2014 was such a simpler time.

Disney songs were still amazing but the movies they released didn’t have much staying power past a couple of months. That all changed when Frozen came out.

As a Cast Member at the Disney Store during the Frozen Fury of 2014 (Never Forget), I now know what it’s like to work Black Friday but BF was everyday that my store received a new shipment of Frozen merchandise.

Whether it was the Animator Dolls of Elsa and Anna, their dresses or something as simple as a Frozen ornament, any Frozen merchandise didn’t last on the shelves more than 5 minutes. One lady called the store asking about a Frozen ornament, I informed her that they were in limited stock. This lady was in the store in 15 minutes to buy the ornament because she (and I) knew that they would’ve been sold out if she waited another 30 minutes.

Frozen was a MOVEMENT. It changed the lives of many and emptied the pockets of parents everywhere.

Luckily for me, I was an idiot and did not fall into the Frozen frenzy. Whether it was due to me observing everyone else going crazy or me just not believing the hype (once again, like an idiot), I didn’t obsess over this movie.

When I did see the first movie, I understood the hype, but I didn’t think it deserved every part of the hype. It was a very good movie, but it just wasn’t my favorite Disney movie of that time. The music was good. My favorite song from the first film is ‘Fixer Upper.’

I did get a little turned off by Olaf and how he mentioned how much he loved warm hugs pretty much every 6 minutes of the film. Just for me to hear more of that in the Frozen takeover of Walt Disney World, it was way too much, too quickly, but I (once again) understood that Disney needed to take advantage of this craze.

So when Disney announced a Frozen sequel, I was not surprised. Frozen is one of the best animated movies of all-time. What surprised me about the announcement, was that it wasn’t coming relatively soon. Frozen 2 would end up coming out 6 years after the original. I thought Disney would fast track a sequel so it would come out ASAP.

When I first saw the trailer for Frozen 2, I was blown away. The animation looked INCREDIBLE, and it gave us a not so cheery vibe that I always dig from Disney movies. This time around, I was not an idiot. I was fully on board with Frozen 2 and super hyped for this movie from the start.

And now that I have seen the movie, I can say this…

THE MOVIE LIVES UP TO THE HYPE!!!!

This will be a NON SPOILER review.

Everybody needs to see this movie and I will not dive into any plot details that might ruin the film for you.

Let’s get started!

STORY

Let me just say this. This is a very mature movie. The themes that are shown in this movie are deep. They are deeply attached to the characters and I would say its a liter version of CoCo or Inside Out. It won’t make you cry for hours after the movie ends, but it will touch you in a way that Frozen didn’t.

This movie gives us a clearer look at the backstory of Frozen: how Elsa got her powers and what happened in the shipwreck that took her parents lives. The movie starts with a bedtime story delivered by Elsa and Annas parents, and the story is about the Enchanted Forest and what occurred there to make it now be covered in a thick mist.

Elsa is still the Queen of Arendelle, but you could tell that she feels out of place. There is more out there for her, and Arendelle isn’t the place where she can discover who she truly is and how she got her powers. Elsa in the beginning of the film hears a voice coming from the Enchanted Forest and she believes that’s where she needs to go in order to find the answers shes been longing to have.

Anna is still Anna. Loving her life with the open gates, being able to be someone in society, and of course have Kristoff as her main squeeze. Her main issue in the movie is that she feels the need to protect Elsa from doing risky things.

Olaf is the most improved character from the first. Olaf, right from the start, establishes himself as a character that has matured since the first. He knows the dangers that are around him, but still has that Olaf mindset of just shrugging off all the issues and telling himself that he will understand it when he is older. Olaf has one of the best scenes in the movie. (You’ll know it when you see it.)

Kristoff is in love with Anna. He wants to propose and he could never find the right moment. Whether it’s mincing up his words that Anna takes the wrong way, or picking a moment where Annas mind is focused on what is going on with Elsa. Each proposal attempt somewhat pushes Anna to keep up with Elsa which in the end pushes the plot to continue.

MUSIC

While I didn’t find the appeal of ‘Let it Go,’ I really enjoyed this soundtrack better than the first. Whenever a Disney musical arrives in theaters, I stay away from the soundtrack until after I have seen the movie. And I can not stress to you enough how important that mission is for this film. While the music in this film won’t give away any plot points, the visual cues that accompany the music are just phenomenal.

Some notable amazing songs from the movie that are improved by the visual cues are:

When I Am Older: This song is about Olaf exploring the Enchanted Forest while there are mysterious elements causing chaos around him. Olaf just shrugs them off and pushes himself through the craziness by telling himself that he will understand everything once he gets older.

Lost in the Woods: This song IS FANTASTIC. Did you ever wonder what an 80’s power ballad would be like if it was in a Disney film? You don’t have to wonder anymore because that is exactly what this song delivers. The song itself is beautiful and it is about Kristoff not knowing what to do since Anna is always running away from him to protect Elsa. But when you watch the movie, you won’t stop laughing. Easily the best musical number in the film.

Show Yourself: If this movie was to have its own ‘Let it Go’, I believe this would be it. Elsa performs this number. I won’t say anything else about this song because of where it occurs in the movie, but I really enjoyed this song and how it was portrayed in the film

One more song that I really enjoyed but the visual cues didn’t give it an extra boost is ‘Some Things Never Change’. It is performed by the entire cast in seperate bits. It is mostly about how things are just good the way they are and if they were too change, they always had each other and that will never change. It’s a very sweet song that, after a few more listens, will be in my top 3 favorite songs from the movie.

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What I loved about this movie is that it took a different route. They could’ve taken a safe and easy sequel route that would just be a cash grab (box office and merchandise). The fact that this story is so deep and moving, it really takes our feelings about these characters that we developed from the first film, and put those feelings to the test. When you get chills hearing the humming/chant melody during the Disney logo at the start of the film, you know that what you are about to witness will affect you in some way.

If I had to pick out some flaws for this movie, they would be hard to find, but these are what they would be.

I would really love to have one of the songs be so memorable that I could leave the theater knowing all the lyrics, but I’m sure that would come after a few more listens to the soundtrack.

Personally, I did enjoy Annas storyline, towards the end of the movie. For a majority of the movie, her role was to protect Elsa. Knowing Elsa, we knew that it would eventually backfire. What she did from there was a good role for her but I wanted more of it. Anna is my favorite of the two sisters and she deserves her moment of the spotlight that isn’t in the Frozen short, Frozen Fever.

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In the end of it all, this movie is better than the first. The risks it took story wise, paired with the fantastic soundtrack and more mature Olaf, it delivers in a way we don’t really see from many sequels nowadays.

If you are nervous about Disney sequels thanks to Monsters University, Cars 2, Cars 3, and the entire Planes franchise, put those to rest. This movie delivers on everything and builds upon the world that we fell in love with from the first film.

Frozen 2 is…

(So Damn) Good