ALL FROZEN 2 SPOILERS – ENDING + 5th SPIRIT EXPLAINED
- January 06, 2020
- Andrew S Gillis
I absolutely loved Frozen 2. I walked out of the theatre, and I was just on cloud nine. Everything about this film was fantastic. I loved the characters, I loved the songs, I loved the plot for the most part. And the problems that I had with the plot are kind of the unanswered questions, and it was tough to follow at times. And so I’ll get into that. But first, let’s talk about the characters. So first let’s talk about Elsa because this really is Elsa’s story. The first Frozen movie, yes, it’s a tale of two sisters, and we love ourselves some princess sisters, but for the most part, the sisters are separated in that movie, and we really focus on Anna and her journey and the struggles that she has dealing with this sister who shut her out. In this movie, Anna, for the most part, is fine. Her life is great; she’s happy. But Elsa is the one who’s really struggling with, is there more, and she hears this voice that is calling to her. So eventually she gives in and she follows it, and that’s the big “Into the Unknown” song. And that leads her on this journey, this quest for, I guess, self-actualization or to find the true Elsa, like is there more to my life, because the first movie doesn’t give any indication on where did my powers come from, why do I have these. In the past three years, she’s come to terms with them. She’s still queen. Life is great, but there has to be more for Elsa. And I really do think that this is the Elsa movie because she goes on such a journey and a transformation.
So first we have “Into the Unknown,” and that’s the first version of this awakened powers, where she actually awakens the spirits. And I love love, love the visuals that we see in that scene. However, to me, it wasn’t quite clear that she was awaking the spirits. Maybe it was to you, but I guess I was just so entranced with the music and the visuals. As you watch it again and as I see in different clips, it’s very clear. There’s the horse and the giants and all the spirits are there, but we haven’t been introduced to them yet. So I think you just think she’s just kind of playing around with her ice powers, creating things, right? And so later She awakened the spirit.” So that was something that wasn’t quite clear to me at the very beginning. And that may have just been my problem. If you feel the same way and you were kind of confused, let me know in the comments below.
So “Into the Unknown” is Elsa’s first exploration of her powers at a higher level. She awakens the spirits, which is where all those crystals basically cover Arendelle, and by awakening and angering the spirits, things go crazy. In Arendelle, there are big gusts of wind, there’s water, there’s earth, things are tumbling. So everyone has to go up into the caves on the Highlands to escape it. So Elsa goes on this journey, and she does eventually go into this enchanted forest. We’ll talk about the enchanted forest in a second, but I’m just going to skip straight ahead to when she gets to Ahtohallan because that to me is the biggest moment in this entire film. It is beautiful. It is stunning. The music, the animation is some of the most beautiful and stunning and mesmerizing that Disney animation has done. They have really stepped up their game. I mean, you look at the big scene, “Let It Go,” from Frozen and compare it to this. And man, there is a huge improvement. “Let It Go” is still fantastic and amazing. But wow, everything about Ahtohallan and this song was incredible. And I really, really loved the different transformation that Elsa goes through. In the first film, she has her hair all tied up in a bun.
In the second film, she lets it go, and she’s like, I’m just going to partially let it go into a braid. And then Elsa’s final evolution (Pokemon reference) is where she lets her hair down. And it’s really to be a representation that she is no longer held back by anything in the world. She has found out who she is. She has found her purpose. I really liked that metaphor, that analogy, just through the visualization of the hair. And I love the dress that she transforms into this movie. It’s white, and it has sort of this rainbow cape. So good, so good. But again in Ahtohallan, you realize it’s a big moment for Elsa and she’s kind of realizing what’s happening. It wasn’t quite clear in that scene that she had essentially become like a goddess or the fifth spirit. She’s the physical embodiment of a spirit, and she is the bridge between the spiritual world and the four spirits and then the physical world. So she is in the middle of that. I feel like when I saw it, I just sort of thought, “Oh, Elsa’s transformed into her powers, and she’s found out who she truly is, and it’s good.”
So that wasn’t a hundred percent clear to me. So let’s move on to Anna. As I said, Anna in this movie, she’s really content with what’s happening. She has a good relationship with Kristoff, and she’s happy, and of course, Elsa’s going away and she’s not going to let her sister abandon her again. So she and the rest of the gang come along. But Elsa being Elsa, she does abandon Anna yet again. The two of them together realize what really did happen in this clash long ago. If you recall when their father was very, very young, he went with their grandfather, and there was sort of a meeting of these Arendellians and the Northuldra, which are the native people. And they came together. The grandpa built this big dam, and it was supposed to be something amazing for both people. Right? So they went to the enchanted forest where all the spirits were, and then something happened where there was a big clash. Well, it turns out it was the grandfather, and he actually turned on them, and as a result, everyone was trapped inside. He ends up falling off a bluff and dying, so we don’t end up getting a lot of redemption for him. It just is what it is, and that’s what happened. And I think that’s okay. I guess he’s what you could consider the film’s villain, but not really because it was so long ago. It was so in the past. And Anna, when she does realize what had happened and that the dam really is creating problems between the spiritual world and the people, she realized that this is not right. This is not okay. And so she ends up after she thinks that Elsa dies, which that is just a completely heartbreaking, heart-wrenching scene. I feel like that song, The Next Right Thing, is going to resonate with so many people. I felt the song itself is very Broadway. It doesn’t have a very typical flow and stanza. It’s choppy, and she’s just really trying to get through it. And it does build and grow. But I like that moment because there are times where you don’t know what you’re going to do next and life sucks. And she realizes, you know what, I just need to put one foot in front of the other, and I know what I got to do and it’s what’s right. Even though there may be major consequences, in this case, completely destroying Arendelle in the process. So I really like that, but obviously Anna really is outshined by Elsa in this movie. And now let’s go talk about Kristoff. I loved Kristoff in this movie. I feel like Kristoff was okay in the other one, and you like him and he’s cute and he’s really funny, and we really wish that he got a song that was a real song and not Reindeers Are Better Than People, but in this movie, he gets a song. And I think the song is what really makes you love him even more because oh guys, it is the most epic eighties power ballad. Think Chicago. Think You’re The Inspiration. Think Glory of Love. It’s not only just the song itself, but it’s also the visuals. I love that there was one moment where he’s looking at the camera, and then there are superimposed another version of his face facing away, very, very classic eighties editing style. And the singing reindeer are just a hoot. So, so funny. And I am obsessed with that song. I think I’ve probably listened to it about a hundred times at this point, and I am not even kidding. And it’s really funny because if you just listen to the song on its own, it’s so serious. But if you pair it with the visuals, it’s a very, very funny number.
So it kind of loses the gravity of how Kristoff feels. And so Kristoff in this movie, he’s just trying to propose to Anna, and I said this in my other review, that he’s just doing a poor job at it, and it really makes me question how these two are going to do as a couple going forward. It still has me very concerned that they have been together three years at this point and they still have tons of miscommunication. She gets all defensive all the time and as I said, I really thought that they were going to take this down the road of, “Hey, maybe you’re not my true love,” and we grow apart. That’s what they kind of ended up doing with Ana Elsa in totally a different way. It’s that, “Hey, we grow up and we go on different paths,” which is totally normal for siblings. I think of me and my siblings, we’re grown up, we don’t live in the same place and we’re not armed to arm all the time. And so I think that’s totally fine because it allows them to grow into their own people. But with Anna and Kristoff, it’s either you’re all in, you’re together, you will be linked at the hip, or you’re not. And so throughout, he’s trying to propose to her and does a horrible job at it. And I understand why they did it at the end, the proposal where it’s, he doesn’t need anything big or fancy. He just needs to get down on one knee and do it. But it really felt out of place. Like Elsa, we thought she was dead. She just saved the town. She’s come back, and it’s like, “Whoa, Elsa, what happened? Are you a goddess now?” And the only reason I say Elsa goddess is because all over the internet people are posting leaked photos of goddess Elsa. And I’m like, I don’t think she’s a goddess, but let me know, you think she’s a goddess now? It just felt like kind of a weird moment for him to propose.
For me, I was just underwhelmed, which that’s the point. It was a very simple proposal. And then we have Olaf, and Olaf is so, so funny in this movie. I really used to be an Olaf hater and was very anti-Disney sidekicks. But I’ve been re-watching Frozen, and he is hilarious, and he is fun. And he really balances the film out with so much humour because Elsa is just like weighty and heavy. And this film is much more serious than the original. It’s basically focusing on the themes of colonization and leaving your family and people dying. So yeah, there’s a lot. And so he’s focused on this idea of maturing, and he has really really funny moments. And I really think one of the best parts is when they first get into the enchanted forest, they meet the Arendellians and Northuldra, and they’re like, “What’s happened? Tell us.” And he basically does this reenactment of the events of the first Frozen movie. And it’s so comedic and funny, and the reactions of the audience are really the reactions of what we as an audience, the Hans reveal. They’re like, “No!” And then he does it again later. So that was really fun. And he does have a song, but to me it was kind of total throwaway song. We didn’t need it, but that’s just me. Now let’s talk about the new characters. We have the Northuldra, and basically Lieutenant Mattias representing the Arendellians. And unfortunately, they also are kind of throwaway characters. The Northuldra has three main characters. There’s Yelana, there’s Ryder, and there’s Honeymaren. But they are in so few scenes that its kind of like what the point. They have names just because it’s great to name your characters, but they do nothing to the plot, and they are totally pointless.
And then there’s Mattias, and he has maybe a little bit of a growth where he has to come to terms with what the grandfather did, who he was sworn to serve and doing the next right thing. So he does have to make a choice where he was sworn to uphold everything that the grandfather did and Arendelle, which means supporting the dam. And then Ana comes to him at the very end and says, “No, we have to destroy it.” And in that moment he makes a decision. And so there is a little bit of growth, but it’s kind of like, cool, great. And the way that they go about it is like him and the other Arendellian soldiers, they’re banging on their shields to get the attention of the trolls so they throw more of their rocks. However, they were already chasing Ana. So I’m not really sure that it was needed. It was more just to draw even more attention to like, “Yes, we’re on your side.” It was a cool moment when they’re banging on those shields, but not a hundred percent needed.
So the next I want to talk about in this movie are the four spirits, right? So there are the four elemental spirits of nature, which is water, wind, fire, and earth. And they are manifested in different ways. And this is what totally confused me when I was watching the film. There is the wind, Gale, which literally is the wind. Okay, so that makes sense. And then there’s the Nokk, the water horse, which, okay, that makes sense. You’re a horse made of water, so you’re representing water. And then there’s the salamander that’s able to run around and create havoc with fire. And then Elsa’s really able to tame him, and he’s fine. And then the last one is the giants. And so what I really didn’t understand was that the giants were the fourth spirit. Where all of these other ones were individual things, we have one thing of wind, we have one water horse, we have one salamander, and the giants, we have just a whole bunch of them. I feel to make consistency with the movie, they should have had one giant because one giant could’ve still destroyed the dam on his own. It really wasn’t clear until later that they were the fourth spirit. And maybe this goes back to the underlying mythology. I know there’s this short called Myth: A Frozen Tale, which talks about the mythology and sort of the different creatures, but that has not really been released to the public. Maybe these are grounded in truth or real myths and stories, but for me, it didn’t really make sense. Am I the only one who felt this way? Let me know in the comments. Okay.
So the last little bit that I’m going to talk about is the parents. So we have Queen Iduna and King Agnarr. King Agnarr, for the most part, I mean, he’s just there at the beginning to set the stage for the clash between these two groups and say, “Hey, and then I was the only survivor, so I was King.” He doesn’t do much beyond that. We’re really focusing more on the mother, which I think is really exciting. And the big reveal is that she’s Northuldra, which is huge. And so I kind of was confused as to why she had to sing this song kind of cryptically. The song All Is Found is her giving Elsa, “Hey, this is actually where you can go to find all the answers.” And it wasn’t clear if all Northuldra knows about this or it was just something that she knew about. Because when Elsa goes to Ahtohallan, she hears the mother’s voice, and so you’re like, “Wait, is the mother like a goddess? Is the mother a spirit? Is she alive? Was she something more than that?” And so I was very, very confused as what was the mom. It’s clear that she’s dead because when they go and they find the boat and they freeze the water to find what happened to her that they died, but then they go back and then you’re hearing her voice. And I’m like, “What?” Yeah. So with the mom, I think there’s just way too many unanswered questions that get brought up because of the mom because she was Northuldra and he was Arendellian. Is that necessarily why Elsa was the bridge between these things, like the spirit world and the physical world? If that’s the case, then why not Anna? And I know that Anna in this is representing the physical world and Elsa is the spiritual world, right? The sisters very much juxtapose each other in that way. But why one and not the other? And if the mother knew about all of this stuff and they were going to Ahtohallan, why didn’t they take Elsa with them? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Elsa to be there to discover what’s happening and the true reason? At the end of the day, Queen Iduna was just a normal Northuldra, and these are stories that all Northuldra know. So overall I really liked this movie. I thought the songs were really good, but not quite as iconic as the first one. Now I have been listening to them quite a lot, and they have grown on me. But Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez did a fantastic job, and there are some real standouts. To me, those are Into the Unknown, Show Yourself, and Lost In the Woods. So regarding the themes in this movie, I think, as I’ve talked about, there’s the theme of growing apart, that you go on your separate paths.
There’s also a theme of sort of colonization, right? Where the Arendellians are going into kind of native peoples’ land, and they try to colonize, and that doesn’t go over too well. There’s also Olaf’s theme, which is growing up, right, and maturity. And I think that goes back to the theme of, as you grow up, you grow apart sometimes, and that’s okay. You can be on different paths and still support each other and be sisters and be family. So just real quick, a few of my other favourite standout highlight moments was the Nokk. Anytime that horse was on camera, I was absolutely mesmerized. It has this waterfall mane. We had an interview with one of the animators, and he was talking about what it was actually one of the most multipart of the film because it’s a horse made of water that’s inside water, so that’s pretty cool. And just the visual of Elsa riding this mythical horse is just so cool to me. So I can’t wait to do my ranking of the top Disney horses, because this guy is definitely at the top for me. So at the end of the movie, Elsa lives in the woods. I don’t much like it, but I understand why she is kind of the bridge between the spiritual world and whatnot. She’s the fifth spirit, so she needs to live in a place where she can be by the spirit. So she basically gets rid of the crown, and Anna is now queen, and Anna, she looks like a very old matronly queen. I did not love Ana’s look. I was like, “Woo, what does this like 20 years from now?” She has her hair in the Elsa bun. I was like, no, you can be a cool queen, you can be hip.
So at the end of the day, I absolutely love this movie. There are still tons of unanswered questions, and I feel like even though I’ve had a week and a half to think about it, I’m still confused about certain things that happened here, and maybe it’s because I’m not supposed to look into it that hard, but it bothered me. And I do have a lot of unanswered questions, so if you want to check out that video, check it out right here. All in all, I give Frozen 2 four and a half stars.