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Why The 'Frozen 2' Ending Shocked And Saddened Me, Explained

Frozen 2 Frozen II Idina Menzel Elsa Kristen Bell Anna Jonathan Groff Kristoff Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

I did it! I finally watched “Frozen 2,” and the ending was not what I expected. The sequel to the pop culture phenomenon got released late last year in November 2020. Fast forward nearly a year later, and yours truly finally got to see it (and its ending) in all of its shocking glory. It has not been for lack of interest.

The first “Frozen” is one of the best movies Disney has done, and that is saying something from someone who grew up on Disney princesses. So, why did “Frozen 2” shock me? While there are destined to be adult viewers such as myself, the “Frozen” franchise is aimed at young kids. Hence, it is surprising as heavy themes such as murder get introduced.

Please be warned Spoilers for “Frozen 2” get discussed beyond this point.

The deaths of Elsa and Anna’s parents have made death a staple of the “Frozen” franchise. However, the first movie chalked their demises up to largely natural events aside from a “Dateline” murder. In “Frozen 2,” we learn that Elsa and Anna’s grandfather murdered the leader of a magical tribe. The same mystical tribe their mother is from, thus, explaining Elsa’s magic powers.

That reveal is pretty shocking when you consider that it is mainly targeted at kids. While other Disney films have dealt with heavy themes (“Lion King,” “Mulan,” etc.), there are going to be viewers, like yours truly, who are well into adulthood. However, they are not the target audience of “Frozen 2” and its ending.

The Ending, Explained

It turns out that Elsa is the fifth element that she and Anna spend “Frozen 2” seeking alongside Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven. Thanks to Anna, a frozen Elsa (now armed with the truth) is broken free as the dam breaks thanks to Anna rousing Earth to break it. Elsa saves everyone from the ensuing flood, and in a decidedly tragic twist, Elsa and Anna get separated. Off-screen, Elsa abdicates the throne of Arendelle. 

That is right. Anna pulls a Sansa from “Game of Thrones” (that is not angering) and becomes the new Queen of Arendelle, while Elsa protects the Enchanted Forest. The sisters, once long-separated, only to get reunited in “Frozen,” find themselves torn apart again. “Frozen 2” comforts viewers with the idea of Elsa and Anna frequently visiting each other.

Frozen 2 Frozen II Sven Olaf Josh Gad Kristoff Jonathan Groff Anna Idina Menzel Elsa Kristen Bell Anna Disney
Walt Disney Pictures

Why The Ending Shocked And Saddened Me

The ending of “Frozen 2” indicates that Anna and Elsa will continue to be close. Unfortunately, they are not close enough. I am sorry, but there is no way they could be as close as they were when they were living together. After spending ten or so years apart in “Frozen,” it is tough to deal with the idea of the sisters getting split apart again.

That is not where I like to imagine their story ending. Or at least, resting until the seemingly inevitable “Frozen 3” comes into being. Anna and Elsa came so far to be together. So, why would a happy ending include them getting separated even if it was not to the extent of their separation when “Frozen” began? 

Related News

In some happy news, the best song in “Frozen 2” is unequivocally “Show Yourself.” It is bewildering as to why “Into The Unknown” got the Oscar bid over it. Like “Let It Go,” “Show Yourself” is an anthem of self-proclamation that dazzles thanks to Idina Menzel’s unearthly vocals. The scene it plays in is also powerful.

“Frozen 2” conjures a water horse, a magical transformation, and Elsa lets her braid loose with her hair flowing free. Add to that a tremendous harmonization between Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood, and you have one of the best Disney songs of all time. It is a huge mystery for Mickey Mouse to sort out why it did not lead the charge as far as soundtrack singles go.

Closing Thoughts

The ending aside, the story told in “Frozen 2” is compelling and leaves room for adults to have good conversations with their older kids. The sequel undoubtedly feels like the middle entry for a trilogy (if not more movies). It hits as a pausing point before another chapter. It is impossible to fathom Disney leaving Elsa and Anna where “Frozen 2” does. After all, this is not “Happy Death Day 2U.”

Simply put, Elsa and Anna getting separated does not feel like a good ending for either of them. Plus, Anna has not gotten married yet. What is a Disney princess movie without a big wedding, even if the “Frozen” franchise has tried to shake things up? News of “Frozen 3” would help solve a lot of these issues. 

As of October 2021, Disney has yet to officially confirm a third installment in the “Frozen” franchise. So, for now, this is the ending of Elsa and Anna’s story. Unless there is some short that changes things, it saddens me the sisters are apart, so hope for “Frozen 3” to alter that is huge.

You can now stream “Frozen” and “Frozen 2” on Disney+.

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