• Royal Register


By Nada Elhossiny and Ishleen Sudan

Everyone remembers the “Frozen Fever” - a period of time following the magical first film when shrill performances of “Let it Go” were commonplace, everyone wanted to live in their own ice castle, and kids gave every snowman they built the name, Olaf. Naturally, we were all excited when we found out that a sequel was on its way! On November 22, Frozen II was released, and the Royal Register sent two seasoned members to report on the movie’s faults and merits.

Ishleen: That movie was mediocre at best. It was rather disappointing.

Nada: I think we just had very high expectations for the film. Its prequel was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. On its own, the movie was well done.

Ishleen: Well, we do need to be taking a look at the bigger picture - we can’t just ignore the success of Frozen. I hardly expected them to replicate the thrill of the first film, but it fell short by all accounts.

Nada: That’s a bit of an exaggeration. The animation in this film was breathtaking, the costumes were stunning - it was a visual masterpiece.

Ishleen: Alright, that’s a fair point. What the film lacked in emotional depth, it made up for in aesthetics.

Nada: I wouldn’t say it was lacking in emotional depth. Elsa not being able to put her finger on what was missing, even though her life was the best it had ever been, was relatable. Anna’s genuine and rightful concern for her sister and her self-sacrificial tendencies added to the emotional drama of the film. Kristoff’s heartfelt struggle with Anna, to whom he was always the second priority, was touching.

Ishleen: Be that as it may, I didn’t feel the same connection to their struggles as in the last film. It seemed like the movie was trying to draw light to Indigenous/colonial relations, which was poorly done with virtually no nuance. Elsa’s character arc was just a rehash of what she went through in the last movie - she felt alone because of her powers. Anna chased after her to help her see the light (and feel the warmth).

Nada: Please don’t try to be funny.

Ishleen: Alright, alright. But haven’t we already been through all this? Not to mention Kristoff didn’t have his time to shine. That’s upsetting because Kristoff’s character was a breath of fresh air when the first film came out - not just the usual stock Prince Charming (which audiences wrongfully perceived Hans to be). Kristoff is socially awkward, has a heart of gold, and is just generally lovable, but his most worthwhile contribution in the second Frozen movie was one of the movie’s only emotionally earned songs.

Nada: Well, I didn’t mind the songs. Into the Unknown and Show Yourself may not have had the same gravity as Let it Go, but they were still beautifully sung. Some Things Never Change gave a warm welcome back to moviegoers. And much like Frozen Heart, All is Found foreshadowed what was to come in the movie - although it was far more intricately connected to the plot, I would say.

Ishleen: I’ll concede on All is Found, but aside from that, the songs just didn’t feel meaningful. For instance, although it’s been talked about to death, it’s for good reason - “Let it Go” was a cathartic moment for Elsa, somebody who had been hiding in the shadows for far too long and was free from the clutches of expectation (“that perfect girl is gone”). “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” was a sweet song showing how two sisters grew to drift apart, and how tragedy can strike at the most unexpected of times. Even filler songs like Fixer Upper served to grant a moment of release from the tension of the film and provided for a striking turn of events when the film’s resolution began to unravel.

Nada: Sure, the songs got annoying at one point, but I have to say, you might be overthinking this a little. It’s a Disney movie.

Ishleen: Ah, yes, but bear in mind that no animated Disney film has even come close, in recent memory, to have the same cultural influence as Frozen. And much to general disappointment, its sequel was utterly forgettable. The first film masterfully subverted tropes, whereas this one was woefully predictable. There was no real moment of victory, in my opinion - I kept waiting for something bigger to come, and before I knew it, the movie was over.

Nada: Well, I agree with you there. It was a fun movie sequel. But you might have been wrong in expecting that it would be even half as ingenious as the first. On to some positives, perhaps?

Ishleen: I don’t think I have much to say.

Nada: That much is clear as ice. Olaf functions brilliantly, just as he did in the first, providing comic relief that is sometimes intermingled with insights that viewers should take away.

Ishleen: And he likes warm hugs.

Nada: We also learn about where Elsa’s powers come from, and learn about what happens to her parents. For longtime fans who have obsessed and theorized about it for years, it’s a gift. All in all, the film was satisfactory. It was just overshadowed by the greatness of its prequel.

Ishleen: Hear, hear.

Nada: The movie was cool.

That wraps up our session with Ishleen and Nada. Tune in next time for commentary on more controversial issues. And don’t take our word for it - be sure to watch Frozen II yourself, and leave your thoughts below.

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