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[REVIEW] Disney’s ‘Frozen 2’ takes viewers on a magic journey of self-discovery

Nov 20,2019
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Sven, Kristoff, Anna, Elsa and Olaf set off on another adventure into the unknown world behind the kingdom of Arendelle in “Frozen 2.” [WALT DISNEY COMPANY KOREA]
Elsa finally lets her hair down (literally) and adds another major upgrade to her ice gown as she goes on an adventure to discover her true identity.

Although Elsa and Anna seemed to have resolved all of the troubles between them in the 2014 hit film “Frozen” when Elsa learned to control her powers, viewers never really discovered where her abilities came from. “Frozen 2” aims to answer that question as Elsa embarks on an adventure to discover her identity, not unlike the journey Maleficent went on several months ago in “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” to discover where her powers originated.

I cannot help but compare the two characters - Maleficent and Elsa - as they both seem to go through similar transitions despite differing story lines. Both not only get spectacular upgrades to their wardrobes and magical powers, but they also find peace outside the kingdoms where they always felt like outcasts.

However, “Frozen 2” provides a more structured and convincing universe and storyline as to why and how Elsa finds the source of her magical powers. Her conflicts and inner battles are, of course, captured through soaring musical numbers that will undoubtedly be played on heavy rotation everywhere you go for the forseeable future. But personally, I did not find that any of the songs gave me the goosebumps that I had when I first heard Elsa sing “Let It Go” while watching the original movie.

The emphasis on love in both “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” and “Frozen 2” hasn’t gone away, but in both films, the focus has shifted to how love evolves as families grow and people live farther away from one another. Although the characters love each other, they prove that it is okay to live separately, allowing them to live a freer, more spirited lifestyle.

With “Frozen 2,” Disney is taking a break from the slew of live-action films that depend on nostalgia for their box office success. While the live-action films have been financially successful and satisfy devoted fans’ desires to see their favorite characters come to life, they have also been criticized for lacking originality. A princess marrying a prince and being confined to a castle is no longer the only way to a happy ending. They may become rulers themselves or decide to leave their kingdom and lead their own lives as they want to.

I loved that Elsa had no love interests from the first installment and was relieved that the studio didn’t think it was necessary to suddenly establish a random love story for Elsa in the sequel, too. It was comforting to see that Elsa finally found peace and was able to accept herself for who she is - reflected by how she lets her hair down after she discovers her true identity.

Even though Anna and Kristoff remain a couple, the sequel is about the sisters’ journey together into the unknown to learn about their past and save the kingdom of Arendelle. More than ever, it was a story about familial love in which sisters depend on each other, forging a bond that is everlasting, even though they may be apart.



BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]