too much for the world, he now hopes that her powers will be enough to put an end to the danger ahead. Throughout the film, we see each of the characters go through a change in themselves, as well as with each other. 

The film incorporates character development in a variety of ways, ranging from romance and overcoming psychological trauma. The more light-hearted aspects of the film focus on the side story of Kristoff’s boundless love for Anna. During the film he stumbles to propose to his beloved through a myriad of either over-the-top or awkward proposals, leaving Anna confused and worried. Kristoff’s struggles cause the audience to erupt in laughter throughout his dramatic, 1980s ballad-esque performance of  ‘Lost in the Woods’. Kristoff’s adventure through love leads him to discover that sometimes straightforward simplicity is best.

Regarding heavier themes, Elsa’s insecurities towards her abnormal ice powers continues to bring her a feeling of isolation. To understand why Elsa’s trauma regarding her parents’ deaths worsens in ‘Frozen 2’, it is important to look into information about the Enchanted Forest. The main characters travel to the cursed Enchanted Forest that traps its residents within a thick mist. Their captors are the elemental spirits, who are furious after war broke out between the Northuldra tribe and soldiers from Arendelle. Elsa and Anna’s father Agnarr was stuck in the middle of this battle as a young child, but he mysteriously escapes while everyone else becomes trapped by the mist. Now, the gang crosses paths with the tribe and a group of soldiers who have not aged a day as a result of the mist surrounding them, even though their battle took place decades ago. 

Elsa soon discovers her parents sailed at sea to uncover the origin of Elsa’s abilities. Elsa begins to experience overwhelming guilt believing she caused her parents’ deaths. This is an example of internalized self-blame, a common symptom of those who experience severe trauma. The effects of her trauma grow stronger, leaving her with heartbreaking shame and the powerful urge to continue what her parents started. She decides to unlock the secrets of her powers herself. This shows determination, allowing audience members with troubling memories to see Elsa’s strength and encourage themselves to remain strong.

Elsa follows a singing voice while setting off to an island within the Dark Sea, further displaying Elsa’s resilience since this is the very sea her parents passed away in. The island holds a frozen river known as Ahtohallan. Ahtohallan appears to be a cave made up of glacier. However, it is known as a river since glaciers are spiritually thought of as ‘rivers of ice.’ The ancient river of ice holds all the memories of the past. Elsa crosses the Dark Sea with the assistance of a water spirit, known as The Nokk, that takes the form of a stallion. Once she enters Ahtohallan, Elsa’s bravery is tested once again as she is surrounded by ice sculptures representing all of her memories. She eventually finds out her mother, Queen Iduna, is the voice desperately calling the spirits. While her mother is still deceased, her history remains alive and vivid within Ahtohallan, which is why her voice can be heard, conveying the idea that significant memories can never be forgotten. It is revealed the reason why Elsa and Anna’s father was able to escape the battle is because their mother saved him.  As a reward, the spirits gave Iduna and Agnarr’s first-born child the power to manipulate and form ice and snow. The thought of Elsa’s powers being a gift rather than a curse touched Elsa, sky-rocketing her self-confidence. Elsa then discovers she is the fifth element, the other four being fire, earth, air, and water. 

The origin of Elsa’s power is not the only secret Ahtohallan uncovers, however. With reference to Pabbie’s words stated earlier, the past is not what it seems. The cause of the mysterious battle between the Northuldra tribe and the soldiers of Arendelle was the result of Anna and Elsa’s grandfather’s betrayal towards the tribe. Their grandfather—known to Arendelle as King Runeard—encouraged a dam to be built to block water flow between the Enchanted Forest and Arendelle. It was revealed that his true intentions were to build the dam in order to weaken the Enchanted Forest’s magic. He also participated in assassinating the Northuldra’s leader. The Northuldra discovered this, which is why the battle commenced. This grand reveal seems to strengthen the bond between Arendelle and the Enchanted Forest, as the soldiers team up with Anna and Elsa to break the dam. After the mist is cleared, everyone gathers to Arendelle to celebrate Anna’s crowning as Queen of Arendelle. Elsa decides to reside in the Enchanted Forest with the other elements, protecting its people. This part of the plot could convey the idea that it is possible to do good in the world and unite completely different worlds, despite a family history of evil. Even though King Runeard encouraged the hatred of magic, Elsa and Anna serve as a connection between two worlds: one without magic and one surrounded by it. Additionally, Elsa and Anna are still shown to be held together emotionally by love regardless of being physically apart.

Alongside the powerful storyline, the tear-jerking film also provides characters to ease the tension. In addition to Kristoff’s antics, Olaf, a snowman created by Elsa in ‘Frozen’, shares mostly off-topic facts about a variety of random topics. His jokes are scattered throughout the film, causing children to howl hysterically, even in the most intense moments. Found within the Enchanted Forest, another character serves to attack audiences with its undeniable cuteness. Bruni, a fire spirit taking the form of a precious salamander with large eyes, assists Elsa in her journey within the Enchanted Forest.

‘Frozen 2’ also brought us new songs that helped put us in their shoes. The movie is widely recognized for its chart-topping, substantial hits, and it goes without saying that ‘Into the Unknown’ or ‘Show Yourself’ might end up taking ‘Let it Go’s crown from the 2013 original film. In an interview with Billboard’s Pop Shop Broadcast, Idina Menzel claims she prefers the music this sequel offers.

“I love ‘Let it Go’ obviously; it’s one of the greatest gifts of my life to have this song and this character in my life and it represents how it’s allowed me to connect with audiences all over the world. It’s changed my life. But I actually really enjoy…singing ‘Into the Unknown’. It makes me wanna cry, it gives me goosebumps when I listen to the underscore of it, the rolling baseline and rhythm of everything. I just love it,” Menzel explains.

Speaking about the 2013 release of ‘Frozen’, the film itself launched an entire fanbase and franchise, and caught the attention of many people, adults and kids alike. This three-dimensional animated film paid such great attention to detail, it was unbelievable. You could see the snow glistening, as well as facial detailing between the characters. Now look six years later, and ‘Frozen 2’ is here! It’s already common knowledge that the animation would be better. While the original still holds its beauty, the sequel expands the horizons to great lengths. With stunning bodies of water, ice sculptures, and Elsa’s new transformation is just astonishing. Although the originality of the film isn’t as fresh as the original, the characters still provide entertainment, making the movie worth watching. 

Another thing to look at is the relationship between the sisters. Throughout the movie, Elsa and Anna are kept apart, both on their own, again. It makes sense in order to keep the story strong. But it does leave you wondering what would’ve happened if they worked together, rather than separate. It is disappointing, seeing ‘Frozen 2’ more or less follow in ‘Frozen’s footsteps. ‘Frozen 2’ does carry the torch as it does provide a better story line than its predecessor. The film goes in depth through all of the characters and their emotions, with more heavyweight themes and some consequences. While the ending could’ve been tweaked a bit, it doesn’t take from the glory of this freezing package.

‘Frozen 2’ has broken the box office record for Disney and it is still growing. Within a five-day holiday weekend, the film has successfully collected $125 million, bringing its domestic tally all the way to $288 million. Two weeks later, the film has $742 million in global box office, slightly catching up to its predecessor which got $1.276 billion. Not only will this sequel help the franchise to grow and flourish, but it will also aid Disney by providing them with enough money to work on future projects, such as this beauty.

This film definitely has its slight flaws, but this is certainly a masterpiece and will steal the attention of both moviegoers and fans.

Rating:  9/10