Review: Frozen 2 Strikes Big in Box Office But Not in Quality


Riley Keiter, Writer

WARNING: This movie review contains spoilers.

The worst things about movie theaters are overpriced snacks, annoying teenagers, and watching a bad movie. Seeing Frozen 2 would include all of those.

Frozen 2 cost $18 million to make according to the Wall Street Journal, but though the price of the animation and actors took much of that, they aren’t responsible for the unbearable sequel to the original 2013 movie. 

If anything would prove the movie poor, it would be the beginning. The movie starts with an exposition dump of information about a magic river, a prominent group of people called the “Northuldra” to the north, an enchanted forest, and many characters (like the relatives of our main characters), all whom we’ve never heard of before. In fact, so many new facts had to be spilled in such little time, it’s almost like the writers were creating an entirely new and unnecessary story for one that had been closed years ago.

Even if you hoped that the exposition ended there, that hope will quickly die out as a majority of the plot is then continuously other characters telling our main characters’ new storyline.

However, there are many people that do love Frozen 2, like sophomore Annie Hennen. 

“It was really cool to see how the characters learned,” says Hennen. “Their characters really developed to be more mature and deal with change.”

However, many characters never experienced any growth. 

For example, Kristoff, the love interest of Ana, ran a sub-plot with the emotional depth of a 90’s sitcom. The entire point of his existence throughout the movie is to try to propose to Ana, be interrupted by various unlikely circumstances, and then fail. This goes on for the entire hour and forty-three minutes of the movie until he does propose. (Spoiler: She, a Disney princess, doesn’t reject the proposal. Crazy.)

Even Olaf, one of the silliest characters of the first movie helped the plot along by saving Ana in the climax while sacrificing himself. In Frozen 2, he has an existential crisis. He then tried to re-create the iconic climactic scene by fading away Infinity War-style, when he didn’t sacrifice anything and had no bearing on plot anyways.

Characters newly introduced were given a worse deal than either Kristoff of Olaf.

There were many new characters that made appearances. ‘Many,’ meaning ‘too many’. Each character had the development and insight of a puppet, and that’s exactly what they were used as. Each Northuldra member was a poorly-masqueraded, unsubtle reference to the Native American tribes of the past, which was their trademark, as they lacked quality characteristics. Even the reasons those have given for liking these characters are flawed.

“There’s this one character named ‘Rider’ [who’s] introduced in the second movie,” Hennen said. “He’s such a Kristoff. It’s the cutest thing to see their reactions to each other. The other one is Samantha. Samantha is this little lizard thing, but she’s so cute and it’s so cool.”

Each character after the next is only likable because they remind the viewer of undertones from our past movie, of what they expected the main characters this time around to be. Otherwise, it’s purely because they’re ‘cute,’ and do a good job being a marketing ploy for toys, games, spin-offs, and more, all coming to stores near you.

The entire movie was made for those who would, without doubt, enjoy it the most–the teenagers who saw the original movie as children. The balance between what they remember and what has happened since is what brings joy to their hearts, but this effect leaves major detriment behind. 

As Dani Di Placido from puts it,The movie has one foot in the past and another in the future, unwilling to take the leap and plunge into a more mature adventure. It’s stuck in an aimless, crowd-pleasing limbo.”

However, none of these critiques of the movie matter if it wasn’t for the $18 million it took to form this movie and the $123.7 million it grossed in its first weekend. 

Frozen 2 wasn’t original, nor did it leave an impact that will be greatly remembered for years like the intro to Up (2009), or even the hit song “Let it Go” from its predecessor. The movie fell short in many regards, depriving the audience of the take it deserves. This waste of time results in a waste of creativity, leaving what could have been an amazing and memorable childhood moment to be marked down as a money-making, two-hour-long, nostalgia trip.

Whether or not the movie hurt the industry won’t deter the wistful teenager from flocking to their nearest theater, however.

“I’ve seen it twice so far and I’m going to see it a third time with some of my theatre friends,” said Hennen.