By Grant Lee
In 2019, we were gifted with another installment of the all-time favorite Frozen franchise. The film tackles issues relevant to its target audiences, such as sisterhood, acceptance of change, and love. Despite its lack of catchy tunes and life-changing soundtracks, Frozen 2 is a phenomenal movie that deserves to be etched into the film hall of fame as one of the great motion pictures because of its comprehensive understanding of its audience and the satisfying conclusion to many questions that arose in the previous movie.
What is unique about Frozen 2 is its intended audience. Unlike many Disney animations, Frozen 2 was targeted towards teenagers, as many members of the target audience of Frozen 1 have now grown up to become young adults who are preparing to start their lives in the real world. For many, this comes with mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. This shows throughout the film as it portrays more mature themes, and because of this, viewers are given the opportunity to grow with the two characters.
The movie revolves around a single question: “What does it mean to change?”. At the beginning of the movie, the main characters sing “Some Things Never Change”. Throughout this song, they acknowledge that over time, some aspects of their lives have changed, but that they still have control over the relationships they have and how they perceive the world around them. Frozen 2 reminds soon to be adults that they should not be in to abandon who they were when they were children, even in the face of adversity and challenge. Elsa and Anna face this obstacle throughout the movie, with the sisters being forced to uncover the past to save the present they currently reside in, all the while contemplating their relationship as sisters (something that was addressed in Frozen 1 as well). Frozen 2 also shows the character growth of Olaf, who still serves as the comedic relief in an otherwise darker and more serious movie. His song “When I Am Older” is a great summary of his character arc during the duration of the movie and he comes to face with what becoming an adult really means.
Frozen 2 closes many plot holes, resulting in the sequel serving to complete the series and compensating for the weaknesses of the previous film. For example, what is the origin of Elsa’s mysterious powers? In Frozen 1, this is only briefly mentioned in the dialogue with the elder troll. With Frozen 2, an explanation is finally given for her ability to control ice. Frozen 2 also reveals the motives of the king and queen that died on a ship in the first movie, which directly ties to the future actions taken by the protagonists. This is the brilliance of Frozen 2; it only answers many questions that have been scrutinized for years, they use those answers as plot devices which drive the story forward. The result is a story that is able to utilize allusions to the prequel without coming out too forceful in execution, something many films have not been able to accomplish effectively.
Many high-schoolers today have grown up with Frozen as a monumental film in their lives. This sequel causes us to look back and reminisce about the “good old days” where our heads were filled with grandiose dreams of success. Frozen 2 reminds us that those dreams don’t have to end and that we possess the agency to pursue them.