FROZEN 2: Some Things Never Change

The Disney sequel’s Blu-ray package is packed with bonus material

Sisters Anna and Elsa return in Frozen 2 , finding their way into an enchanted forest and dealing with the environmental ramifications of a dam their grandfather built. But before their heroes’ journey begins, we are shown a happy autumn day in Arendel, with Anna (Kristen Bell) singing to her beloved snowfriend Olaf (Josh Gad) that “Some Things Never Change.” The ironically titled song that shows us, indeed, things do change, prepares the viewer for an adventure in which the sisters will annoy each other, again be separated, and have to find some solution/reparation for the decisions of their ancestor.

“The past is not what it seems,” troll Pabbie (Ciaran Hinds) warns the queen and her sister before they head to the enchanted forest of their father’s memories. Frozen 2 touches on themes of colonialism and whose stories are told and celebrated in such history. Their father witnessed a version of events as a teen, but what really happened?

Elsa’s ice castle from FROZEN shows up on the route to the enchanted forest.

Along with the recurring theme of sacrifice, Frozen 2 also deals carefully with overwhelming grief. It seems at first a heavy topic for an animated film geared towards children, but in these uncertain times, it is right that Anna’s separation anxiety and the eventual weight of her sadness are given emotional heft through her singing “The Next Right Thing.” [I recommend reading this powerful essay in SyfyWire about the importance of the song] Anna’s clinginess to Elsa is initially exasperating, but given the history between the sisters, of course the younger sister would hold close to her sibling after years of being apart… even if a period of time has passed after their reconciliation. And while Anna is determined to keep her sister close, Elsa misses taking care of things on her own. The stubborn aspect of her character once again makes an appearance as she delves into the mystery of the past.

There is intricate detail to the animation in Frozen 2; you can see the impact of the previous research and work done on the waterscapes of Moana in the waves Elsa fights her way across. In the midst of some heavy topics there’s a whimsy in the depiction of the wind and fire spirits, as well as a fantastical beauty to the icy images and symbols Elsa creates with her magic (especially during her songs,“Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself”). And Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) gets a power ballad, which apparently involved Groff recording more than a dozen harmonies with himself. There’s only one Frozen, but Frozen 2 is a powerful successor.

The Frozen 2 BluRay/DVD/digital code package releases this week. Special features include:

  • Singalong version of the film & a fun song selector which allows you to pick specific numbers from Frozen 2, with onscreen lyrics
  • “Into the Unknown” in 29 languages (if you watched the performance at the Oscars earlier this month, you got a taste of this)
  • Deleted Scenes and Songs introduced by co-directors Buck and Lee
  • Outtakes: random clips of the cast goofing off during recording sessions
  • Did You Know???: a featurette on Frozen 2 trivia which plays like something made for the Disney Channel
  • Spirits of Frozen 2: Lee, Buck and animators from Disney talk about the research into Norse mythology which inspired some of the new characters in the sequel
  • Gale tests: test animation done for the windy character of Gale, including Anna & Elsa’s mom and pop
  • Scoring a Sequel: Christophe Beck, who previously scored Frozen, discusses how he incorporated more themes from the songs by the Lopezes into this film’s score. He also talks about involving a few instruments from the Nordic region, including a gemshorn, in his arrangements.
  • Music videos from Panic! at the Disco and Weezer
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