Stills from Disney Philippines
The sequel’s new “Let It Go” moment alone is worth the price of admission.
Sequels are, more often than not, disappointments. There are times they feel unnecessary, a mere-follow up for producers to continue cashing in on the success of their predecessors. In a worst case scenario, a sequel can even ruin the first film for you. Frozen 2, the sequel to the Disney megahit Frozen, thankfully isn’t like any of those — it makes the rare distinction of being as good, if not better, than the first.
In Frozen 2, we find the Frozen crew a little bit after we left them: Anna ( Kristen Bell) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) happily together, Olaf (Josh Gad) slowly settling in and growing older, and Elsa (Idina Menzel) presiding over the land of Arendelle. They’re all making do with how unchanging their life is until Elsa hears a familiar voice. It seems to be calling her, and when she acknowledges it, magic puts Arendelle into the brink of destruction. We then find Elsa and the rest of the gang trying to make sense of everything with the looming fear that in risking what’s constant and safe, there might be a better life. To sum it up in Olaf’s wise words, are there risks worth melting for?
Unlike other sequels, Frozen 2 feels organic. It doesn’t feel like it was just made for demand, it feels like a continuation of a story that wasn’t done being told. In retrospect, we do leave the characters in situations that don’t quite add up: Elsa leading a place she always felt she never belonged, Anna being second fiddle even if she’s the one saving the day, and Olaf, well, being a snowman dealing with the human condition. Frozen 2 almost feels necessary to complete this love letter to family, and to empowerment. It’s occasionally overwrought, and definitely made for a more mature audience, but it has everything you loved about the first film (Olaf’s still as zany as ever, with a sequence purely made out of comedy gold) and a whole lot of new ones you’ll love even more.
Frozen 2’s ‘Let It Go’ moment is Into The Unknown, and that alone is worth the price of admission. In the scene, Elsa wakes up to this ethereal, almost haunting tune. It’s been following her, singing to her as if calling her to find where it’s coming from. She starts tentative, almost terrified of what’ll happen even with her slightest acknowledgment. “I’ve had my adventure, I don’t need something new. I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you,” she sings, and in the process of slowly convincing herself that what she has now is enough, she lets out her doubts and admits her own truth. Once she does, it’s absolute Disney magic: stunning and sweeping visuals, set to an anthem that soars with its music and relatability. When the film reaches its peak, Elsa’s on the edge of a cliff, hand outstretched — and in that moment, she isn’t just Elsa anymore. She’s all of us in any moment that we feel we’re close to making sense, to living our truth, even if it means reaching into the unknown.
It’s rare to see reality in a world that Disney creates, especially if there’s a talking snowman, yet Frozen 2 captures the humanity of how believing in what’s true — in yourself and in everyone else — makes all the difference, even if it means leaping headfirst into unfamiliar territory. Impermanence is inevitable in this world (possibly along with less-than-adequate sequels) and to keep up with the changing seasons, sometimes we have to take risks. If we learned anything from the film, there will always be risks worth going for.
‘Frozen 2’ will be out in cinemas on Nov. 20.