Our two favorite musical sisters welcome us back into the enchanting kingdom of Arendale in Disney’s Frozen 2.
Based on the initial trailers, I didn’t really know exactly what to expect from this much-awaited sequel. The trailers seemed a little “darker” and a bit “deeper” than their predecessor. With Anna (Kristen Bell) asking things like, “Has Elsa seemed weird to you?” to Kristoff signaling to us that there’s been another change in her behavior since her days of belting out “Let It Go”. It appears that a “voice” has been calling out to Elsa (Idina Menzel), but she doesn’t know who the voice is and where the voice might lead her. Instead of running away from the voice, she heads “Into The Unknown” in order to find the answers she has been longing for.
But with any adventure, especially a family-friendly adventure, “the buddy system” must have a place in the story. While Elsa sets out to do everything on her own again, Anna is quick to remind her that she (Anna) has literally survived just about everything when it comes to protecting her sister so it’s her right to tag along. On reestablishing the heart of the film, Producer, Peter Del Vecho told the audience at the Frozen 2 press junket last weekend (November 9th) at the W Hollywood, “The first movie had a lot of action, had a lot of emotion and drama and I think we all thought it was very important to very quickly reestablish that and that this was a movie for everyone.”
To our delight, with Anna comes Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven the reindeer, and our favorite singing snowman, Olaf (Josh Gad). If you loved Olaf in the first movie, your love for him will only grow. Speaking of growth, that is something that all of the characters experience in one form or another. I think the growth of the characters that you will see on-screen, will demonstrate why Frozen might be labeled “darker” by some people as characters start to question the world around them. However, along with that, I think people will start to realize that just because the characters and overall story are tackling “deeper” questions such as, how can people in today’s world learn from/make things right from the past? It doesn’t need to be labeled dark for a kid audience or be viewed as something kids don’t need to see. The reality is kids are very curious by nature and understand way more than adults give them credit for. In the long run, seeing movies like Frozen that explore deeper themes could actually be really beneficial for kids and adults.
Kristen Bell, a mother of two, explained one of the reasons why she loves the film at the junket. “One of the things I love about this film so much is that it puts this sort of like very complex idea in front of kids in a totally simple way, which is hey, have you ever thought about the fact that maybe past generations didn’t behave that great? That they could have done it better and that’s called learning from the past, that’s called evolving.”
Additionally, Jennifer Lee, Writer/Director of Frozen 2 and Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation said at the same junket, “They (kids) always have a moment that gets a little scary and little moments. And that’s part of what fairytales are for. They’re so that you as a child and as a person in your life can experience things and go “oh: and you’re safely in the seat. And then it helps you cope with life.”
If you’re not into diving into the themes of frozen or child psychology and are just wanting to check out the film for the music, then you won’t be disappointed! “Let It Go” walked so that “Into The Unknown” could run. And if running is the analogy here, Idina Menzel is sure to receive a gold medal for her performance of this song. She is so modest about her abilities too. She told the audience, “I can just go in there and have fun. The only thing that I do, is I warm up a lot cause I know that they are going to push me to hit tops of my range.”
To her point, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, one-half of the Frozen Songwriters team, the other half being her husband Robert Lopez, said to the press, “She (Idina) has this warmth and this vulnerability down low and then as you bring her higher and higher, she gets stronger and stronger and more powerful, until she just reaches into your soul when she’s singing these big giant songs and I really truly think that we are the lucky ones to get to write for her. I don’t know that “Let it Go or “Into the Unknown” would be a hit without Idina honestly.”
Praise must also be given to Jonathan Groff who we get a lovely eighties inspired ballad from, Josh Gad whose songs will just make you happy, and newcomer to the cast, Evan Rachel Wood whose voice adds a motherly touch.
Frozen 2 hits theaters Friday, November 22nd! Be sure to check it out and until then let us know what you are most excited for in the comments.