April 22, 2020
(The 2020 opening is shown, before cutting to NC in his room)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. (The Rotten Tomatoes audience rating for Frozen II, which is shown to be 92%, is shown next to NC as he curiously looks at it) What am I missing, guys? (Another image is shown next to NC, showing the news report that reveals Frozen II is the highest-grossing animated film ever) What am I missing, guys?
(We are shown a scene of Olaf acting out the first movie's story in front of a large crowd, specifically the moment Elsa is setting up her ice castle)
Olaf: (imitating Elsa) Ice palace for one! Ice palace for one! (suddenly mimics getting mad) Get out, Anna!
(He mimics Elsa shooting ice from her hands. NC is even more curious and confused)
NC: What am I missing, guys?!
(The title for Frozen II is shown, before showing clips)
NC (vo): I make it no secret I really enjoyed Disney's very loose (A caption pops up, saying "Loose = No Connection") telling of The Snow Queen with Frozen in 2013. But the film became such a hit that people quickly turned against it, claiming it was overplayed, over-hyped, over-exploited, even acquiring this reaction when "Let It Go" starts playing.
(A scene from a film is shown briefly, showing a man screaming and smashing his head on a piece of wood. Back to Frozen II)
NC (vo): So how did so many people rooting against it end up liking it, and how did people like me who really liked the first one...
(Another scene is shown, showing Olaf mimicking Elsa's vocal call to the Voice in a loud, over-the-top manner. NC is once again confused)
NC: What am I missing, guys?!?
NC (vo): I guess, to my credit, I'm not exactly alone. Mere seven years after the original, several critics found the movie (The Rotten Tomatoes critics' score is superimposed, revealed to be 77% (the audience score is 92%)) less than a worthy follow-up.
(We then cut to an image of a comedian dressed as Elsa is shown with the caption, "I think the plot to this movie might be REALLY bad")
NC (vo): Even some comedians enjoy taking a shot at it.
(More footage is shown)
NC (vo): But I've heard so many fans say they not only liked this film, but they like it even more than the first. I usually understand when something I don't like is a big hit, like the Transformer and Twilight movies, I can't stand, but I get why they gather an audience. But this one, I'll admit, I'm a little in the dark about. I mean, yeah, the kids are obviously gonna like it 'cause it's a sequel to one of the things they've watched a million times, but adults getting into it even more than the first one? To quote another Disney CG character...
(A clip from Toy Story is shown)
Hamm: I don't get it.
NC (vo): So this review is less me pointing out why I think it doesn't work.
(The caption "BULLSHIT!" appears below NC with the sound of a buzzer)
NC: Oh, you know me too well! But I also want to understand why people like it.
NC (vo): The same way I ask you to understand my point of view, I think it's important to understand other people's point of view, too. So I'm gonna try to get an idea why this film won so many people over. Let's try to understand...
(Another scene is shown, showing a kid grabbing Olaf's carrot nose and sticking it into her nose)
NC: Let's...just...try to understand. This is Frozen II.
(The film opens in the past, showing a younger Anna and Elsa being told a story by their father, King Agnarr)
NC (vo): We open once again with Anna and Elsa as children playing with snowy in-jokes as their father, played this time by Alfred Molina, tells them about a real enchanted forest he came across in his youth.
King Agnarr: It was protected by the most powerful spirits of all.
NC: (as Agnarr) The spirits of front-loaded cramming!
NC (vo): Seriously, this film squeezes a lot into two minutes, which I would see as a major problem, but seeing how that's double the time...
(Cut to the opening scene of...)
NC (vo): ...Dolittle gave, I guess I could be a bit more lenient.
(We cut back to Frozen II as the front-loaded cramming is shown)
NC (vo): To sum up, there was a truce between the people of the Enchanted Forest, utilized the forest's gifts of earth, fire, wind and water, (A quick shot of Ma-Ti shouting "Heart!" is superimposed) and the Kingdom of Arendelle. Suddenly, the people of the forest randomly attack.
NC: (sarcastically) I'm positive that's how the story's gonna stay.
NC (vo): The King is killed, now making Anna and Elsa's father the ruler and a mist covers the land, not letting anyone in or out.
Young Anna (Hadley Gannaway): Whoa, Papa! That was epic!
NC: (as Anna) I like the part where Grandpa died! That was cool! (nods)
NC (vo): I mean it, too, when I say I'm summing up. Despite it being two minutes, here's an idea of how much they cram into that short timespan.
(While the words "HERE'S EVERYTHING I DIDN'T GET TO" are displayed at the bottom of the screen, the montage is shown)
King Agnarr: (narrating) King Runeard built them a mighty dam... / The fighting enraged the spirits... / Can someone save me? / I wish I knew who it was. / The spirits then vanished. / But the forest could wake again.
NC: Now, in fairness, the first film was pretty front-loaded, too...
(Footage of the first film's opening is shown)
NC (vo): ...including, let's be honest, a lot of stuff that didn't make sense, but a lot of people went with because, well, fairy tale rules. Logic's kept low so you can focus on the simplicity yet relatability of the characters and problems. It's something you can easily fit in a storybook.
(We then cut back to footage of the opening montage in the second movie)
NC (vo): I don't envy the people that tried to sum this movie up in a storybook. It's like a season of Avatar squished into a movie. (A shot of the poster for The Last Airbender is superimposed) You know the punchline, but I'm getting ahead of myself. The exposition is still going!
Queen Iduna (Evan Rachel Wood): (to Anna and Elsa) My mother would sing a song about a special river called Ahtohallan. That was said to hold all the answers about the past.
NC: (as Anna) Are we gonna be tested on this? 'Cause you're talking like we're gonna be tested on this.
Iduna: (singing) Where the north winds...
NC (vo): The mother sings a really pretty song about the river, and honestly, I felt like the movie was gonna get back on track here. You know, with the songs driving the story, atmosphere, and characters' emotions. Cut to years later, though, as Queen Elsa, voiced again by Adele Dazeem (An image of a winking John Travolta is superimposed briefly), seems to have her kingdom and her powers under control. Even Olaf is given permafrost so he doesn't melt away. Trust me, you'll regret that's in.
Anna (Kristen Bell): I'm not alone anymore. (sings) Yes, the wind blows a little bit colder...
NC: (startled) Oh! Okay. (becomes nervous) Didn't we just...
(The scene of Iduna's song is shown again)
NC (vo): ...have a song?
(We cut back to Anna's song ("Some Things Never Change"))
NC (vo): How much time has passed since the last one? (The words "ONE MINUTE" pop up in yellow) A minute.
NC: Okay, okay, well, if it's an essential song, I understand. Uh, what's it about?
NC (vo): How everything's fine. Like, really fine. Like, this is a song you would hear in one of those Frozen shorts. (A shot of the poster for Frozen Fever is superimposed) Not a seven-year-in-development movie. It's light, doesn't explore much, not funny or inventive, and I'd probably be more forgiving of it if we didn't just hear another song!!
NC: But again, rocky start. I mean, we're not even a third in, and the film's not awful, it's just a little underwhelming.
NC (vo): Let's see what new developments we have with the characters. Well, Elsa hears a voice calling to her, and while she's comfortable with her kingdom and her abilities, she can't help but feel an unease, like there's something more. Like there's something after happily ever after.
NC: (shrugs) Complex; I like it. What's Anna up to?
NC (vo): Well, she wants to support Elsa...
NC: ...aaaand we're good.
(Cut to a clip of the earlier Frozen)
NC (vo): Yeah, it's interesting how different they were in the first one, which actually helped teach very different lessons: how to not wear your heart on your sleeve, but how to also not be too closed off.
(Cut back to the current movie)
NC (vo): Here, she [Anna] just kind of follows Elsa and is constantly in her shadow.
(A montage of clips is shown of Anna)
Anna: (to Elsa) You are not going alone. / (to Elsa) Promise me we do this together.
(The next part of the montage shows Anna and Kristoff's dialogue overlapping one another)
Kristoff: Simple... No-Not in any recent time will we die...
Anna: I swore that I wouldn't leave her side!
(One more clip shows Anna pleading with Elsa)
Anna: Let me help you, please!
NC (vo): In fact, the happy ending is, she takes over where Elsa left off. Had the movie focused on her maybe being too carefree and not wanting to change, maybe this would have been a good arc, but A) if that's really what that song is supposed to be, that's a really weak way of doing it, and B) she seems very accepting of everything that comes her way. If she didn't want to go on the journey or not get involved where they feel they don't belong, maybe that could have created some conflict. But wherever Elsa goes, she goes, so it doesn't feel like there's a ton of growth.
NC: (gasps, then smiles, wide-eyed) Ooh, but she does freak out at Kristoff a lot!
Kristoff: (to Anna) In case we die...
Anna: (alarmed, grabbing Kristoff by his shirt) You think we're gonna die?!
Kristoff: (flustered) No! No, no, no!
(Footage of the first movie is shown again, this time focusing on Kristoff)
NC (vo): Yeah, let's talk about him. In the first film, he's not super-complex, but he does his role fine. He wants to help get his business back. He talks to his reindeer because he doesn't have many human friends. He's not always the brightest, but he's practical and competent enough to help out on any journey.
(Now cut to Kristoff in the second film)
NC (vo): In this film, he wants to propose to Anna...
NC: ...aaaaaand we're good.
(Cut to footage of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 4)
NC (vo): The same way a great character like Buzz Lightyear was reduced down to one bad running joke in Toy Story 4...
(Cut back again to Kristoff)
NC (vo): ...Kristoff is insultingly forced into this story the same way. He wants to propose, it backfires, and he tries again. He wants to propose, it backfires, he tries again.
(In the movie, Anna is thinking about Elsa while Kristoff holds up a ring to her while kneeling behind her, but she doesn't see him)
Anna: That last word really seemed to throw her...
(Cut to another scene, as Anna and Kristoff embrace and he discreetly takes out a ring)
Kristoff: Under different circumstances...
Anna: (pulling away) You mean like with someone else?
(Now cut to them in the sleigh as he again pulls out the ring from his person)
Kristoff: I said you'd have to be crazy to want to marry a man you just met.
Anna: Wait, what? Crazy?
(The footage slows way down as the camera zooms in on her)
Anna: (very slowly and deeply) You think I'm crazy?
NC: And the funny thing is, Disney has actually done this cliche before, and surprisingly well.
(Footage of The Rescuers Down Under is shown, focusing on the plot point of Bernard's struggles to propose to Miss Bianca)
NC (vo): In The Rescuers Down Under, a criminally underrated movie, Bernard does the exact same thing: he tries to propose, it backfires, he tries again. But he's also shy, an over-thinker, has low self-esteem, is afraid of everything, but bravely does what needs to be done. There's more to him outside of this one joke, so we're rooting for him and sigh every time it doesn't go well.
(We go back to Frozen II again, with the footage once again focusing on Kristoff)
NC (vo): Kristoff has no other traits outside of this joke that's over... (The poster for The Rescuers Down Under is shown) When did The Rescuers Down Under come out? (The caption "1990" is shown) ...29 years old! It's almost like Frozen was a self-contained movie, and they had no idea what to do with these characters after they served their purpose!
NC: It doesn't even make me want to see them together.
NC (vo): With Anna exploding at him all the time, it honestly shows how not compatible they are.
NC: Truth be told, Anna and Elsa...
NC (vo): ...actually have more chemistry.
(That night, after playing a game of charades, Anna and Elsa speak with each other in their bedroom)
Anna: When are you going to see yourself the way I see you?
NC (vo): You know...
NC: (shifts his eyes around awkwardly) ...sisterly chemistry.
Elsa: What would I do without you?
Anna: You'll always have me.
NC: (still having an awkward expression) Totally...just...sisterly chemistry.
(Anna and Elsa slowly get into bed and snuggle close to each other. As this moment plays, NC becomes slightly freaked out and a haunting choir is heard in the background)
Anna: Cuddle close. Scooch in. (sings) There's a river...
Both: (singing) Full of memory.
Elsa: I know what you're doing. (Anna chuckles)
(NC, still looking freaked out, takes out his cell phone and starts dialing a number before waiting for the phone to answer)
Deep voice: This is Disney.
NC: DeviantArt doesn't need any more fuel.
Deep voice: Okay, thanks.
NC: No problem. (hangs up)
(In the middle of the night, Elsa awakens upon hearing a mysterious singing voice, and starts walking through the castle and eventually outside as she expresses her thoughts in the song, "Into the Unknown")
NC (vo): Okay, but 100% due credit, the one thing that is consistently good in this is Elsa. Not only does she have the best story with a mystery that sucks you in, but, big surprise, her songs are really fucking awesome.
Elsa: (singing) Into the unknown!
NC (vo): Despite them definitely having a "Let It Go" vibe...honestly, I'd be shocked if they didn't do that...
(We are briefly shown Elsa's other big solo number later in the film, "Show Yourself")
Elsa: (singing) Here I am...
(Then cut to "Let It Go" from the first film for comparison)
Elsa: (singing) Here I stand...
NC (vo): ...they're still good songs; emotional, big, and further her journey, both physically and emotionally. Though, am I the only one who thinks the voice calling her is the melody of "Jack's Lament" from Nightmare Before Christmas?
(We hear said singing voice calling to Elsa, then cut to a verse from "Jack's Lament" from The Nightmare Before Christmas; the verse's melody does slightly match the calling voice)
Jack Skellington: (singing) Oh, somewhere deep...
(A clip from Rat Race is shown)
Randy Pear (Jon Lovitz): Oh, my God! You should sue somebody.
(We go back to the "Into the Unknown" sequence, showing Elsa standing outside the castle's balcony)
Elsa: (singing) Into the unknown...!
NC (vo; as an angry neighbor): SHUT UP! IT'S 3 AM!
NC: I can't take credit for that. I got it here.
(The drawing of NC's joke is shown to be credited to Brianna Garcia, who is then shown in a photo next to Doug Walker)
NC (vo): Check her stuff out. It's kind of amazing. Link here. (The caption "BriannaCherryGarcia.Tumblr.com." is shown)
(We then cut back to the movie, as Elsa investigates what's going on)
NC (vo): Anywho, it seems like the voice and Elsa are connected, as the elements start rampaging Arendelle, and Elsa evacuates everyone. When Anna asks what's going on, Elsa says she has a feeling...nay, an intuition about what all this is–
Elsa: I woke the magical spirits at the Enchanted Forest.
NC: Or she knows exactly.
(Suddenly, the rock trolls appear on the scene)
Troll: Kristoff! (hugs him)
NC (vo; as Grand Pabbie): Don't worry, we don't have a song this time.
(The Grand Pabbie conjures up an image of the dam, with the two clans at war with each other)
Grand Pabbie: The past is not what it seems. A wrong demands to be righted.
NC: (as Grand Pabbie) And when I say "righted", I mean... (hesitates, then slaps the back of his hand)