I’ve been trying to write my review of Frozen 2 ever since it came out. Almost two months, and I have nothing written that I think is good enough to share. I tried to be all eloquent and analytical, but I failed pretty spectacularly. So here we go instead:
I loved this movie. I adored it. I loved it so, so very much that, despite literally being a professional writer, I have been incapable of describing or explaining that love in words. Frozen 2 just makes me FEEL things, so very, very much.
If I were to write an in-depth review, I’d probably comment on the absolutely beautiful visuals of the movie, and the strong Broadway feel of the soundtrack. I’d talk about the value of having a magical fantasy adventure story with two female protagonists, and the contrasting strengths of Anna and Elsa. But forget that. This movie is just magical. It’s a kids’ movie from Disney, but it spoke to me on a fundamental level. It has that magic element that you find in the very best Disney movies, where it seems to tell you everything will be okay.
I was very surprised by how dark Frozen 2 is. It’s so dark that when I saw a singing Anna doll for sale featuring her big solo song, I couldn’t believe that someone had actually made that, because that song is totally heart-shattering. I was a crying mess through a lot of this movie.
Honestly, my feelings about this movie in general are encapsulated by just two songs: Show Yourself and The Next Right Thing. Show Yourself didn’t click with me at first, but it had me in tears by the end. Because she’s singing about finding the person who will finally make things make sense and show her her place in the world, and it turns out, that person is her. Of course it is her. Who else could it be? “You are the one you’ve been waiting for all of your life,” her mother sings to her, as the music crescendos, and my heart can’t take it. If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t know where you belong — which, let’s be honest, is pretty much everybody — then this song has so much resonance. And it has the best message: you are the only person that you need. You are who you are meant to be.
I know people were disappointed that Elsa didn’t end up with a girlfriend in this movie, but although that would have been amazing, I honestly don’t believe it would have fit with the tone of her story in this movie. Elsa’s story is about herself. It’s about finding herself, trusting herself, listening to herself. She is the one that she needs to come to love and trust.
And then there’s The Next Right Thing, the song that emotionally wrecked me and for some reason made marketing folks go “yes, this should be a singing doll.” While Elsa is on her quest for identity, Anna is there simply because she loves her sister and loves her kingdom, and she cannot stand and do nothing while they suffer. She faces all the challenges that Elsa faces, but she doesn’t have magic to help pull her out of danger again. And when she thinks she has lost absolutely everything, she sings a quiet song about continuing on after shattering grief. It’s such a small, simple song, but it’s also so strong. “I won’t look too far ahead…. but break it down to this next breath, this next step, this next choice is one that I can make.”
Seriously, I was a mess.
And then, with no magic, with no help, she goes on to right the wrongs of the past — not to save her sister, or her kingdom, or to bring anything back that she has lost, but because it’s the right thing to do.
God, I loved this movie. I loved it. And honestly, I can’t say much more than that.