Frozen 2 came out last year November 2019, months before the now ever-present Covid-19 pandemic. While we resisted getting Disney+ for a while (mostly for my sake than my daughter’s), we finally gave in around month 2 of the lockdown.
Although we were doing fine with Super Simple Songs and Peppa’s Channel on Youtube, it was the desire to watch Marvel movies that really drew me in (more on that later). After signing up for the service however we started watching the Disney Princesses movies, but it wasn’t until we watched Frozen and the song, “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” was there love.
Now we all know kids movies have messaging for parents that goes way over kids’ heads (sometimes the parents too) but this is why watching Frozen 2 during Covid lockdown hit so close to home.
If you haven’t watched it I suggest you take a beat and watch it now, otherwise it might be spoiled for you. If you have continue reading and learn how this movie has surpassed all expectations for a Disney movie for me.
1. Representation that matters!
While I love the chanting and mysticism of the Northuldra, some fans were confused, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find out why representation was important- this time. There is a big plot twist in the movie that’s a bit mature for Disney. Colonization. In order to illustrate the story in its entirety, they included Indigenous music, which according to Toronto News, Disney based off the Samí indigenous people of Scandinavia and Russia. All of this with the caveat that the first Frozen upset quite a few indigenous groups and felt a bit like appropriation, but in order to right wrongs the company signed a contract with indigenous group experts called Verddet in order to respectfully portray the Samí culture on which the Northuldra are based on.
2. Olaf has depth!
So so much depth! He probably has the most poignant lines and most memorable scenes that both crack me up and illuminate the situation in a “don’t take yourself too seriously light”.
“How I wish it would stay this way forever. Alas, fall mocks us with change.”Olaf
I understand how you feel Olaf, 2020 has sobered so many of us up.
3. Comedy highlights throughout!
Not only does it make sense that this story goes deeper and further into the world of Arendelle. It also illuminates a darker past of colonization, that many countries have embedded in their dark history. Canada included. But it speaks on such a dark topic with bits of humor thrown in. i.e. Olaf, the snowman comedic relief. As he retells the story of the first Frozen to the Arendelle guard and Northuldra that have been locked away in a magical forest.
4. Olaf’s Song “This Will All Make Sense When I am Older”, is gold.
We all assume adults have it together when we are kids. We believed there was a certain switch that happened as soon as we became adults where all of a sudden we knew the why of the world. Guess some of us are still looking, but it’s ok. Maybe it will make sense when I am older.
5. Finding out Elsa and Anna’s mother was Northuldran!
Queen Iduna (yes I had to look up her name because I don’t remember it being mentioned in either film directly), so is the bane of Motherhood. Although learning their mother was not of the same Arendellian background and actually came from the Indigenous tribe, “one of the oldest Northuldran families,” claims a character based on her scarf. By saving and marrying the king of Arendelle, Queen Iduna was able to unify some form of peace and in turn fulfill the prophecy of the “Fifth Element”. Although I’m dying with questions of what happened from when she saved the prince to when they eventually marry. Frozen 3 anyone?
6. Kristoff’s song “Lost in the Woods”, was the 80’s inspired ballad with a reindeer duet I didn’t know I needed.
It made me so nostalgic for a period of music that I was barely alive for and it was adorable to boot. Not only is Kristoff debating how his romantic relationship is turning out with Anna, but he is undoubtedly so nervous at asking her to marry him that he just keeps fumbling again and again. Only to be consoled by his dear friend, Sven. Like Sven says, “You feel what you feel and those feelings are real.”
7. Disney Creates Characters with Dimensions.
Elsa does this best as she is going through the Ahtohallan when she is reliving parts of her past. Sneering at Prince Hans, feeling embarrassed over her “Let it Go” moment and coming to grips with the darkest of her family’s secrets. That it was her grandfather, King Runeard, that was responsible for the battle between Arendelle and Northuldra for a very simple reason, greed. This was not your average fairy tale story, this had some bite.
8. Fun facts from Olaf the snowman.
The long ride from Arendelle to the Enchanted Forest, gives Olaf just enough time to annoy everyone with some crazy fun facts, that may not be that accurate, but are still funny in the scene. Like the ones below:
Water has memory. This theory grew prominence in the late 80’s as a theory but was quickly debunked as not having any real science behind it. Although it can reveal some insight into where it has been and what has passed through it depending if it left any particulates behind.
Turtles breathe through their butts! Apparently it’s kind of true, with some species intaking 20% of their oxygen through a rear-end tube called the cloaca.
Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning. Yes, in that the CDC says 5 times more likely but it’s true!
Wombats poop in squares. They really, really do. And its kind of a mystery as to why. Some believe the climate in Australia is so hot and dry, there’s little water, that’s what you get. Others say it may be some kind of territorial thing. Either way Olaf was not wrong!
If you’re interested in learning more about the truths or fiction of Olaf’s mad science check out USA Today: Fact Checking Olaf article.
9. It’s Bechdel test approved.
Disney has a reputation for not really elevating the conversation around feminism and what that entails for their princess movies. The trend has changed in recent years and Frozen is no different, with its diverse cast of characters-ish and looking at the world beyond just looking for a man. It has the potential for being a feminist-approved Disney princess movie.
If you’re not familiar with the Bechdel test, it’s a means of testing a work of fiction in how it portrays women. Being that there are at least two women that talk to each other about something besides a man. Sometimes the woman having a name is also a requirement.
As the oldest of three sisters, I love the sister story of Frozen and Frozen 2. It’s one of the reasons I’m a big fan of the franchise. I understand the plight of being the oldest, having responsibilities first and feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. On one hand, Elsa is Queen and she’s trying to do right by her kingdom and on the other keep Anna safe. Anna is trying to come out of her sister’s shadow and in so doing prove she is capable even without magic. In Frozen 2, there are two song that illustrate just how different sisters can really be.
Into the Unknown by Elsa is full of longing for adventure in the world unknown. Not being afraid of taking risk and just following your heart.
What do you want? ‘Cause you’ve been keeping me awake.
Are you here to distract me so I make a big mistake?
Or are you someone out there who’s a little bit like me?
Who knows deep down I’m not where I’m meant to be?
Every day’s a little harder as I feel my power grow
Don’t you know there’s part of me that longs to go
As the oldest I’ve always had a deep divide between responsibility and living life for myself, knowing that I could make a mistake on my own but I couldn’t shame my family in the process.
There’s a story my father told me when I wanted to go to school in New York, he said that when he went away to college he was strapped for cash and had to change his major from what he wanted, architecture, to something he was good at, accounting. So that he had enough time to study and get a job. If he had stayed with the family he would have been able to study what he wanted. In other words, “If the family has a platano you can share the platano, but if you’re not here than you can’t (very Dominican specific). I still had to be stubborn and couldn’t wait to leave for school on the other side of the country.
Anna also had her own plight in the movie, while Elsa fell too deep into Ahtohallan and froze causing OIaf to disappear in a flurry and Anna to be left truly alone. Younger siblings may relate better to her story and to the fact that Anna goes from bubbly sidekick to deep and sorrowful adult in a quick span.
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
Her song, “The Next Right Thing” screams of unsureness becoming confidence and even if you don’t know what the next step should be taking one will eventually lead you to where you need to go, giving her the bright idea that saves everyone. No magic needed, on her part.
If you haven’t checked out the movie, I highly recommend it. It might take a sour situation and make it a little better.
If you’ve seen the movie and thought I missed something let me know in the comments below.