I heard the songs before I saw the movie. I think that helped me form the opinion I did. Because when I saw the original Frozen, I really didn’t like it. I found the songs to be so “I have to burst into song instead of talkiiiiing!!!” cringe, that I actually felt embarrassed watching it. It was more like a musical than a Disney movie from the song point of view.
After the music of the first grew on me, (and I like most of the songs), it was okay, but nothing special. I thought the ending was utterly flat, and much preferred the suggestion I read (here?) of a wanna build a snowman reprise after Anna is frozen.
Anyway, the story to this is far more superior and fleshed out. Tbh I can’t even believe they managed to get a second story made; Elsa is a bit of a difficult character to write for. She’s a single princess with only a younger sister to bounce off of regarding character relationships.
She has magical powers in a seemingly otherwise normal Scandinavian town in the mid 1800s. What the fuck do you do with that that isn’t utterly preposterous, but also captures the imagination of a seven year old?
I thought the music was stunning. Like I said, I was listening to it in the car with my kids before I saw the film, and “ah ahhhh ah ah ahh” is fucking stuck in my head nearly every day. It’s managed to replace The Little Mermaid’s melody as more poignant and beautiful in my Disney fan mind. I can’t help but sing a few lines here and there throughout the day, and my 5 year old son never stops. The high notes are enchanting to both him and me.
Giving Elsa two songs was a good decision. Nothing was going to challenge Let it Go for impact, so instead there are two.... no, make that three separate melodies that are all in the same key and interwoven throughout the film.
The lullaby in particular is a lovely original, short tune. And when the animations hit with that crescendo after the spirits during Show Yourself, it’s proper chilling. It’s Circle of Life shit for me; it’s arranged so well. When I first saw the music video, all that, coupled with the expressions they managed to animate on her face, I just got a huge lump in my throat. That song is a really fucking complete piece of music. Remarkably good.
And the other songs don’t fall flat at all. When Kristoff’s song first came on in the car I was like, Jesus...have they dropped the ball. Then the chorus hit and the style clicked, and it’s brilliant. I actually laughed during the movie.
Even Olof’s song was as good as his other. Plus the movie opening sequence was realistic, believable, and helped set a bond between him and Anna that was important for later on.
For the First Time in Forever is provably my favourite song of the original film, so the fact their version of it in this wasn’t naff is a pretty big achievement.
In summary, this could have been shit. But it wasn’t. And I’d rather watch it than the first.
Sure, a lot of that is down to how the music really moves me, but that just means they paced it perfectly and stayed genuine to the characters and story they’d written. I enjoyed the story. I thought the whole thing was a bit of a triumph for a sequel to one of the most, if not, the most popular franchise out there.
My son is Frozen mad. And nothing makes my him happier now than when I start singing these songs with him. So they nailed it.
And if I’m honest, it’s not just the music. It’s the lyrics, and the whole idea that those songs are for a parent and their child. I can’t deny the lyrics to Show Yourself hit a nerve regarding my personality and mental health and maybe ASD/ADD/ADHD, and that my kid is likely the same because I can comfort him in a way no one else can. Being together with people is the only way to cope with life, so that airy fairy, twinkly sparkly, fucking namby pamby Disney bullshit message hit me straight in the guts