Name: Frozen 2 Audiobook
Presented By: Andrew Eiden
Genre: Novelization, Tie In, Fantasy, Children’s
No. Of Episodes: 1
Episode Length (Average): 4 hrs
In this review I will be taking a look at the audio book version of the novelization of Frozen 2, the all-conquering sequel to Disney’s Frozen which was released in 2013 (can you believe 2023 marks 10 years since that movie’s release?!).
The basic story follows the plot of the movie and as it was the fourth highest grossing animated movie of all time at the time of writing I think I will be safe to discuss the plot here but there are spoilers ahead if you do want to watch it.
In a prologue Elsa and Anna as children are told a story about their grandfather, Kind Runeard who forged a treaty with the neighbouring tribe of Northuldra by building a dam in their land. A fight breaks out which enrages the spirits of earth, water, fire, and air and the elements trap both sides in a mist inside the enchanted forest. Agnarr, Anna and Elsa’s father barely escapes, helped by an unknown savior.
The two children go to sleep but Anna wakes up and wants to play which is what sets off the events of the first story. The story then moves on three years from the first Frozen, Elsa is now Queen and her Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven are leaving happily in Arendelle. However she is suddenly haunted by a mysterious voice calling her. She responds but this unwittingly sets the spirits to attack Arendelle and so begins a quest to unlock the secrets of the past and save Arendelle. They follow the voice north and encounter the Enchanted forest but with Elsa’s magic they are able to pass through.
In there they discover the soldiers of Arendelle and the Northuldra have been fighting for 25 years. The two sisters arrange a truce between them and they learn their mother was the Northuldra woman who helped their father escape as well as the existence of a fifth spirit which will unite the four elemental spirits.
Elsa, Anna and Olaf continue north where they find their parents shipwreck and a map with the route to Ahtohallan which is said to explain the past, Elsa continues alone where she learns the truth. The voice she has been hearing is a memory of her mother’s call and she is the fifth spirit. She also learns that her grandfather’s plan for the dam was not for peace, but a ruse to drain the Northuldra resources as he was fearful of their magic and also wanted to invade them. Also her grandfather began the fight which angered the spirits by killing the Northuldra leader in cold blood. However, Elsa ventures too far into Ahtohallan and becomes frozen but is able to send a message to Anna in her last breath to break the dam, which also causes Olaf to disappear.
Anna picks up the message and incites the earth trolls to destroy the dam, knowing it will probably cause the fjord to swell and destroy Arendelle. Elsa however thaws out and is able to get to Arendelle to save it. This causes the mist to disappear so Elsa rejoins Anna and revives Olaf. Anna accepts Kristoff’s marriage proposal and Elsa tells Anna that she is the fifth spirit and the bridge between the magical and physical world and for that reason she cannot return to Arendelle and that Anna will have to take her place as Queen. In an epilogue we learn Anna and Kristoff are married and are the rulers of Arendelle and the sisters maintain regular contact with each other via letter.
So the reason I chose this audio book is I did enjoy the two Frozen Disney movies and also was in that post Christmas depression you get in January so wanted a festive story to carry on through January. I will be honest my personal preference of the two movies is the first one and I think this is why I didn’t enjoy this second audio book as much (the first one was already taken out in the library so I chose this one).
The main reason I don’t enjoy it as much is though it’s entertaining I just feel it was an obvious cash in because of the success of the first film and as a result I just don’t invest in it as much as that movie and that ultimately taints the audio book for me.
Also the story for me does have some weak fantasy tropes – in particular in this second story, Elsa suddenly becomes a chosen one to unite the spirits whereas in the first film we didn’t know why she had this power to turn things to ice which for me made her more endearing whereas now her character arc has a sense of destiny about it which is quite lazy.
Also it is an example of Disney movies these days having to have a deeper, meaningful message but ultimately the story is quite limp . Though I have gone into detail above the plot is basically the two sisters go North to break a dam their grandfather built. The first story has more nuance to the story as Elsa can’t control or understand her powers and it is about her journey of allowing Anna into her world and secrets. Meanwhile Anna goes on a journey from a sheltered and quite naive princess and girl to a capable, strong woman who can support her sister as ruler of Arendelle.
Another thing for me which I was annoyed by though I do slightly blame the description of the book. I have mentioned on this blog before the Disney read along books which were short stories that came with a CD or cassette tape reading it to you with the voice actors and songs from the film which I loved growing up. However this audio book contains none of them and I was massively disappointed when it got to the part of the film where Elsa sings Into The Unknown (which actually though I’ve said above I don’t enjoy the film, the lead song I do actually really like) however in this version there’s no music and not only that the description contains lines from the song as if to rub salt in the wound.
I do feel like I’ve been quite negative in this review but if you did enjoy the film I think that perhaps you may enjoy it more, or you could just watch the film again?
In conclusion, with the film it’s based on for me not being great and this audio book not having the voices or music it makes this audiobook quite a soulless and even boring experience, even though Eiden does try to add personality to the recording but with just one voice it can get tedious quickly.
I would love to know what your thoughts are for this audio book – did you enjoy it or perhaps you have read the print version and prefer that or disagree with me completely? Let me know down in the comments below.