"Frozen 2" is the sequel to 2013's inescapable smash hit that captivated the world. The original "Frozen" grossed a total of $1.2 billion at the box office and introduced the world to Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf, played by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.
"Frozen 2" has caused plenty of buzz. With glowing first impressions from audiences and expectations for a massive opening weekend at the box office, the question arises whether "Frozen 2" will captivate audiences as much as the original or should Disney "let it go"?
The original movie's impact on pop culture cannot be understated. It was a huge hit for Disney and is considered one of their best films in recent years. Both movies in the "Frozen" franchise are directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck. Buck has experience co-directing other Disney movies such as "Tarzan" while Lee is one of the head writers for the Disney movie, "Wreck-It Ralph." The duo worked with Tony award-winning couple, Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez, to create the songs for both films.
"Frozen 2" still follows the four main characters and their adventures in Arendelle, but the sequel attempts to change things up a bit. "Frozen 2" picks up three years after the end of the first movie, placing the characters in a much more vibrant time of the year.
Being placed during fall allows for a much richer, autumnal color palette as opposed to the stark whites and blues of the original film. The film also feels a lot more like a classic fantasy movie as opposed to the fairy-tale and princess aesthetic of the original. The new fantasy and adventure feeling is a plus in my book.
The movie begins with Anna and Elsa's father reading them a story. This gets some exposition out of the way. The story tells the girls about the spirits that were awoken in Northuldra, the fight between Northuldra and Arendelle, and the four spirits who were accidentally released. Those spirits trapped the soldiers from both cities in a dome. During the present day, Elsa hears a voice calling her and accidentally awakens the spirits from Northuldra. That is when the four heroes begin their journey to the Enchanted Forest.
Audiences and critics seem to really enjoy "Frozen 2." Annie Price, a senior communication major, thought it was fantastic.
"I saw it on Friday. I loved it. The humor was a little bit more mature, and the soundtrack was much less cutesy," Price said.
Mariah Stevens, a senior communication major, also enjoyed the movie and how different it was from the original.
"It was really enjoyable, and I thought it was pretty funny. Olaf is my favorite Disney character and also was my favorite part about the movie," Stevens said.
While the numbers have not been published at this time, the box office for "Frozen 2" is looking to be monumental. Box Office Mojo predicted a $350 million global debut for the film. Manager of Hollywood Premiere Cinema, Caleb Rhodes, said the theater has been packed all weekend.
"Box office sales have been about what we expected, so just really busy. We've been selling out almost every showtime and that's with showtimes running every hour. It's mostly been families, but there's been a lot of college-age adults and young adults coming to see it too," Rhodes said.
As much as audiences love the characters and setting of the "Frozen" franchise, the songs are what families will flock to the theater for. The song "Let It Go" from the original "Frozen" was such a cultural phenomenon that absolutely no one could escape the song for almost a year after it was released. "Frozen 2" also has plenty of catchy tracks, and I am sure we will all be sick of by the time next Christmas comes around.
The big hit from the film seems to be "Into the Unknown." It is sung by Elsa at a crucial point in the film where she follows a strange voice from earlier in the movie. The trailer of the film used "Into the Unknown" as their standout track. They also put a Panic at the Disco cover on their soundtrack and during the end credits.
Personally, I love this franchise. It is a huge guilty pleasure of mine. In terms of movies, I like slow-moving, indie films, so a musical largely aimed at kids should not be on my radar. However, the "Frozen" movies are so much fun. They are not particularly unique, but they are both well-crafted adventures with fantastic animation, memorable characters and heartfelt songs.
The big issue I have with the movie is that it is largely a retread of the first movie, just with a change of scenery. Plus, I know it is probably blasphemy to say, but I have the same issue with this as the "Wreck-it Ralph" sequel. I think "Frozen" really did not need a sequel. I would rather Disney just try new things.
I know a lot of people really enjoyed Kristoff's '80s ballad, "Lost in the Woods," but I think it is kind of cheesy and a pale imitation of an actual '80s ballad. It also does not add anything to the movie. I prefer the story and songs of the first movie. While I prefer the setting and tone of the second movie, overall I think the first is a better movie.
In the end, the film leaves space open for another movie after the second one. There is also a short after-credits scene involving a certain character that I will not spoil, but I was left feeling sure we will get a "Frozen 3." Hopefully, it does not take another six years to develop. I would recommend this movie if you are one of the few people that did not see it this weekend. If you are in the mood for a very well-done and beautifully animated movie with catchy songs and fun characters, "Frozen 2" is absolutely for you.