Frozen is the highest grossing animated movie of all time in the worldwide box office. And when it comes to merchandise, it’s tough to compete with the Frozen franchise. I’m not even sure we’ve all recovered from all of the hype surrounding the first Frozen movie, yet here we are, a week away from Frozen 2 hitting theaters. If you’ve seen the previews you can probably deduct that the movie is taking a darker and edgier spin. But is Frozen 2 scary for young kids? Well my kids had a chance to watch the movie yesterday and we all agree this was made for an older audience. But it may still be ok for your kiddos. Read on for more of our spoiler-free review, and what you should know before taking your kids to see Frozen 2.
Overall Frozen 2 review (no spoilers)
I went into this movie not knowing what to expect. I avoided trailers and only saw one during the Maleficent 2 previews. I wanted to go in with an open mind and average expectations. But I wonder if that put me at a disadvantage. I came out feeling like the movie was beautiful, visually stunning, hilarious, and a little confusing. There was a lot of information packed into this feature film. A little too much if you ask me. And after sitting down with my kids to discuss the movie I realize they felt the same. Actually there were plot parts that went over their heads entirely. And I’ve never seen that to this extreme, for any animated movie they’ve seen.
I’ve watched all of the trailers since, to see if they give away plot points. Perhaps Disney, knowing people would be eating those up over and over before the release, felt they could leak some plot points then go deeper during the film. Consuming the movie first, then the trailers, it’s seems as though they could be a little misleading (at least making the movie seem darker than it really is). I will say Frozen 2 changed the notion for me to not watch trailers before I see the movie. I won’t watch them over and over to analyze and predict, but I won’t avoid them either.
Even though the movie was more complicated than its predecessor, we still enjoyed it. And we plan to see it again. Actually to quote my 9-year-old “I may have to see that four more times to really understand it.”
What I loved
Frozen 2 really builds on what we loved about Frozen. There is a strong sibling bond, a focus on the family, and great music. Then they added in a lot more character development, some diversity, more humor, and a lot of mystery.
I adore how we got to see different sides of the characters we know and love. I don’t know how it was possible, but Olaf seemed even funnier. Elsa had me internally screaming “Yassss QUEEN!” and Kristoff stole my heart.
I especially loved how his character grew in this movie, he gets his own song that shows romantic love in a way we’ve never seen Disney do. And he has my two favorite lines in the entire movie. I suspect they will have every adult (at least every mom) in the theater either audibly whooping or internally bursting.
I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see a dark brown face on the big screen. And other shades of brown. I didn’t know what to expect from Sterling K. Brown’s character Lieutenant Mattias, but I was pleased with what came of it.
Not only that, but at the core of the film was a message about inclusiveness and acceptance. I very rarely cry in movies. But this aspect and the way they tied it in had me in tears. And it was extra moving with music from the original, connecting the dots and loose ends from the original.
It opens the door for conversations with our kids about loving, or at least being kind to others, despite our differences. And conversations about learning where you come from. Having an interracial family that message really hit home for me, and I hope it does the same for others.
The fact that one of the biggest franchise movies of all time made it a point to cover differences and acceptance was not lost on me.
And the movie was FUNNY. Olaf stepped it up in this movie, bringing the jokes when the bigger issues were flying over little heads. My kids audibly laughed several times during the movie which always racks up big bonus points from me. We can thank Olaf for many of those belly laughs.
This is a movie I can watch and enjoy many many times and for a long time. In fact, maybe the creators counted on that, considering the amount of information that was jammed in. We will all need to watch this as many times as we watched Frozen to really digest the story. Which leads me to what I didn’t like.
What I didn’t love
You guys, this movie was loaded. On so many levels. The last time I left a movie thinking I needed to re-watch it so I could understand it better was something along the lines of Inception, or something that included time travel. I can’t remember the last time this happened after I saw a kids movie.
I’ll admit I hadn’t watched all of the trailers and I did go to see it with my three young kids (my toddler fell asleep), which can be distracting, but I imagine many of you will as well. If one of your kids has to go to the bathroom during the movie you could come back completely lost.
I went in taking notes and still walked out questioning if I understood it correctly. My kids hardly stood a chance. More on their reviews in a bit (you’ll see they still got a lot out of it).
If I went to see this by myself, no distractions, and just enjoy it for what it is, this would easily be one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I felt some calls to Moana, (which is a favorite), but where Moana succeeded in being powerful, deep and easy for kids to follow, this movie seemed as if it was made to impress the adults. Which is fine. Just not what I expected. And something I wish I’d known going in.
Frozen 2 is incredible, don’t get me wrong. But the fact that I went to enjoy this with my children, and my children didn’t fully get it, it loses some points from me.
Is Frozen 2 scary for kids?
Ok so I’ve talked a lot about this movie being action-packed and darker than the original. But is Frozen 2 scary for kids? My big kids (6 and 9) and I all agree that this movie is not too scary for little kids. But don’t click off just yet.
There is WAY more action than the original. Intense scenes with fire, water, a tornado and some pretty huge earth giants (you can see them all all in the trailers). Some parts are a little intense, but my action-loving kids loved it. There are moments of peril as well. You know your kids best and what they can handle. My 9-year-old daughter got really sad at one point. But neither of them couldn’t retell the entire story to me after seeing it. So while it wasn’t too scary, be prepared to talk about things that may be confusing to them.
Compared to the first Frozen
It’s hard to compare Frozen 2 to the original because this one builds upon it so much. You couldn’t walk into Frozen 2 without seeing Frozen and get as much out of it. Granted Olaf has a hilarious “previously seen on Frozen” storytelling moment that is my daughter’s favorite part of the movie.
Still, I’ll do my best to (briefly) compare the two as fairly as possible. Focusing primarily on the music and plot.
The bar was set very high after Frozen and creators knew they really had to bring it with this sequel. “Into the Unknown” is obviously the “Let it Go” song of Frozen 2. And yes, you’ll have this stuck in your head after (I actually prefer the version in the end credits).
As for the other songs, they’re good. But if I’m being honest, I’m having a hard time recalling them all. Oh trust me, I know that will change as soon as the full soundtrack drops, but what I’m trying to say is I don’t think they’re as memorable as the songs in the first. They aren’t as catchy or songs I necessarily see going up in a singalong attraction at Walt Disney World anytime soon. Maybe we’ll all be thankful for that.
Also, even though I LOVE musicals, even my musical-loving self had a moment where I thought really? They’re singing AGAIN? That was just once though. In Frozen, I felt like almost all of the songs really pushed the story along. In Frozen 2 some songs felt like they were singing when they didn’t need to be singing.
I said it before and I’ll quickly say it again. I think this movie really stepped it up and raised the bar. But I think it was done at the expense of going over little heads. I suspect movie critics will LOVE Frozen 2, I think parents will find it more complicated than it needed to be for a children’s movie. But will love it as adults.
Know before you go
Ok, if you’ve made it this far, thank you. I’m going to reward you with tips to make Frozen 2 the best possible viewing experience for you and your kids.
- Re-watch the original. I know you’ve seen it a lot, I know you have it memorized, but the refresher will be good, and rewarding as you connect the dots in Frozen 2.
- Watch the trailers. If you don’t want spoilers but want to get a taste before you go, deduct as much as you can by watching these. I’ll even post the one I find most helpful here!
- Be ready to talk to your kids and see what they DID understand and fill in the blanks.
- Go to the bathroom before you head in to the movie, and don’t drink anything during it, because bathroom breaks will ruin you.
- Plan to see it more than once. I mean start saving your pennies now cause you’ll want to see it again too, and your kids are going to want all of the toys/ outfits /music they saw and heard in the movie.
- (Optional) Read some Frozen 2 plot summaries before you go if you’re worried your kids may not follow the film and that it may make them frustrated and/or ask a billion questions during the movie. I’m considering writing one to link to from this blog post. There aren’t plot-twist villains like Hans in Frozen, so you don’t need to worry about that. Here’s a little something to get you started from the studios:
Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she’ll face a dangerous but remarkable journey. In “Frozen,” Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In “Frozen 2,” she must hope they are enough.
Frozen 2 Kids review
Ok enough about my thoughts. Here’s what each of my kids said about Frozen 2. They had a lot to say. So much so that I decided to make it an entirely different post. But don’t worry, it’s already up! Click here to read a Frozen 2 kids review from my 6 and 9-year-olds.
If you read nothing else in this entire post, or skimmed through, I hope you read my kids’ Frozen 2 reviews because they both perfectly sum up what I loved about the movie, and what I didn’t like.
Definitely go see it with your kids. Heck, go see it on a girls night out. Cause it’s a movie you’ll want to discuss once it’s over and you’ll want to make sure you have someone who got it to discuss it with.
Wondering if our movie opinions are similar to yours? Read some of our other movie reviews:
Are you excited for Frozen 2? Who are you planning to watch it with?