Directed by: Chris Buck/Jennifer Lee
Written by: Jennifer Lee/Chris Buck/Marc E Smith/Kristen Anderson-Lopez/Robert Lopez
Another Disney sequel, another set of psychological issues.
After the cultural phenomenon that was Frozen, Disney of course decided that we needed another movie about Elsa and Anna, the queen and princess of Arendelle. And, honestly, I can see that. There was a huge gap left in the story: why does Elsa have these powers? No one else in her family does…do they?
This time out, Elsa (Idina Menzel) hears voices. Singing voices. Strangely, not from animals. But they are singing a song that her mother sang to her and Anna when they were little girls. She follows those voices and accidentally awakens the four elementals: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. She and Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad) head north to try to fix the world.
There, they find the Enchanted Forest and the Northuldran, a tribe of people who have been stuck in the Forest for 34 years.
Anna tells Elsa that she will never leave her side and will always help her, but there are some things that she can’t help with. Meanwhile, Kristoff tells Anna basically the same thing, but in a much healthier way.
So, yeah. We’re back to co-dependency! There’s even a song about Anna’s depression, The Next Right Thing. It was inspired by Kristen Bell’s own fight with depression and co-dependency: “A lot of people feel that feeling: What do I do when I don’t know what to do? My personal mantra is you just do the next right thing. It also stems from when I am experiencing anxiety and depression. What do I do when I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? You just do the next right thing, and that’s stepping out of bed. The next right thing is brushing your teeth. The next right thing is eating your breakfast. The next right thing is looking at your calendar and going to work. This idea of having an intrinsic motivation versus extrinsic motivation is something that as a parent I know is incredibly important to show kids and to help them cope. I really wanted Anna to be representative of that.”
That’s such an important lesson for kids to learn. When you’re sad, just do your best. That’s all you can do. Move forward that one step. Then the next. Then the next.
Besides having a good message for the kids (and adults), there are so many beautiful sequences. Every time Elsa uses her powers the animators step their game up and make something perfect. The scene where Elsa enters Ahtohallan and sings Show Yourself is some of the best animation I think Disney has ever done.
And then there’s Kristoff’s song, Lost In The Woods. It’s a movingly beautiful song about being lost without your partner…or…wait…no. It’s actually a really silly parody of a 70s/80s power ballad complete with a Journey-esque music video.
I loved every minute of it.
Is this movie perfect? Nah. It’s a bit of a mess with a lot happening at one time. But it’s still very good and worthy of its predecessor.
This actually concludes my Disney project! Until the next Disney animated feature comes out, I’M DONE! Just in time to go to Disney World in a couple of weeks!
Now I just need to find another film project. What should I watch all of?