Part of maturity is embracing changes in our lives, yet some of us fear it because we don’t know the exact outcome. This fear of change is an important lesson of Frozen II, making it a movie not just for kids.
Fear of change was a constant theme throughout the Frozen sequel. In the song “Some Things Never Change,” each character’s deepest desires were shown — or rather, sang about.
Ana wants everything to stay the same, Elsa questions who she is, Kristoff is hopelessly in love, and of course, Olaf is having an existential crisis. These elements, paired with the stories of the Sami people of Northern Europe, packed the movie with emotions beyond expectations.
Aspects of Olaf’s narrative point to his existential crisis. He questions “the notion that nothing is permanent,” relating it to age and maturity. As we mature, we grow to have a sense of freedom that we use gratuitously. Of course, with this freedom comes the responsibility of accepting the consequences it brings. This can be overwhelming for people, developing into existential anxiety, which is where one questions the meaning of life and choices.
Crisis of freedom and responsibility is one thing, but Kristoff goes through a different change. Kristoff’s hopeless romanticism took the audience back to the 80s with his power ballad “Lost in the Woods.” It was complete with face zooms and background reindeer singers — it was like REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore.” Seriously — search it up.
The point being made with Kristoff’s love for Ana is a feeling we are all familiar with: emotional turmoil.
He begins to question his relationship with Ana — the only character development he had in the movie. He says that he is “Lost in the Woods,” because he feels distant from his girlfriend.
Research has shown that falling in love is similar to drug addiction — people may feel flushed and intoxicated and get sweaty palms when they see their significant other. Studies have also shown that love can literally break your heart.
According to the American Heart Association, the medical term for a broken heart is stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome. It has similar symptoms to a heart attack — irregular beat and shortness of breath.
Experiencing these effects the first time is overwhelming because there are so many changes a person feels all at once, and this is exactly what Kristoff was feeling.
Elsa sets the story in motion by following the sound she hears to the north of Arendelle. She questions who she is and why she has ice powers. When she sings, “Into the Unknown,” it wakes the spirits of the past who begin to haunt the kingdom of Arendelle. To stop them, Elsa, Ana, Kristoff and Olaf must travel north towards the calls that Elsa hears.
When we begin to fear change, we start looking at who we are as a person. Knowing your own cultural background can help in developing your self-identity. The stories and history of one’s past can bridge your own understanding of yourself and your unique sense of belonging. This situation is what was happening to Elsa because she begins to wonder who she is and why she keeps hearing a distant call.
Elsa and Ana go through changes after finding out who they really are, changes that make both of them more resilient people. When we are in a turmoil of existential dread, it is through knowing our own history that we find ourselves again. After all, humans are social beings, therefore we crave connection, belonging and attachment.
And last but not least, the encompassing theme of changes after the death of a loved one was also prevalent in the movie. Kristen Bell, voice actor of Ana, did a stellar job of singing “The Next Right Thing.” After experiencing great loss, Ana couldn’t muster the energy to keep going.
The animation alone captured the moment perfectly, and the emotions it brought forward were not typical of Disney. With lyrics like “Hello Darkness, I’m ready to succumb,” you know that this moment wasn’t just for younger viewers.
The loss of a loved one is a change that is hard to describe. Death can make you sad and angry, questioning the good of people or of the world. It begins with asking why life is so unfair, and you are left in the darkness by yourself. But death works in mysterious ways. It may take you weeks or years to notice, but within the darkness are specks of light, and soon enough the sun will rise and you will find solace.
Frozen II, with its theme of fear of change weaved into the animation, is full of emotions that older viewers can relate to. Whether that’s existential crisis, falling in love, questioning your self-identity or losing a loved one, changes are inevitable and we must embrace them.