A big thank you to my Sister In Law, Sally, who graciously offered her review for Frozen 2 when I was able to attend the local screenings. She and her husband Wallace have offered guests posts in the past (like this great number on the St. Augustine Distillery) and I was excited to have her point of view on the movie. Frozen was Red’s first movie in a theatre, so we’re all excited to ride our reindeer to the theatre to see the new installment. If you’re held back by earthly elements, be sure to bring Olaf into your home with a Frozen in Summer celebration cake while you wait! Take it away, Sally!
As someone who doesn’t research movies before she sees them, I had no idea what to expect when I sat down to watch Frozen 2. I loved the theme of empowerment that I felt from the first movie and expected something similar, but I got way more than I anticipated. Not only does this movie have two strong sisters who continuously move the plot forward, but we get to see personal transformation via their strengths, as well. Anna and Elsa are women who work together as well as independently to rule their kingdom in the best way they know how. Furthermore, the visuals in this movie are beautiful, the songs are catchy, and the story is engaging, bolstering the unexpected themes.
Frozen 2 Trailer
Respecting the Sami People
What I was most surprised by in this movie though was the intention with which we (as the audience) were introduced to the real-life indigenous people of the land, The Sami (read more here about how Disney entered a contract with them to keep their Scandinavian culture protected and appreciated). These indigenous people are a minority that is not often depicted in popular culture and I am pleased with Disney for the way they carefully represented a culture that can still be a mystery to so many. It is the interactions displayed between the two cultures that struck me and have stuck with me since I saw the film.
(From Left to Right) HONEYMAREN – A member of the Northuldra, Honeymaren is a true free spirit and wants nothing more than to bring peace to the enchanted forest. She is bold and brave, with a reverence for the magic of nature. RYDER – Eager and fun, Honeymaren’s brother Ryder embraces life with optimism. Ryder’s love of reindeer might just rival Kristoff’s – but unlike Kristoff, Ryder has never roamed the great plains outside of the Enchanted Forest. He longs to embrace the world and venture beyond the magical mist. YELANA – The unspoken leader of the nomadic Northuldra. She is fiercely protective of her family and community but is known to soften when people show an understanding of nature and their environment.
It is impossible to represent indigenous people properly without acknowledging the role that white settlers have played in the suppression of these beautiful cultures. Disney takes a step towards acknowledging the faults of our ancestors with Frozen II. The story helps us all to realize that it is possible to recognize the roles that our ancestors have played and taken actions to mend fractured relationships. I saw reconciliation as the core theme of this sequel. My hope is that this theme of reconciliation becomes second-nature to the children growing up with Elsa and Anna. We don’t always get it right, and that is ok because we should always be learning and growing from our mistakes and the mistakes of others and making choices to make our future better. If this is the first step in Disney acknowledging something like this, I hope that it prompts people to continue that journey and that Disney continues to make strides in its cultural awareness in more movies moving forward.