It had been two hours since I had seen Frozen 2, and I was already forgetting the plot. A good sign? I think not.
Frozen 2 takes place three years after the events of Frozen. Everything appears to be finally coming together for Elsa, a young queen with magical ice powers — she no longer has to keep her powers a secret, she gets to spend as much time with her sister Anna as she wants, and she’s growing into a competent and respected leader of the small Fjordside kingdom of Arendelle.
However, Elsa begins to hear a mysterious voice calling to her. In her pursuit of the source of the strange voice, she accidentally awakens the spirits of earth, fire, water, and air, putting everyone in Arendelle in danger. Elsa, Anna, Anna’s boyfriend Kristoff, Kristoff’s reindeer Sven, and the talking snowman Olaf then embark on an adventure in order to save Arendelle. The plot is my first issue with Frozen 2. For a movie intended for children, I felt like there were just a few too many subplots to follow, and it didn’t help that the transitions between various plot points were basically nonexistent. The driving motivation for the whole film itself changed multiple times with a dizzying lack of coherence or development; first, the goal was to uncover the truth about the past, then suddenly it was to find the fifth elemental spirit, then it was to discover the source of Elsa’s powers, all while about a million confusing subplots were woven throughout.
To be clear, I have no problem with complex or multifaceted plots; in fact, I think a nuanced plot is the first ingredient necessary for any good movie. However, nuance quickly becomes confusion when the connections between plot elements aren’t developed clearly or thoroughly enough.
My second problem with the movie was the music. As commercialized and clichéd as Frozen was, the music at least was, at the very least, bearable, and if you’re feeling generous, enjoyable. Thus, I was expecting the Frozen 2 soundtrack to measure up to that admittedly low standard. I am sorry to say that I was disappointed. The songs in Frozen 2 felt tedious and repetitive, and all seemed to have themes along the lines of “I have a hard decision to make and I don’t know what to do,” which would have been fine for a song or two but not for almost every single song in the movie.
Thisk lack of variety in the tone and thematic content of the pieces was a significant contributor to the overall monotony of the film. This was difficult for me to bear, let alone the younger audience that accounts for much of the viewership.
Frozen 2 wasn’t all bad, though. It had a refreshing self-awareness for an animated film, and some of my favorite moments were when the characters almost broke the fourth wall by poking fun at the first Frozen film.
The animation was another highlight of the film. I found myself mesmerized by the crystalline water dripping off a horse’s mane, entranced by vibrant flames rising from an electric blue salamander, and hypnotized by Elsa and Anna’s enormous and oddly reflective eyes.
Throughout the whole movie though, what I was waiting for was the only thing that mattered: the moment that Disney let Elsa be gay. I choose my words carefully: not make Elsa gay, let her be gay, because in the hearts and minds of the public, she already is. There was #giveelsaagirlfriend, which trended on Twitter, and fan fiction — which I looked at so you don’t have to, you’re welcome — that pairs Elsa with character from her sister Anna to Honeymaren, a random girl who appears in Frozen 2 for a fraction of a seconds. Sadly, the magic moment never came.
This wouldn’t be so noteworthy, as Frozen 2 is more for entertaining small children than exploring the complexities of human sexuality, except for the facts that a) a lot of people really want Elsa to #getagirlfriend and b) this is the 21st century so it shouldn’t be weird at all for her to have a girlfriend.
How much longer can consumers, who are showing signs of craving more nuanced and forward thinking content, take Disney’s endless stream of sterile, watered-down, uninspired cash cows? Judging from the Elsa/Honeymaren fan art already popping up all over Twitter, not much longer, I predict.