There’s no doubt that Frozen was one of the biggest phenomenons of the 2010s. Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road reviews the 2013 original and its 2019 sequel. Head on over to Tranquil Dreams to check it out!
Next up in Ultimate 2010s Blogathon is from my Battle of Ingredients co-host, Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road sharing with us a double feature of a popular Disney animated film and its sequel, 2013’s Frozen and 2019’s Frozen II. After you check out her review, head over to check out her blog where she does event recaps, DIY crafts and recently her updates in from jewelry school. Check out her blog HERE.
Frozen (2013) & Frozen II (2019)
(sing to “Do you want to build a snowman?”) Do you want a movie review? Husband, Miss Bun and I got one just for you! We plan to discuss Frozen 1 and 2 as it really makes sense. We really need to send a BIG thank you to Kim and Drew for hosting us… (tick tock tick tock) for the Ultimate 2010s Blogathon!
When the spirits force the people out of Arendelle, Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), and Sven venture to the Enchanted Forest to settle the spirits.
Back in 2013, Frozen became a phenomenon. Children everywhere dressed up as Anna and even more dressed up as Anna’s sister Elsa. It seemed you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing “Let it Go.” I’m man enough to admit that I got swept up in the craze as well. It was no surprise that a sequel was announced, especially given Disney has had more of an eye towards making theatrical sequels to their films as of late. Given how much I enjoyed Frozen, I was excited to see what directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck had in store for Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and Kirstoff in the sequel. Despite my high expectations, Frozen II blew them away.
Easily the stand-out feature of Frozen was the original songs written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The songwriting couple returns for the sequel and once more they knock it out of the park! Idina Menzel again demonstrates how much of a powerhouse singer she is. “Into the Unknown” is bound to become this film’s “Let it Go” but “Show Yourself,” Menzel’s duet with Evan Rachel Wood, should not be ignored either. Jonathan Groff didn’t get much room to flex his singing chops in the last film but that was remedied this time around. Besides having a small part in the ensemble song “Some Things Never Change,” he gets his own song in “Lost in the Woods,” which is presented in a boy band-esque way that had me laughing uncontrollably. And of course Kristen Bell and Josh Gad have their songs as well, so no one is left out.
Olaf (Gad) provided much (not all but a lot) of the comedy from the previous film. While Olaf still functions as the comedic relief, and even though he does have some of the funnier moments of this film, it feels like the humor is spread out more evenly throughout the cast. This makes the comedy feel more organic. Anna, Kristoff, and many of the new characters all get a few laughs in. Two new characters, Lieutenant Mattias, voiced wonderfully by Sterling K. Brown, and Ryder, voiced by Jason Ritter, aren’t on the screen much but they each have a handful of memorable moments that help them stand out in this sequel.
Frozen II is unsurprisingly done in an animation style very similar to that of Frozen. However, everything just looks… better. Similar but better. The character models look better and feel like they have more expression, Elsa’s ice powers look better and seriously jaw-dropping at moments, the environments look better and almost life-like. Just like most of the last film is spent in the snow, most of this film is spent in the Enchanted Forest, and the Forest look absolutely stunning. If you’ve ever been in the woods, particularly during the autumn months, you’ll know how vivid it can be, with a wide range of colors and textures. This film captures all of that in great detail. From the various colors of the leaves to the greens of the grass and moss to the grays of rocks and to the clear blue streams. Once again, the Disney animation studio has outdone themselves.
Every sequel should build on and expand the world from the film(s) before it and continue to evolve the characters. Both sisters grow considerably. Elsa’s journey takes her on a path of discovery about her powers and herself more so than the previous film. At the end of Frozen, she learns to embrace her powers and that they are not something to be feared. Throughout this movie, she embraces her powers even more. Of the two, Anna displays the most change and growth. I don’t want to spoil anything but she goes through a dramatic change that is perfect for her character and will serve as an inspiration for many young children. When we meet Olaf at the beginning, he has begin questioning the world in a more mature way than his more innocent and naive self of the last film. It’s played for comedy but is exciting to watch. As for Kristoff, we get to see how his feelings for Anna have deepened but it feels like his character does not quite have as drastic an arc as some of the other characters.
Out of everything I have talked about up to this point, I think what I appreciate most about this film is how well it rounds out and completes the story of Frozen. As I just talked about, the two central sisters go through tremendous character growth, especially if we look at where they started in Frozen. It’s awe-inspiring how much the writers were able to accomplish in just two films. While the movie could potentially have a threequel (even if Disney decided to actually make a third theatrical film for one of their animated franchises), I feel like the story is complete enough that a third outing is not needed nor would it be necessary.
I thought Frozen II was GOOD 🙂 Despite all my positive comments, there are still a few flaws that can be found. However, those are minor compared to everything else I enjoyed in this film. There is a larger sense of adventure this time around and even more excitement than Frozen. While I usually feel most Disney animated films do not require sequels, this is an instance where I am extremely glad this sequel was made. Building on where the characters ended in the previous movie, this movie expands on them even further. Where Frozen II really shines is when it’s taken as a whole with Frozen. Together, they tell a complete and complementary story, making both films better in the process.
Cast & Crew
Chris Buck – Director / Story
Jenifer Lee – Director / Screenplay / Story
Marc Smith – Story
Kristen Anderson-Lopez – Story / Original Songs
Robert Lopez – Story / Original Songs
Christophe Beck – Composer
Idina Menzel – Elsa (voice)
Kristen Bell – Anna (voice)
Josh Gad – Olaf (voice)
Jonathan Groff – Kristoff (voice)
Evan Rachel Wood – Queen Iduna (voice)
Alfred Molina – King Agnarr (voice)
Sterling K. Brown – Lieutenant Mattias (voice)
Martha Plimpton – Yelana (voice)
Jason Ritter – Ryder (voice)
Rachel Matthews – Honeymaren (voice)
Jeremy Sisto – King Runeard (voice)
Ciaran Hinds – Pabbie (voice)
Alan Tudyk – Northuldra Leader (voice)
Mattea Conforti – Young Elsa (voice)
Hadley Gannaway – Young Ana (voice)
Aurora – The Voice (voice)
Anna: Please Olaf, you can’t stay h-here. You’ll melt. Olaf: I am not leaving here until we find some other act of true love to save you! Do you happen to have any ideas? Anna: I don’t even know what love is. Olaf: That’s OK, I do. Love is putting someone else’s needs before yours. Like, you know, how Kristoff brought you back here to Hans and left you forever. Anna: Kristoff… loves me? Olaf: Wow, you really don’t know anything about love, do you? Anna: Olaf, you’re melting. Olaf: Some people are worth melting for.
Thanks for everyone’s submissions and one talking snowman to the following people for answering correctly:
Have you heard of a little movie called Frozen? I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t, it flew under the radar. Just kidding, of course you know what Frozen is! It was a massive hit, becoming the highest grossing animated film and sixth highest grossing film of all time. “Let it Go,” written by the song writing couple of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, is easily the most popular song from the soundtrack, even winning an Oscar for best original song. And I’m not above admitting even I was obsessed with it for a while (don’t judge!). However, there is more to this song than its popularity: it changed the course of the entire film.
“The cold never bothered me anyway.”
In the original script, Elsa was meant to be the protagonist of Frozen (watch this clip for an example). In the recent TV special The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic, the producers revealed that when Lopez and Anderson-Lopez presented the song “Let it Go,” they felt the song’s themes of personal empowerment and self-acceptance fundamentally changed the character of Elsa. This lead them to rewrite most of the script around their new understanding of the character. Here’s the clip of the couple explaining the song’s inception.
When Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel) was a little girl, her parents closed the doors to the castle because they feared their kingdom would not accept Elsa’s snow magic. On the day of Elsa’s coronation ceremony, no one is more elated than her sister, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), since the castle doors will be open for the first time in years. Excited to meet someone special, she runs into Prince Hans (Santino Fontana) , who quickly proposes to her. When the two ask for the new Queen’s blessing, an argument erupts between the two sisters, causing Elsa’s powers to surge out of control, cloaking the entire kingdom in an eternal winter, and Elsa to run away. After gaining the help of Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an ice salesman, and the talking snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), Anna heads off on a journey to find her sister and convince her to end the curse that has befallen the land.
Finally. Finally Disney is starting to regain its musical glory from the 1990s. The Disney Renaissance (the time between The Little Mermaid and Tarzan) gave us some of the greatest animated musicals, and Frozen successfully recaptures the magic that made them fun, entertaining, and heartwarming. It appears Disney has learned from the last few years and has created an animated musical that could propel them back to the King of the animated feature.
Frozen is different than your normal princess movie because it has not one but two princesses: Anna and Elsa. The two sisters are very different, but their contrast is what drives their relationship. Anna is without a doubt my favorite of the two. She is quirky, outgoing, and awkward, whereas Elsa is more reserved and poised. However, both sisters have aspects to their character than anyone can find something to relate to. It’s such a refreshing take on the Disney Princess.
Despite what the trailer or my synopsis may portray, Elsa is actually not the villain. Rather, she is more of a catalyst for Anna’s journey. Eventually, she becomes comfortable with her gift and accepts what she can do. Never once does she have any malevolent intent to her actions. The true villain doesn’t reveal themselves until about the last third of the movie. It was a good reveal and it took me by surprise.
Olaf, the hard-not-to-love snowman, almost single-handedly stole the show. I would say he is great as the comedic relief, but that is not really true since every character has some comical elements to them. He is, however, the funniest character of the bunch, not just in what he says but also his actions. Kristoff is fun, particularly when he is “conversing” with his pet reindeer, Sven.
The animation is gorgeous. It is amazing to see how far the computer animation has improved over the last fifteen or so years. Some of the ice effects are some of the best I have seen. These amazing effects help evoke emotions that really bring you deeper into the story. Disney’s other recent computer animated films, Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled, were well animated, but Frozen improves on them to create one of the most visually pleasing movie since How to Train Your Dragon.
The moral of the story is unlike Disney’s previous princess movies. One of the character’s actions make for a good jaw-dropping moment. It still has to do with “true love” but isn’t exactly what you would expect. I’m not going to say any specifics, but it was a good twist that is more inline with modern views.
The songs can make or break a musical and the score in Frozen is the best since the aforementioned Disney Renaissance. The husband-and-wife songwriting team of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez did great penning the songs. They were reminiscent of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, but still felt like their own. Elsa’s song “Let It Go” has become one of my favorites. I may or may not have once listened to it on repeat for an hour and a half… Anyway, I’m hoping Lopez and Anderson-Lopez write for the next several Disney musicals because I can’t wait to be wowed by the pair again.
Frozen is one of the best Disney movies in years. Anyone can relate to the bond between Anna and Elsa. The animation and score do wonders to enhance the already stellar story. If Disney Animation continues to create movies of this magnitude, this could be the start of another Disney Renaissance.
IMDB Synopsis: Fearless optimist Anna teams up with Kristoff in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter
So the next trailer for Disney’s Frozen is here. This one shows more of the cast and the storyline than the teaser trailer. It’s pretty funny and if that humor carries through the whole film, it should be great.