By Efrat Malachi, Staff Writer
The story begins in a far-off kingdom named Arendelle. The people are ordinary, good-hearted citizens. The weather is running on a normal course now since Queen Elsa mastered her supernal powers back in Frozen in 2014. Anna, her baby sister, finally acquired true love and Kristoff is the lucky man. Sidekicks Sven and Olaf have established a caring friendship, and everyone seems to be settling in well with their new-founded lives. A complete 180 turn is made in Frozen II, where a lack of structure and stability throughout Arendelle is a key element for the plot. Here and now, the people of Arendelle [and the reindeer] live happily, but not ever after; at least not yet.
In the first few scenes of the Frozen sequel, a newborn, cryptic threat reveals itself to Elsa, stimulating her curiosity and provoking her to set forth on a new journey. There is a famous saying, “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” But in this case, ignoring the recurring taunt will endanger Elsa’s entire people. A “secret siren” (as she refers to it) cries out, demanding a rectification be made on behalf of an Arendelle predecessor. An err of conduct must be reversed. Soon enough, the call gains momentum and reaches Arendelle soil, which then quakes the earth, cuts the electricity, and forces everyone to evacuate their homes. Although both Elsa and Anna are terrified, they venture off “Into the Unknown” (a song featured) to uncover the truth about their past, which itself is the antidote, and bring peace for the future.
For the most part, the rewarding aspect of watching any sequel is witnessing the reunification of characters with their audiences. Reuniting with Elsa and Anna in a more profound and sophisticated setting, is incredibly refreshing. It’s like seeing your achievements grow after graduating college, or simply gazing in awe at the evident maturation of your family while away for your gap year. There’s an intimacy placed in the audience members’ laps that’s highlighted, which generates an aura of warmth relating to the movie.
As time unpacks in the action-filled film, we learn the nature of what’s at stake — something larger than the mere survival of the Arendelle people. Frozen II requires the partnership of both benevolence and conviction to dutifully manifest itself in every facet of Elsa’s powers. She must garner her powers and take them to the next level in order to lift the mystical barricade around the enchanted forest and free all those within its borders. It takes an earth-shattering (literally) curse to move Elsa and the whole gang (Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf) to join her in a quest to expose a haunting truth. It is due to a mysterious voice that stirs Elsa to her core, which jolts her into action. There’s a wrong that must be righted, and it’s Elsa’s job to do just that. Once again, Walt Disney is working its wonders, and this time, they direct it towards a magical sequel that is an eloquent exemplification of transcendent living.
In the first movie, Elsa realizes the importance of trusting her instincts and the instincts of those around her, but in Frozen II she’s tried in greater ways, which test her sense of fidelity and responsibility for a world not akin to her own. She will learn that she is not an island unto herself and cannot run away to an icy and isolated mountaintop anymore. Elsa must learn to chase the truth and be willing to brave its storms, which will eventually grant her ownership over her destiny, as the lyrics go in the opening song, “All is Found.” “In her waters, deep and true lay the answers and a path for you…But can you brave what you most fear? Can you face what the river knows?” says the catchy tune. It is a courageous journey about one’s pledge to honest, humane and harmonious living with others.
There is a uniquely familiar voice and human-like personality which echoes throughout the sequel, making one remark to one’s self, “That’s exactly what I’m going through. Thank you Elsa [Idina Menzel] for belting out those lyrics. It’s just what I needed to hear.” This movie is full of heart, which molds every character into a hero in their own right. This time around, Elsa is not the sole star of the show.
Ultimately, the makers of Frozen II have renewed an underlying trust in the standards of a sequel, the expectations for which have worn themselves out. And it’s still done in a sensational fashion that suits, and is admired by, both children and adults! What makes it so successful is its allegiance to universal morals that have been diluted by the spread of cynicism and indifference in today’s world. The messages imparted by the film will continue to tread on, not just with the people of Arendelle, but the people of our world. Hopefully, it will lead to a more marvelous project, the sequel to the sequel – Frozen III.