Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
MOVIE REVIEW

Frozen II

also known as “Frozen 2,” “Anna and the Snow Queen 2,” “Frost 2,” “Ana to Yuki no Joou 2,” “Die Eiskönigin 2,” “Frozen II - Il segreto di Arendelle,” See more »
MPAA Rating: PG-Rating (MPAA) for action/peril and some thematic elements.

Reviewed by:Blake Wilson
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family
Genre:
Animation Adventure Music Comedy Sequel 3D IMAX
Length:
1 hr. 43 min.
Year of Release:
2019
USA Release:
November 22, 2019 (wide—4,440 theaters)
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Relevant Issues

Going on an adventure quest into the unknown

Belief in a strange and unknown destiny

Supernatural force ravaging the kingdom

Rock ogres

Fire demon


Sister sister relationships

Trying to save a kingdom

Compare: The Kingdom of God—What, when and where is it? Answer

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Searching for the origin of magic powers

Female empowerment message—presenting “Elsa as a serious role model/inspiration for girls and young women, a resilient, can-do, nothing-can-stop-me character able to overcome any challenge in her path”

Becoming a brooding woman of “dark powers”

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

About WINDS AND STORMS in the Bible

Snow in the Bible

About ice in the Bible

Does God control the weather? Does He send deadly storms? Are “natural disasters” truly ordained by God, even though they sometimes kill thousands? What does the Bible teach?

What causes the seasons? Answer—an illustrated explanation

What are some weather extremes on Earth? Answer

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Featuring: Kristen BellAnna (voice)—Princess of Arendelle
Idina MenzelElsa (voice)—Queen of Arendelle and Anna’s elder sister who possesses magical ice powers
Jonathan GroffKristoff (voice)—an iceman who is Anna’s boyfriend
Evan Rachel WoodQueen Iduna (voice)—the mother of Elsa and Anna
Alfred MolinaKing Agnarr (voice)—father of Elsa and Anna
Sterling K. BrownLieutenant Destin Mattias (voice)
Jason RitterRyder (voice)
Alan TudykThe Duke of Weselton / a Guard / Northuldra Leader / Arendellian Soldier (voices)
Josh GadOlaf (voice)—a sentient snowman created by Elsa
Ciarán HindsGrand Pabbie (voice)—leader of the Trolls
See all »
Director: Chris Buck
Jennifer Lee
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Byron Howard
See all »
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“Beware the frozen heart, indeed.”

Prequel: “Frozen” (2013)

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“Frozen 2” begins with a flashback to Princess Anna and Queen Elsa as kids being told a story by their father. He tells them of an enchanted forest that was mysteriously sealed off to Arendelle and the outside world due to an issue that no one seems to know about. The only thing known is that the friendly relations between Arendelle and the neighboring Northuldrans were severed by this point.

Years later, and after the events of the first movie, Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven and Olaf (Josh Gad) are all living happily everafter. Kristoff is about to propose to Anna when Elsa starts to hear a mysterious voice calling her. No one else notices it but her. Okay, that’s weird so far. Then it happens more and more. And then, all of a sudden, this phenomena causes a weird weather event in Arendelle.

Remembering the stories of their childhood, Elsa is told by Grandpabbie Troll to follow after this voice. Joined by her friends, Elsa must find out what’s causing these events to happen, and why she is being called. Could it perhaps have something to do with why she has powers? Could it involve her parents somehow? Or could there be something more sinister waiting in the unknown? Or could the past reveal something that might solve the mystery of the barrier?

Entertainment Value

If that sounds like a lot, you’re not wrong. Because “Frozen 2” attempts to pack so much into its story, and that’s not for the better. There’s so much going on that it becomes difficult to follow in many areas. It relies way too much on exposition and backstory, while not showing enough flashbacks to really connect the dots and make the transitions smooth. I found myself lost in a handful of scenes.

However, the film features a lot of well-scripted moments and some strong character development for its two leads. The voice acting is even better, too. Menzel and Bell show more vulnerable and interesting sides to their characters, while Gad shines again as Olaf in many scene-stealing moments. Evan Rachel Wood (Queen Iduna) and Sterling K. Brown (Lieutenant Destin Mattias) prove solid additions to the cast. Also, despite a more serious tone, the writers succeed in keeping things light along the way.

The soundtrack is mostly impressive, even if a good chunk of it doesn’t carry the same classic Disney-sounding quality of its predecessor. The easy stand-out for me is “Into the Unknown,” which carries a somewhat haunting, yet memorable vibe (Panic! At the Disco’s end credits version is very strong too). Menzel is given a second song, “Show Yourself,” which carries “Defying Gravity” vibes, with a fantastic ending. Anna’s song, “The Next Right Thing,” gets to be the film’s closing song, and also carries a strong emotional impact.

The weaker of the tunes include the opening song “Some Things Never Change,” and Kristoff’s “Lost in the Woods.” I understand why the songwriters included it, as Kristoff had almost nothing to sing last time. But, the song is so out-of-place with the film’s tone (it feels and sounds akin to a Donny Osmond song from the late-80’s), and it’s shot in a way that pulls you out of the film’s story. It should have been on the cutting room floor. The scene actually starts off with a reprise of the first film’s “Reindeers are Better than People,” and honestly, that would have been enough with a few more lyrics added.

The animation is beautiful, with painterly backgrounds that bring to mind “Sleeping Beauty” (1959). Characters and effects are given neat touches, and there’s a few stunning sequences I wish to not spoil. Christophe Beck expands on his terrific score from the original and adds some intriguing instrumental moments. There’s several great jokes, though the film relies a little too heavily on references and callbacks to the 2013 original. They are funny (in fact, there’s even a hysterical moment when Olaf summarizes the plot of the original to new characters), but they aren’t exactly needed.

Positive Messages

“Frozen 2” has a lot to say, and most of it involves strong messages that are Biblically true. The main message involves how to deal with and handle change when it comes our way. The film addresses that we tend to take things (and people) for granted as well as break into despair when our “world” falls apart. We see that through Elsa going off on her own and Anna not willing to let her go after saying she would never leave her side. We also see it through Anna and Elsa grappling with the truth about what happened to their parents.

The truth is, change is one of only a few things that is permanent in life. And at the same time, we aren’t meant to always stand still in our current comfort zone. We are meant for bigger and better things, just like Elsa in the movie. And while God is sadly never mentioned, it’s not a stretch to connect the dots between this message and the words of Jeremiah 29:11. We may not be able to see what’s coming, but we can trust that God knows what’s best for us and our future.

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 29:11

Throughout the film, we are reminded to be prepared and to hold fast through unexpected tough times. In Anna’s song, “The Next Right Thing,” she reminds us to take things one step at a time even when grief and hurt want to hold us back. She also mentions trusting a “tiny voice” inside her head that she feels she needs to believe. For Christians, this can serve as a reminder to listen for the voice of God when we are unsure of where to go or what to do next in life.

Olaf, who is also astounded by the change around him, comes to a conclusion at one point that there is one thing that never changes… love. That reminds me of 1 Corinthians 13:8, which says, “Love never fails.” And we all know that God and His love for His true children never change for us, even through our changing circumstances.

One of the film’s other songs, “Into the Unknown,” also deals with change, and the fear and intrigue that goes along with it. Elsa says, “I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you into the unknown.” I found this to be an interesting (and realistic) connotation to a believer pondering whether to take a step of faith into the calling God has on his (or her) life. We may not know what we will get into, and sometimes it can require sacrifice. At the same time, however, Scripture encourages us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

In the meantime, the main characters all risk their lives willingly for each other. Anna’s dedication to Elsa and wanting to be by her side is touching and profound at times.

Negative Content

Adult Content: Nothing major to note. Anna asks Kristoff about what they want to do while sleigh-riding alone (and makes a kissing face). And they do kiss a handful of times. In response to Kristoff dressing fancy for one moment, Anna says, “I prefer you in leather anyway.” There is a low-cut dress or two. As a child, Anna (innocently) pretends to have a prince and princess doll kiss, and say they all get married (to Elsa’s disgust).

NOTE: As many readers know, “Frozen 2” was surrounded by social media campaigns throughout its production to give Elsa a female love interest for the purpose of “LGBT representation.” I am relieved to report that this does not happen in any shape or form in the movie.

Violence: There are a handful of scenes that may frighten younger children. The most intense is a scene where Elsa uses her magic to try and tame a water horse. At one point, Elsa is shown being dragged through water and almost appears to be passing out from water intake. The four elemental “spirits” are shown to be dangerous. The fire spirit causes a major forest fire, which causes a major perilous situation and trees to fall. A flood nearly engulfs Arendelle. Some characters fall from significant heights. Others get blown about “Wizard of Oz” style in a tornado. One character gets frozen into ice. Olaf’s body gets blown apart, kicked, his arms ripped, etc. (for comedic purposes mostly). We see a battle scene early on in the film that involves some combat (it’s fairly brief).

Somewhat scary rock monsters throw stones and destroy a dam. A series of heavy winds causes some minor property damage in Arendelle. We see ice sculptures depicting violent events right before they happen (for instance, someone about to murder a Northuldra leader). Anna and Olaf go on a slightly reckless ride in an ice canoe, including plunging down a waterfall.

SPOILER ALERT: Two of the film’s main characters seem to die at one point. These moments may upset some younger fans.

Language: One unfinished use of “what the…?” Beyond that, nothing else objectionable.

Other: Olaf talks briefly about how wombats “poop in squares,” and his lack of clothes as well (saying he finds clothes “restricting”). He talks about how the water we drink goes through four different specimens (pointing to Sven’s rear end in the process, leading the reindeer to spit the water out in disgust). Olaf briefly warns others about touching his feet, saying, “you don’t know where they’ve been.”

The film is definitely more “spiritual” than the first “Frozen,” with elemental spirits shown for earth, water, fire, and air (yes, that does sound like “Avatar: The Last Airbender” doesn’t it?). And while some of these spirits later turn out to be animals (at least in appearance), they seem to have strong powers. SPOILER ALERT: We later learn that Elsa is the “fifth spirit,” meant to be a bridge between the two worlds and four elements. (End Spoiler)

We hear a bit about Northuldra religious tradition. It’s suggested that a river has the power to hold memories, and that water contains memory. Elsa and Anna’s parents apparently have some sort of spiritual connection to Elsa, but it’s relatively unexplained.

The plot point and problem about how Arendelle severed relations with the Northuldra tribe may remind some of political reparations and today’s complicated relationships between modern-day America and Native Americans.

Conclusion

I’ll be honest, I didn’t think “Frozen 2” needed to exist. The first film was a modern-day classic, ending in a good place and giving Anna and Elsa a happy ending that was pretty different from most Disney fairy tales. Instead of just having a new prince and princess live happily ever after, we see two sisters reconciled and becoming a family again. That plus the strong, Christian message of sacrificial love (and how love is so much more than just romantic love) make it stand out among the Disney canon. No wonder audiences everywhere couldn’t let it go.

But, of course, when you earn over a billion dollars at the box office, you pretty much have no choice, right? (Wrong!) Of course, for fans, we enjoy the idea of sequels to revisit favorite characters. But, almost every time (with a few exceptions), the impact of the original can’t be replicated. Which makes “Frozen 2” an interesting case. Coming out of it, I thought it had some great ingredients and terrific moments. But, what’s supposed to hold it all together is what really needed work. The overall narrative and story is too complicated and convoluted, and holds this particular sequel back from truly soaring.

Also, while “Frozen 2” isn’t as problematic as it could have been, it still carries some interesting issues, especially for families with young girls ready to show up with their princess dress. There’s enough here that might (for some) make this unsuitable for families with younger kids. For one, this movie is serious and sad at times, with discussions on grief, change, letting go, and death.

Secondly, the film delves into some surprisingly spiritual problems that will likely be problematic for some believers. And there’s also some moments that may be too intense for younger ones also. For those who decide to watch, parents may want to watch the movie for themselves first and then have a pre-watch discussion about some of these issues with their children.

With all of this in mind, it’s safe to assume that this sequel was made more for fans who have grown up six years since the original. And, despite its issues, the film still has plenty to enjoy. The soundtrack is fantastic (mostly), and carries some of the best songs I’ve heard in a Disney movie in quite some time. The characters are given a lot of moments to shine in ways they couldn’t in the first film. The animation is terrific. There’s a lot of great humor. And the film’s very strong and sometimes very Biblical themes are definitely worth praising, and also resonated with me personally.

So, in the end, I liked “Frozen 2.” But I can’t say I loved it. Fans of the original should keep their expectations in check. Lightning almost never strikes in the same place twice. And while it is certainly not for lack of trying, the feeling of a missed opportunity for something even better is amiss (just barely above the ice).

  • Violence: Moderate
  • Occult: Moderate
  • Sex: • brief kisses
  • Profane language: None
  • Vulgar/Crude language: None
  • Nudity: None
  • Drugs/Alcohol: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—Wow, is all I can say. Disney really pulls out all the stops with this sequel, and the special 3D effects are breathtaking. I love the Fall theme and scenery. The opening scene has snowflakes coming down and in our theatre there was a gasp of joy from the children in the audience. It is well written, but if I have a criticism with the story-line it is that it contains too many elements and complexity for adults, let alone children, to follow at times. In many ways the story-line content is enough for two movies.

Some of the themes are pretty scary for small children and the temporary death of a main character may cause distress for the little ones.

The musical score is wonderful as is the choreography with life-like animation which seems to get better and better with each movie. It contains brilliant humour and dialogue, and it is no fluke this franchise has made billions of dollars for Disney. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Kathy Pj, age 59 (Canada)
Neutral
Neutral—I was excited to see Disney’s “Frozen II” and came out disappointed for the most part; the complete opposite with how I expected and reacted to the first “Frozen” when it came out 6 years ago. While the movie does a good job at portraying good as good and bad as bad, there are a few issues.

1. The elemental spirits and making Elsa a fifth spirit to bring balance to water, earth, fire, and air. Just… why? I had no problems with the ice magic in the first movie, because it was in a fairy-tale, no spirits or demons type of “magic.” I have no idea what they were going for with this movie, but adding spirits did disappoint me.

2. Elsa abdicates the throne to keep in touch with the spirits and the other country. Couldn’t her and Anna rule side-by-side and demonstrate sisterly love that children need to see? No, just abandon your family to “follow your [NOT God-honoring] dreams.”

3. Two death fake-outs. It really looks like Olaf and Elsa die at one point and my heart broke seeing Olaf turn to snowflakes. But Anna and the earth giants break the dam and everything’s fixed. I hate this cliché that has been around since “Snow White” (especially since I have buried a few family and friends myself).

4. The backstory with Elsa and Anna’s grandfather felt like more white-shaming and man-shaming that comes from the “tolerant” and “loving” left-wing American politics.

I did enjoy some of the following stuff.

1. Elsa and Anna’s mother singing her children to sleep was a really nice and motherly image.

2. Elsa and Anna’s parents” teen romance looked very cute and godly. You can show a cute and enjoyable romance without diving into immorality and I really wish more romances like this existed. Sad to say, this moment is very brief and shown in some ice flashbacks.

3. I am VERY thankful that Elsa was not given a lesbian subplot. True, Elsa is grossed out by a man and woman kissing (ice dolls Elsa and Anna are playing with as children), but this is about how children think kissing and romance are gross, not advocating immorality.

So, yeah, this movie could have and should have been done MUCH better. Not the worst it could have been, but definitely had room for improvement.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Peter, age 29 (USA)
Positive—While they did a good job of creating beautiful animation and special effects, this movie was somewhat saddening in its conclusions. ***SPOILERS*** Throughout the movie, Elsa looks for something greater than herself, something to be connected to, a way to understand her purpose. Even as someone who does not believe in a higher power, Elsa’s search for a greater purpose/connection/meaning was compelling and emotional and connected on a deep level. However, what was saddening and unsatisfying was that, after all her searching, Elsa doesn&rsquot;t find something larger to be connected to. In her stunning song “Show Yourself,” she beseeches someone else to “show yourself,” wanting connection and belonging. What she finds is that there is no other being that understands her purpose. Instead, she is told “you are the one you’ve been searching for all of your life.” I found this a shallow and unsatisfying conclusion.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Sara, age 26 (USA)
Positive—It was a cute story. However, the pagan elements are very strong. First of all fire spirit is absolutely an element of paganism. Secondly in the memories Elsa was talking to her dead mom briefly and that’s occult as well. Also, sacrificial love and dying to protect someone from death is mother goddess magic. Also, where did the vision come from? Not from the real God. A lot of this pagan elements also came from Norse mythology. Also, the tribe said they trusted only nature, and they appeared to worship nature. Giants are part of mythology and existed because of the fallen angels mating with human women. That’s just what I can think of off hand. I know it’s just a movie, but the pagan elements are very hard to ignore. Beautifully written and no bad language, so i’m thankful for that.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Natasha Dahl, age 36 (USA)
Negative
NegativeVery disappointing, this movie was pretty boring and was so dark. It just dragged on and on, making no sense at all. Granted, these movies always have some type of “magic” in them but they went way off the deep end with this one, focusing on the “spirits” and powers and just didn’t make any sense. A lot more singing then the last one and a very depressing song that was shocking they would even put that in there with the depression issues the youth deal with these days.

Overall, this movie was way worse the first one, quite surprising they went this way, boring and stupid story line. The first one was cute even though a little weird but this one was totally lame. The whole “me” power theme with her “finding her powers in herself” is ridiculous and hearing voices and following spirits. A lot of dark magic stuff, worse then any of these movies I have seen and it was constant throughout the whole movie. Not worth wasting almost $30 in a theater for two people. If anything, wait till it gets out on video, you aren’t missing anything. Wish I wouldn’t have even wasted my time to see this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Stephanie, age 45 (USA)
Negative—I took my girls, 12 and 14, to see this. They thought it looked good and so did I. I have to say, I was disappointed in it, while they enjoyed it. My 12 year old had it figured out, so I don’t think I’d end up spoiling anything in this review—it’s pretty obvious. The flashback leads one to question the original movie and why they kept Elsa locked away. It didn’t offer more information, just made it confusing.

It’s a much darker toned movie—Anna sings a song that sounds like she is giving up on life. I can’t remember the words but something along turning to the darkness. It’s sung as she is in a sad situation and both my daughter and I thought we heard a child cry at this point in the theater. A little dark—you really felt as if she was going to give up and die. Olaf sings abut growing older, and as the movie progresses, his fate seems darker as well.

It felt contrived, not a genuine sequel. Just an attempt to come out with a second film. Elsa’s character supposedly undergoes some great transformation (which really just comes about with a new dress and hairdo, much like the last time). The element of fire is a chameleon, but that also left me wondering why is this little guy running around lighting things on fire. That never did make sense. I still don’t know who or what the Earth element was. And Elsa’s whole part in it all didn’t really fit. It didn’t make sense.

If you want to see a much better sequel, I recommend “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” Frozen probably attracts a younger crowd, but Maleficent was a much better move (although also obvious plot). “Frozen II” does not live up to the hype.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Andrea, age 47 (USA)
Negative—I liked the original “Frozen,” but the sequel feels disjointed and lacking. It would be no surprise for a sequel to fail to live up to expectations for an original that was a smash hit, but it feels like the writers behind Frozen II couldn’t come up with a plot they felt would pass muster, so the result is one that tries to be original but just sort of flops because it lacks a villain and a convincing storyline.

The songs were also a big letdown. I listened to most of them on YouTube as well as in the movie, and they just don’t measure up or add to the story in the way the songs did in the original.

The disjointedness of the movie was such that my 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter were unable to coherently explain the movie to my wife afterwards.

***SPOILER*** While the movie does lack a villain in the present tense and suffers for it, it does reveal one in the past; a figure that should be respected is instead, for a very ad hoc and arbitrary reason, exposed as irrationally prejudiced against magic to the point that he commits cold-blooded murder and starts a war based on his fears and rationalizations. This is a very anti-biblical message on several levels: It teaches disrespect and distrust of rightful authority, it teaches that it is wrong to be “prejudiced” against magic, and it portrays those who are concerned about magic in the worst possible light. So on the balance I’d say Christians should look elsewhere for their entertainment.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Eric, age 49 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.