Disney’s FROZEN 2 Review: “Do the Next Right Thing”

On November 22nd, FROZEN 2 opens at long last.  FROZEN fans (including me – click here for my review of the orignal) have been waiting since the end credits rolled for this sequel (nearly 6 years ago, to the day) – some with trepidation (sequels are almost never ask good as the original) and some with eager anticipation (It’s Anna and Elsa; what could go wrong?).

In FROZEN 2, Disney has accomplished the nearly impossible and made a sequel that can not only stand on its own, but is even better than the original! You don’t need to have seen the first one, because there is a wonderful and funny scene where the FROZEN story is told.  As funny as that scene is, it could have been left out without losing anything from the story of FROZEN 2.  The story is well-crafted, completely different from, and achingly familiar to, the FROZEN story.

In FROZEN 2, Arendelle is in trouble, so Anna and Elsa and Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf head off together to save it.  They are trying to find the enchanted forest that King Agnarr and Queen Iduna told them about when they were younger (in a flashback that also demonstrates Anna’s love and Elsa’s magic).  In order to save Arendelle’s future, they have to discover its past. With Elsa’s powers helping them into and through the enchanted forest, they meet the Northuldra, a tribe of people who live in the enchanted forest.  Until the moment the forest closed itself off, the Northuldra had lived in harmony with magic.  During a festival with the people of Arendelle something happened to close off the forest, trapping almost everyone inside.  King Agnarr, not then yet a king, was the only Arendellian who made it out of the forest.

FROZEN 2

Queen Iduna (voice of Evan Rachel Wood) and King Agnarr (voice of Alfred Molina) share an epic story with Young Anna (voice of Hadley Gannaway) and Young Elsa (voice Mattea Conforti) about an enchanted forest and the potential danger that lingers. © 2019 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Olaf’s substory will appeal to children.  He is coping with change and growing up.  Kristoff also has a substory, in which he is trying very hard to figure out his own future.  He also meets his counterpart in the Northuldra tribe, Ryder (played by Jason Ritter).

FROZEN 2

Kristoff and Sven find themselves among a herd of reindeer. Featuring Jonathan Groff as the voice of Kristoff (and Sven) © 2019 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The returning cast is as brilliant as they were in the first.  The new cast members had a lot to live up to and managed it very well.  From Northuldra matriarch Yelena (Martha Plimpton) to Mattias (Sterling K. Brown), the leader of the Arendellian troops that have been trapped in the enchanted forest, the acting talent is top notch.  Queen Iduna (Evan Rachel Wood) has a much larger role in FROZEN 2 (she had one line in FROZEN, spoken by Jennifer Lee).  King Agnarr is also played by a new actor in FROZEN 2:  Alfred Molina (he was played by Maurice LeMarche in FROZEN).  Honeymaren (Rachel Williams) rounds out the new cast of major characters.

FROZEN 2

(From Left to Right) HONEYMAREN – A member of the Northuldra, Honeymaren is a true free spirit and wants nothing more than to bring peace to the enchanted forest. She is bold and brave, with a reverence for the magic of nature. Rachel Matthews provides the voice of Honeymaren. RYDER – Eager and fun, Honeymaren’s brother Ryder embraces life with optimism. Ryder’s love of reindeer might just rival Kristoff’s – but unlike Kristoff, Ryder has never roamed the great plains outside of the Enchanted Forest. He longs to embrace the world and venture beyond the magical mist. Jason Ritter lends his voice to Ryder. YELANA – The unspoken leader of the nomadic Northuldra. She is fiercely protective of her family and community but is known to soften when people show an understanding of nature and their environment. Martha Plimpton was called on to bring Yelana to life. © 2019 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

The music in FROZEN 2 also seems different, but familiar.  It’s three years later in the story’s time and it feels like the music has modernized, too.  That is the genius of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.  I don’t know if they were also responsible for directing the scene with Kristoff’s new song, “Lost in the Woods,” but whoever it was is a genius, too.

Be sure to stay through the credits.  Not only are there pop versions of several of the songs (from Panic! at the Disco, Kasey Musgraves, and Weezer), but there is a scene at the end that you won’t want to miss.

FROZEN 2

Jennifer Lee’s FROZEN 2 is one of the best sequels I’ve seen and one of the best Disney movies.  I cannot wait to see it again with my family this holiday season.  FROZEN 2 is a movie for all ages.  There were moments when kids were laughing out loud and others when adults were.  I teared up many times.  Disney is known for plucking the heartstrings and in FROZEN 2, my heartstrings sang!  For more family friendly movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on instagramtwitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About George Gensler

George Gensler is a copyrights specialist during the week and a runner on the weekends. She lives in New York City now, but has lived in five countries on three continents. She grew up traveling the world, but her official residence was in Southern California and every visit home included a trip to Disneyland. She has also visited every Disney Park around the world and sailed on board two Disney cruises. She threw in a visit to the Disney Family museum in San Francisco for good measure, and has had the Premier Disney Park Pass since its inception.