Opinion: Frozen 2 relies on success of original, lacks depth

Maren VanOsdol, Staff Writer

Six years ago Frozen came out. I was nine years old, the prime age for Frozen. I loved the songs, the story and the two princesses. Now, six years later, I’m a cynical teenager writing a review for the unnecessary sequel of an “instant classic” Disney animated movie. Despite Frozen II being a cartoon for other nine year olds to enjoy and not necessarily for a writer to critique and point out all the plot holes, some plot holes are so big as to be gaping craters that made me wonder if even a nine year old could enjoy this movie.

But the primary issue is the plot, or lack thereof. Everything was a hodgepodge, and none of the numerous “main” events lead to a conclusion. It was difficult to understand which made me question how a nine year old could enjoy the movie. The original Frozen ended on a touching note with an affirmation of love between sisters. But in the sequel a lot of unnecessary problems are created out of nowhere and resolved for no particular reason. I was left with more questions at the end than at the beginning. Once Elsa’s magic water horse was brought in–out of nowhere–I was done. Not that I can’t suspend disbelief, but everything seemed so forced, like the writers kept throwing in ideas to see what sticks.
Sequels are bound to be worse than the original and Disney obviously did this for the cash grab: the original was the first cartoon to gross over a billion dollars worldwide and the sequel has made over 700 million dollars in just the first few weeks, according to Forbes. So my expectations were low. But what I wasn’t expecting was a plot / plots so contrived that I struggled to understand the main plot at all.
The animation of Frozen II shows how far animation has come in the past six years, but has it gone too far? All the female characters’ faces seem to be copied-and-pasted onto one another. The same exaggerated “bug eyes” seem to be even larger than in the first movie. However, the animation of the scenery was stunning to the point that it didn’t even feel like animation. There was one scene towards the end of water rushing through a fjord showing the trees, the cliff sides and other details I wouldn’t think would be possible to do in animation. It was so realistic as to be jarring–great for a videogame, but out of place in a traditional animated Disney movie.
The first Frozen had us 9-year-old girls singing “Let It Go” and other songs that were immediately catchy and memorable. I cannot name one memorable song in Frozen II for the life of me, although there is a song Olaf performs that’s memorable for how it gently takes jabs at the first movie in a very funny way.
Between the 15 different subplots, the five elements , the revision of their parents death and the two main characters having a suddenly shallow relationship with each other, it felt like a creative writing story you would write in fifth grade where nothing is connected or makes sense. The original charm of Frozen has been lost to me. It didn’t even seem related to Frozen because it was so far removed from the spirit of that movie and had no connection to it besides the main character names.
But in the end it is still just a kids movie. And it will probably clear a billion dollars at the box office but that will be more due to the strength of the original and the Disney marketing machine than the merits of this sequel.