REVIEW: ‘Frozen 2’ isn’t as memorable, but is it family-friendly?
The Disney musical ‘Frozen 2’opens this weekend, continuing the story of a magical queen who has the power to create ice.
Elsa is the young magical queen of a peaceful kingdom, Arendelle, where no one is lacking and where everyone seemingly is happy.
It’s such a perfect kingdom, in fact, that few people care to venture far outside its borders.
Elsa, though, is no ordinary person. She can create an ice palace with a simple twist of her hands. She can start a snowstorm with a snap of a finger. She can repel an army while sitting down. She has powers that her sister, Anna, never had.
Not surprisingly, Elsa begins to wonder: Why was she born with these powers?
Then she remembers a story her father told about an enchanted forest to the north protected by the spirits of air, fire, water and earth. Unfortunately, though, a mysterious mist now covers that forest, preventing anyone from getting in—or out.
But now Elsa is hearing a siren’s voice from the forest. It calls to her during the evening. It wakes her up at night. Perhaps—just perhaps—this voice holds a clue to her past. Then again, maybe that voice is setting a trap to harm her.
The Disney musical Frozen 2 (PG) opens this weekend, starring Idina Menzel (Ralph Breaks the Internet) as Elsa, Kristen Bell (The Good Place) as Anna, Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast, 2017) as Olaf the snowman, and Jonathan Groff (The Conspirator) as Kristoff. All four voices were in 2013’s Frozen.
In Frozen 2, Elsa tries communicating with the siren but accidentally wakes the forest’s spirits—sparking a series of natural disasters in Arendelle that force the citizens to evacuate. Elsa then joins Anna, Kristoff and Olaf in a journey to the forest in hopes of reversing the damage to Arendelle—and perhaps finding answers for Elsa.
Frozen 2 includes the same type of magic in the first film—a topic that divided Christian families in 2013—and introduces animism, too. (Details below.)
In addition, Frozen 2 simply doesn’t have the, well, magic of the first film. The plot isn’t as fun and simple. The music is good, but not as memorable.
Even so, it does have plenty of laughs and emotion-laden moments—just like its predecessor.
Warning: minor/moderate spoilers!
(Scale key: none, minimal, moderate, extreme)
Minimal. We see a flashback to a battle with swords. (It’s bloodless.) Characters run away from a fire (it’s really a “fire spirit”) in the forest. “Earth Giants”—rock-like monsters bigger than hills—roam through the woods at night. Later, during the daytime, Anna and Olaf canoe down a river past the Earth Giants. Elsa and Anna get separated. It’s learned that one of their relatives killed someone.
Minimal. The Kristoff-Anna romance includes a couple of short kisses on the lips. Olaf jokes that he finds clothes “restricting.”
None. (Although we do hear a “butts” and an unfinished “what the ….”)
Other Positive Elements
The sibling love between Elsa and Anna can be a model for movie-going brothers and sisters.
Other Stuff You Might Want To Know
We see a flashback to Elsa making ice sculptures as a young girl. Trolls come out of the forest; they say of Elsa’s powers: “We must pray they are enough” to save the kingdom.
Life is all about change: But as Anna and Olaf learn, some things are priceless and even permanent.
Everyone needs encouraged: Elsa has constant doubts, but Anna encourages her: “When will you start seeing yourself like I see you?”
Self-sacrifice is a virtue: Both Elsa and Anna put their lives on the line for the betterment of each other and the kingdom.
Wrongs need to be righted: It’s at the heart of the plot. Still, we must ask: Is there a statute of limitations on such a belief?
Frozen 2 will divide Christian families. Some will see it as innocent fun that even can be used to educate children about unbiblical worldviews. Others will point to the film’s animism and plot and choose to sit this one out.
More than likely, families who enjoyed Frozen, Moana and Coco will enjoy Frozen 2.
For parents who want to explore the worldview, here’s what you need to know about the movie’s animism: We meet a heroic people of the forest who “only trust” nature. We hear that water is a living organism that has a “memory.” We learn that the spirits of air, fire, water and earth are the “most powerful” spirits on the planet. We also learn of a “fifth” spirit that is a bridge between people “and the magic of nature.” Additionally, Elsa mentions how she’s seen her “power grow.”
The movie, like its predecessor, gives us a good example of sibling love. It also introduces a major ethical question: Does every “wrong” need to be “righted”?
Ziploc, Google Home, JC Penney, Nature’s Own, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Enterprise, Juicy Juice, McDonald’s, Icebreakers and Glade.
1. What can Frozen 2 teach us about the relationship between siblings?
2. If you could explore deep into your past and uncover family secrets, would you?
3. Should every “wrong” in history be “righted”? Are there limits?
4. Name three positive character traits of Elsa—and then of Anna.
Entertainment rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Frozen 2 is rated PG for action/peril and some thematic elements.
Photo credit: Disney