Up until about five years ago, if you’d told me that I’d be spending any part of my birthday celebration at a movie theater on a Sunday afternoon with kids dressed in princess costumes watching a cartoon, I would’ve laughed right in your face. Cartoons have never been my thing. And come to think of it, kids weren’t really my thing until my own came along. Which is why it surprised everyone who knows me even a little that I turned 42 on Sunday and willingly saw Frozen 2.
I am living my best life.
Anyway, these are the questions I’ve gotten from my various mom friends since they found out I took my 4 and almost 3-year-old girls this weekend:
“Was it as good as the first?”
“The trailers look scarier…is it scarier than the first?”
“Did your kids make it all the way through?”
“Did you go to a theater that serves alcohol?”
So, for those of you with Frozen-aged kids who will undoubtedly be looking to fill 2 hours of your day while spending quality family time this holiday weekend, here are my two cents. Potential spoiler alerts if you’re a grown-up who likes Disney movies and doesn’t want me to be a ruin-er. Read at your own risk.
First, I personally liked this one even better than the first. Partially because I’ve seen the first one, conservatively, one billion times and I was ready for anything else. Watching Olaf read a phone book would’ve been reviewed higher on my list than Frozen 1 at this point. But also, this one was…older. They make reference to it a few times throughout, but the characters (including the welcomed comedy relieving Olaf) are older, a bit wiser, and more settled…..except Elsa, but no duh. To be honest, I wasn’t sure my little ones would connect as much, but that wasn’t a problem in the least, as it turned out. This had a darker overall feel to it and we dive pretty deeply into some messed up family history and the death of their parents.
So yes, it’s scarier than the first, but they do a good job of throwing in comedy just as your kids are like, “I wanna go home.” Also, luckily for me, my kids were distracted by popcorn and were like, “So Anna and Elsa’s mommy and daddy were ice sculptures? That tracks for me. Continue.” (this will make sense if you watch the movie.)
Second, my almost 3-year-old sat on my lap the whole time and our 4-year-old watched portions of it through hands partially covering her eyes. So again, yes, it’s scarier. And frankly, half - if not most - of the darker undertones and serious messages were completely lost on my kids. And only once did my youngest yell at the screen, “I don’t want it!” But when giant rock monsters are chasing your precious Anna? You stand your ground, dammit!
Third, save yourself the trouble and just start learning all of the words to, “Into the Unknown.” As my husband said, “Should we have a moment of silence for ‘Let it Go?’” The answer is yes. Disney is no fool, they know how this works.
Fourth, no, sadly, we didn’t go to a theater with alcohol and yes, we were able to make it through the entire process without buying them $100 worth of Frozen shit. Basically because we ushered them into the theater and I left my husband in charge while I got 10 minutes of “alone time” standing in line with a bunch of other families who hadn’t planned ahead or didn’t have enough grown-ups to help. So they spent their time struggling to put back the Olaf dolls and Frozen mugs that haunted the concession stand line. Disney is an evil genius who hates parents, I think.
And yes, there were a LOT of kids in the Elsa and Anna costumes (and other random Disney characters not at all associated with Frozen). So don’t pick that battle, mama. Let her/him wear whatever the f they want to wear to the damn movie so you can save whatever sanity you have left for a more important battle. Like not buying the Christof pillow while waiting in line for gummy bears. Trust me and you’re welcome.
Fifth, it’s just long enough that, if they’d added another 10-15 more minutes to the movie, we would’ve lost at least one of them to roaming the movie theater hallways. Try to find aisle seats just in case, mama.
And finally, yes, it’s worth seeing in the theaters. Not that you won’t watch it 10,000 more times before your kid grows out of it On Demand, but it’s pretty spectacular visually and worth a few hours of your weekend so that you can spend the rest of your life listening to your kids scream-sing, “Into the UNKNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWNNN.”
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!