The highly-anticipated sequel to Disney’s 2013 musical teaches audiences to “Let It Go”
When Disney’s Oscar-winning film, Frozen, debuted in theaters nearly seven years ago, it immediately snowballed into a cultural phenomenon.
Everyone began asking their friends if they wanted to build a snowman, an entire generation of kids dressed up as Anna and Elsa for Halloween, and no one could escape Olaf and his warm hugs at every corner. The movie grossed a whopping $1.27 billion worldwide and became an instant classic. A sequel was practically inevitable — cue Frozen 2.
Released in November 2019, Frozen 2 takes place three years after the events of Frozen. Now accepted by the kingdom, Elsa (Idina Menzel) presides as Queen of Arendelle and her sister, Anna (Kristin Bell), spends her days frolicking about and singing happy tunes. Life seems to be going well for our protagonists, but things start to shift when Elsa hears a mysterious, siren-like voice calling to her from a distance, tempting her to follow it into the enchanted forest. Ever the protective sibling, Anna insists on coming along, bringing with her Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven.
As the group heads deeper and deeper into unexplored territory, they encounter a tribe of Northuldra people battling long-lost Arendelle soldiers, thus opening a can of worms about the kingdom’s past. Elsa and Anna now have two mysteries to unravel: the reason behind Elsa’s ice powers and Arendelle’s dark secret.
What makes Frozen so special is its unique focus on sisterhood. After decades of Disney princesses pining after Prince Charming, Frozen sent a refreshing message of the powerful bond that exists between sisters. This sentiment continues to be at the forefront of Frozen 2; however, the film eventually sees Anna and Elsa pulled apart in their quests to find the truth about who they are, but ultimately coming back together the way sisters often do.
There is a focus on growth and a heightened level of maturity in the second film, which co-director and co-screenwriter Jennifer Lee explains in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“What we really wanted to look at was change and maturity as you go through life,” Lee said. “We didn’t want to stay in the same place and repeat ourselves. It’s an evolution with the characters and thematically looking at love and fear and family from the point of view of change.”
Though there is one collective journey for Anna and Elsa, each individually takes their own path in finding themselves, showing the various challenges that one may face while growing up and leaving the past behind. Although the film’s complex theme may fly over the heads of its younger viewers, it teaches the audience to embrace change instead of fear it.
Sometimes, you just have to follow your heart and leap into the unknown.