Travel into the unknown as often as you like with “Frozen II” on home video now.

When the teaser for Frozen II first dropped, if you’d told me that that film would become one of my favorites of 2019, that I’d find myself revisiting it frequently, its songs on repeat willingly and purposefully, I’d have likely laughed you out of whatever space we were in. The 2013 Frozen, while impressive in playing with tropes and expectations, was not then and remains, to me, a film that I rarely return to. It’s not that it’s bad, it just doesn’t resonate in any form to my personal perspective or tastes. However, Frozen II is some kind of revelation in the way it tells a story of self-exploration and agency seemingly far too mature for the target audience, yet right on point for the kinds of classic stories Disney is known for. Coming available on 4K UHD Collector’s Edition, Blu-ray Multi-Screen Edition, DVD, and digital, the audiences that seek a return to Arendelle can do so on their own time and with plenty of extras to keep them learning something new.

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Queen Iduno, young Anna, and young Elsa in FROZEN II.

Since the end of the events of Frozen, things seem to finally be on track for sisters Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), as everything they could want is happening. The gates to the castle are wide open, the townspeople are happy, and they get to be with the ones they love. That is until a voice begins to call to Elsa, one only she can hear, and it sets her on a quest for answers outside of Arendelle through the distant Enchanted Forrest. There, the sisters, Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad), Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff), and Sven, embark on an adventure that will transform their lives forever.

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L-R: Sven the reindeer, Kristoff voiced by Jonathan Groff, Olaff voiced by Josh Gad, Anna voiced by Kristen Bell, and Elsa voiced by Idina Menzel in FROZEN II.

First, let’s begin with a concession of sorts. While I remain convinced that the songs in Frozen II are less universal and more character-focused, I do concede that the songs “Into The Unknown” and “Show Yourself” are far more anthemic than I first believed after reviewing the theatrical experience. The two songs speak to a portion of the audience who empathize with the notion of feeling incomplete or unseen, that there’s something missing that only they themselves can find and can, in most cases, create. What songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen) crafted in not just these songs, but also in “The Next Right Thing,” showcase just how much they understand that the troubles of Elsa and Anna exist beyond the boundaries of Arendelle and straight into their audiences’ hearts. “Into the Unknown” can be read as an internal calling, a nudging of something that isn’t right about an individual’s existence that persistently tugs at the back of their mind, a pull which beckons to be explored. This fits nicely with the themes of Frozen II, set by screenwriter and co-director Jennifer Lee (Frozen), of growing into adulthood and finding a personal path separate from one’s family. There is, of course, another way to read that song as a blossoming of sexual identity, but that has been examined by members of the LGBTQ community with more nuance than I could. Suffice it to say, there’s plenty of subtext to examine that supports that notion, especially when “Show Yourself” brings the house down right before the climax of the film. Children of all kinds want to be acknowledged as people by their parents, a true sign of entering adulthood. Elsa could never get that from her parents due to their fear of her lack of power control and then their untimely deaths. Frozen II does provide hints that her parents had a greater understanding of her abilities than suspected, but it’s “Show Yourself” where Elsa sings along with the memory of her Northuldrian mother where acceptance comes. The lyrics from Anderson-Lopez and Lopez support the textual reading of parental love and personal acceptance via the duet lines “You are the one you’ve been waiting for” sung by Elsa’s mother Iduna (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) and Elsa’s follow-up “all of my life.” If this song had been selected for awards consideration, I’m almost certain it would have defeated the majority of contenders for how hard-hitting it is on an emotional level, but suspect the push went to “Into the Unknown” due to how “Show Yourself” includes a great deal of narrative-specific content that would certainly have ruined the experience for those who hadn’t seen the film.

With my mea culpa complete, let’s dig into what makes the home release worth picking up.

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A scene from FROZEN II.

As predicted from the theatrical experience, the picture on the Blu-ray remains absolutely breathtaking, especially the sequences from the songs mentioned above. The blacks surrounding Elsa are inky with zero of the visual distortion that plagues streams incapable of handling the digital compression, and the colors emanating off her ice creations are iridescent and beautiful. The artisans and animators did a wonderful job in making both sequences feel grounded, yet larger than life. The biggest difference in how the sequences are presented here is their way of showcasing Elsa’s narrative journey without the inclusion of others. That stated, both of these sequences, and all the ones before and after them, are replicated wonderfully for home viewing. One of the benefits of home viewing, especially, is the ability to pause and examine the film in its full detail. Doing so gives the audience an opportunity to see how even Frozen II’s modern sensibilities harken back to previous Disney films. There even appears to be an homage to Disney classic Cinderella within “Into the Unknown” as Elsa’s movement when the spirit figures move around her are reminiscent of when Godmother turns Cinderella’s raggedy outfit into a beautiful dress. Later, in “Show Yourself,” the staging feels both like a Broadway show with animation reminiscent of Mulan’s “Make a Man Out of You” as Elsa jumps from pillar to pillar.

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Elsa in FROZEN II.

If you’re a Disney fan or just a fan of the film, the bonus features will not disappoint. Chances are, if you enjoyed the film, you picked up the soundtrack, but only the Deluxe Edition contained several songs not featured in the film. With the home release, you not only get introductions from co-directors Chris Buck and Lee, but you also get the pre-vis animatics of two songs: ”Home” and “I Wanna Get This Right.” The first is a song written to tee up the notion that Anna will become queen, while the second reframes the Kristoff/Anna proposal B plot of Frozen II. Both songs are solid for their own merits, while also showcasing how a story evolves throughout development. For example, “I Wanna Get This Right” features Anna as Queen and Kristoff dressed up for his new role as lord. The song focuses on Kristoff’s struggle with proposing as the theatrical release does, yet the context for the song, shifts the tone of both the proposal and their entire relationship. The deleted scenes offer similar revelations about changes, each explained by Buck and Lee. “Hard Nokk’s” is interesting because it showcases a different inclusion of the water spirit while also offering some backstory that illuminates why it attacks Elsa when they first meet. In the deleted scene, it’s first explained that the Nokk tries to drown people holding back the truth. Here, Kristoff reveals secret after secret, exposing the fact that there are many facets in his life he actually dislikes. Without the context of a different storyline, this deleted scene suggests that there was a time in which Kristoff wasn’t the forward-thinking, supportive masculine character he’s celebrated for being. This also implies that in Nokk’s first meeting with Elsa, it judged her as possessing a lie when she was actually seeking the truth. In a more positive frame, the deleted scene “Elsa’s Dream” shows us the original idea for showing the audience early snippets of the shared Arendelle-Northuldra history, which ultimately became the inspiration for the appearance of the spirits in “Into the Unknown.” The best part is that in each sequence, each song is joined by an introduction from Buck and Lee offering insight into the design, conception, and eventual discarding of the material.

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Nokk, the water spirit, and Elsa in FROZEN II.

If you loved the film and songs, there is, of course, a Sing-Along version included, along with the typical bonus features you’d expect: outtakes, a clever Easter Egg video titled “Did You Know??,” a deep-dive into the development of the four spirits, the chance to watch “Into the Unknown” in 29 languages similar to the 92nd Academy Awards performance, and more. In short, there’s plenty of content at your fingertips to keep the good times rolling. It is, however, unfortunate that of all the bonus features included, there isn’t anything involving Olaf’s storytelling of either the events of Frozen to the Northuldra people or of Frozen II to the snow creatures in Elsa’s ice castle seen in the post-credits. Josh Gad implied that there was plenty of content left on the cutting room floor and it’s a shame we may never know what other nonsense we could’ve heard. Perhaps it’s being saved as a Disney+ exclusive extra. Speaking of exclusives, the only way to get all the goodies for Frozen II, is to access the digital edition. There you’ll be able to watch the animatic for deleted song “Unmeltable Me,” another song available on the Deluxe Edition of the soundtrack, and featurette “Meet the Lopezes” focusing on the songwriters for the Frozen series. If you want to know more about their process of creation or what inspired the songs, this is where you’re going to want to head.

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Anna in FROZEN II.

There are films that entertain us for a brief period and then there are those that stick with us for the long haul. While it’s too soon to determine if Frozen II is as powerful as it seems and whether it will continue to linger as it has because of the music or the narrative or the whole package, it’s clear that, for those in the audience that connected with it, they did so deeply and passionately. They feel for these characters in a way that makes themselves feel seen and represented. That, more than anything, makes the experience of the film worth revisiting over and again. It took the creative team behind Frozen six years to release a new adventure for Elsa and the gang. If they come back in another six years (fingers-crossed), hopefully it’s as good or better than the introspective, uplifting, and rather unexpectedly adult story within Frozen II.

Frozen II Special Features (some features shift based on seller)

4K UHD/Blu-ray Combo Ultimate Collector’s Edition Features

  • Sing-Along to the Movie
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes (5)
    • Prologue
    • Secret Room
    • Elsa’s Dream
    • Hard Nokk’s
    • A Place Of Our Own
  • Deleted Songs (2)
    • “Home”
    • “I Wanna Get This Right
  • Did You Know??? Fun Facts & Easter Eggs
  • The Spirits of “Frozen 2”
  • Scoring A Sequel
  • Gale Test (2)
  • Music Videos
  • Multi-Language Reels
  • And More!

Blu-ray Multi-Screen Edition Features

  • Sing-Along to the Movie
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes (5)
    • Prologue
    • Secret Room
    • Elsa’s Dream
    • Hard Nokk’s
    • A Place Of Our Own
  • Deleted Songs (2)
    • “Home”
    • “I Wanna Get This Right
  • Did You Know??? Fun Facts & Easter Eggs
  • The Spirits of “Frozen 2”
  • Scoring A Sequel
  • Gale Test (2)
  • Music Videos
  • Multi-Language Reels
  • And More!

Digital Exclusive

  • Deleted Song “Unmeltable Me” and “Meet the Lopezes”

Available on digital February 11th, 2020.

Available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD February 25th, 2020.



Categories: Films To Watch, Home Release, Home Video, recommendation, Reviews, streaming

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