‘Frozen 2’ Is Superior To The Original And I’m Tired Of Saying It’s Not

Why is it always seen as controversial to prefer a sequel to the original film in a series? There’s a reason everyone says Toy Story 3 is the best, or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and it’s because they’re the best film in their respective series.

Yet anytime I try to argue that Frozen 2 is superior to the original Frozen, suddenly I’m a mad woman who needs to be locked up. Is it a perfect film? Absolutely not, because Elsa’s not gay in it. Just kidding, but Frozen 2 definitely has issues. The idea of Elsa being the 5th spirit is cliche, and while Kristoff (and therefore Jonathan Groff) easily gets the best song in the series, his character is useless in the film.

However, Frozen II overall takes more risks than Frozen. It tries some weird things, adds more interesting songs, and even tackles some dark themes that you wouldn’t expect out of a Disney film. Frozen makes fun of the Disney Princess formula, yet it still plays by the book we know and love, with a few deviations from the norm.

via Walt Disney Studios

Two of the biggest criticisms against Frozen 2 are its darker tone and its songs. For the former, may I remind everyone that Toy Story 3 got a G rating even though it nearly kills Woody, Buzz, and the gang in a trash incinerator? At least Frozen 2 has a PG rating to warn parents. Also, where are the parents up in arms about Hans leaving Anna to freeze to death, or his literal attempt to behead Elsa? But suddenly we’re talking about colonialism, and now the franchise is too violent? Make it make sense.

The same people who are upset about Frozen 2 being dark are the same people who think Zootopia was too preachy. Just because a kid’s film chooses to touch on more mature and realistic scenarios doesn’t make it bad. If anything, it acknowledges how complicated real life is, and gives kids power when they’re faced with adversity. In their eyes, if Elsa and Anna can save Arendelle by going after the spirits, they can get through whatever life throws at them.

Screengrab via Walt Disney Studios

Now, the music of Frozen 2 was never going to compare in sales to “Let it Go,” and I feel like that’s an unfair judgment to make. Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez returned to write the music for the sequel, and both Jonathan Groff and Kristen Bell got solo songs when they didn’t in the original (No, “Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People” doesn’t count).

Elsa gets two amazing songs in Frozen 2 that show off her character journey throughout the movie in “Into The Unknown” and “Show Yourself,” the former being as equally catchy, if not more, than “Let it Go.” Plus Kristen Bell worked personally with the Lopez duo to make a song about facing adversity head on. The Lopezs were inspried to write “The Next Right Thing” based on the tragic passing of co-director Chris Buck’s son during the press tour for Frozen, giving it that much more meaning and emotion.

And then there’s “Lost in the Woods.” “Lost in the Woods” is a song for the parents, plain and simple. More importantly, Groff recorded 18 different vocal tracks for this song, proving that it was a mistake not to let him have a proper solo performance in the first Frozen. Do I even need to discuss the Weezer version and the accompanying music video?

There is a lot to love about the original Frozen, don’t get me wrong. But so many people feel like because Frozen 2 isn’t a perfect film, that it’s less-than by comparison. The best way to describe it: Frozen 2 has higher highs and lower lows, while Frozen is riding the middle the entire time. For some people, they prefer a film that’s the same quality throughout, and that’s fair. But to pretend like Frozen 2 is inferior because it took some big risks and not every single one paid off is discrediting those risks that did work. That being said, I’m scared of Frozen 3, and what comes next.

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