Frozen 2: Parent Review – Into the Unknown

Frozen II (2019) | PG | 1 hour 43 minutes | Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Animation | November 22, 2019

Frozen 2: Synopsis

Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf are at it again. Five friends off on another whirlwind adventure, leaving Arendelle and all sensibility behind. Because, for some largely hard to understand reasons, it is time for Elsa to discover the source of her powers.

And while she’s at it, the sisters will uncover the truth behind their family’s oddly dark past.

What to talk to your kids about from Frozen 2

Here are some fun discussion questions to have with your kids after watching Frozen II:

  • Kristoff seems to be high or truly showing just how insane he actually is when he starts singing with his reindeer friends. What do you think an acid trip is like? Do you think mushrooms could have done this to him? How crazy is he?
  • Elsa woke everyone up in the middle of night. Would that make you feel angry? Upset? Would you want to cut Elsa for being such an asshole?
  • Anna is seriously obsessed with Elsa. Seriously. She is also very neurotic throughout Frozen II. Have you ever been obsessed with someone like that? How do you think it makes the person feel?

Frozen 2: Parent Review - Into the Unknown
Elsa Frozen 2: Parent Review: Into the Unknown

Movie title: Frozen II

Movie description: Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf are at it again. Five friends off on another whirlwind adventure, leaving Arendelle and all sensibility behind. Because, for some largely unexplained reasons, it is time for Elsa to discover the source of her powers and reconcile a deceiving past.

Date published: November 22, 2019

Country: United States

Duration: 1 hour 43 minutes

Director(s): Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Actor(s): Kristen Bell - Anna (voice), Idina Menzel - Elsa (voice), Josh Gad - Olaf (voice), Jonathan Groff - Kristoff (voice)

Genre: Fantasy, Action Adventure, Animated, Family

Overall
1.8
  • Plot
    (1.5)
  • Characters
    (1)
  • Watchability
    (2)
  • Songs
    (2.5)

Dad's Take

Frozen II really should have been called Frozen II: Into the Unknown. There are several reasons for this:

  1. “Into the UNKNOWN” is literally the only take away from the song titled “Into the Unknown.” The rest of the song and really all of the songs throughout Frozen II were largely forgettable and unremarkable. Edit as of re-watching Frozen II now several times on Disney Plus – all the songs get annoying and will get stuck in your head. I have also learned nearly the entirety of Into the Unknown. Not willingly. But I still learned it.
  2. Even watching Frozen II with a critical eye for purposes of writing a parent review of the movie, I still can’t quite explain the plot beyond all your favorite (or hated) characters from Frozen head off into the unknown enchanted forest. Edit: Yes, the plot still is mostly nonsensical, like why is Anna so obsessed with Elsa and what exactly is the voice calling Elsa?
  3. All of the characters act like they are being forcefully pushed through the plot. Elsa is driven to find what calls her. Anna is obsessed with Elsa and suddenly is acting like a crazy ex-girlfriend with Kristoff. Kristoff acts like a hopeless, bumbling idiot and is no where near where he was in the first Frozen. And Olaf is oddly obsessed with being older, though admittedly, he had the best parts in Frozen II.

There are plenty of sequels that end up surpassing the original work. The Empire Strikes BackSpider-man 2, Aliens, and Shrek 2 are all arguably better than their predecessor, often because they add to the original. Then there are the train wreck, often straight to video sequels that you often can’t believe broke even on production costs.

Cinderella II comes to mind. It is literally three short stories about Cinderella and company that aren’t even connected. One even contradicts the story in Cinderella III… yes, they made a third. I’m pretty sure someone at Disney said let’s just take these three failed concepts and merge them together and market it as Cinderella II so people will buy it.

And it probably worked. I don’t know. I had the “luxury” of only seeing it because it graces Disney Plus with its presence and my daughter really wanted to see it. Multiple times.

Though Frozen II is not nearly the dumpster fire that Cinderella 2 is, it is also not one of the best sequels of all time. The songs are forgettable the first time around, but they do tend to grow on you. Not necessarily like a flower. More like a fungus in some cases.

The story is as predictable in many parts and one that is told over and over again. It is kind of like Pocahontas with how their country encounters, betrays, and then set things right with a native people. And just like Pocahontas, the native people are presented as the “noble savage” who are at one with nature and mystical powers.

Then there are the very forced feeling character developments. Frozen II tries to go back and make Elsa and Anna’s parents seem less like the douche bags they were shown to be in Frozen. I mean, come on, they gave their daughter some serious mental health issues and now you want me to believe these people were actually good? 

Meanwhile, you have Olaf obsessing over his new found “age” – literally singing a song about aging and things changing (foreshadowing anyone?). From what I can tell, it is literally the autumn of the same year they all met. So what? Olaf aged about 1-3 months? 

And then there is Anna who is strangely obsessed with Elsa throughout the movie. I have to give credit to my wife who came up with the parallel between Frozen II and Mean Girls in her thought that Elsa should have turned to Anna and said, “Oh my God! Why are you so obsessed with me?”

Anna also acts like the psycho ex-girlfriend throughout the movie. She jumps to major, often nonsensical conclusions everything time Kristoff opens his mouth to propose to her.

And speaking of Kristoff, he is now a hyper awkward guy who acts like he is in middle school trying to tell a crush he likes her. Of course, he keeps failing to say the right thing, and Anna immediately attacks him for it each time. 

Then there’s Kristoff’s song “Lost in the Woods.” After a failed proposal attempt, he starts to sing an 80s style rock ballad song that I’m pretty sure was meant to appeal to the former 80’s/90’s kids turned parents. But I really wanted to know, did the one guy give him “special mushrooms?” Did we just watch Kristoff go on a serious trip? I mean I know the guy has a thing for reindeer, like Belle has a thing for beasts, but seriously, what the hell did I just watch?

And that’s part of Frozen II‘s problem throughout the movie – most every action, song, and plot point feels forced. Like a kid trying to force a round peg through a square hole. It just doesn’t work.

Frozen II really just falls short and feels like the quality of sequel that should have gone straight to DVD. Or get the Lady and the Tramp live action remake treatment and go straight to Disney Plus. In any case, it was not worth the 6 year wait. 

 At first, I didn’t think my daughter really liked Frozen II. Then it released on Disney Plus. Now she wants to watch it almost every day. And now I know nearly all the words to “Into the Unknown.” But I am still confused to exactly what the hell I just watched, and honestly, really don’t like Anna.

 

Pros

Probably won’t have to sit through or listen to it again Edit: Well this was a very wrong assumption now that it is on Disney Plus… My daughter loves this movie.

Olaf’s retelling of the original Frozen was highlight of movie

Songs get more enjoyable over time before they become things you loathe just like “Let it Go”

Cons

Characters are not like they were in the original Frozen and they showed regression, not growth

Plot feels forced and unrealistic

Very predictable with what happened with the natives and the kingdom

Nathan

Nathan is not a published author, professional movie critic, or avid fan of most children shows. He is a caring father (when he's not banging his head against the wall), a movie connoisseur of sorts literally able to have full conversations in movie and TV quotes, and dedicated to helping other parents avoid starting a show with their small children that they will soon regret. In his free time, he does nothing. He has two small children. Free time does not exist.

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