‘Frozen 2’ gives boys their ‘Let It Go’ moment, teaches them to let their ‘feelings out’

Brian Truitt


Published 11: 01 AM EST Nov 14, 2019

With its central duo of singing sisters, the first animated “Frozen” film six years ago became a favorite for little girls everywhere.

It’s sequel has important messaging for young boys, though, the stars of the movie say.

Idina Menzel, who voices powerful ice queen Elsa, told USA TODAY that her 10-year-old son Walker has come around for the new female-led flick.

At last week’s premiere of “Frozen 2” (in theaters Nov. 22), he looked at his mom and told her she was awesome, reports Menzel.

“It’s this epic adventure, there’s lots of action, and the girls are really fierce and independent.” That said, “he’s at the age where he tells me to shut up anytime I’m practicing the songs in the shower. It’s like, ‘Mom, be quiet!’ ”

“Frozen 2” is still crazy strong in the girl-empowerment department, following the themes of the first film where “we had two complex multi-dimensional female leads that were talking about types of love that aren’t normally discovered in movies, which is familial love and self love,” says Kristen Bell, the voice behind Elsa’s goodhearted and feisty sister Anna.

But Menzel adds that the sequel offers “some really great lessons for boys and men.”

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Not telling women what to do

Central to that messaging is Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), a rugged guy who’s trying to figure out how to propose to his girlfriend Anna when their whole World blows up. Elsa embarks on a quest to find out the origins of her icy abilities, and Anna leaves her love behind to help her sister.

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With Kristoff, Menzel says directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck are “sort of fighting this toxic masculinity and making him really comfortable with his emotions, making him be real supportive of the women in his life and not telling them what to do.”

In one battle scene, where Kristoff saves Anna, “he doesn’t say, ‘I’ve got you. I’ll fix it. We’ll take over,’ ” Bell says. Instead, “he looks her in the eyes and says, ‘I’m here, what do you need?’ ”

Bell’s other favorite moment happens when Anna has an emotional conversation with Kristoff, and he tells her that “my love is not fragile.” “I can’t think of a better example of an evolved human being than that,” the actress says. “And I’m really thrilled that will also be representative for the little boys who see it.”

To boys: ‘Feel what you feel’

While young girls thrilled at the sight of Elsa belting out her emotions with “Let It Go” in the first “Frozen,” Groff feels boys get their tune in the sequel with Kristoff’s 1980s-style power ballad “Lost in the Woods.”

“We’re so used to a man sort of leaving a woman behind and having her sing a sad song about it. This is like the inverse where Anna has gone off on her own to take care of herself and her sister, and the man is left behind with his feelings of frustration and feelings of repressed love that he gets to sing about.”

And right before he croons it in a dream sequence, his reindeer buddy Sven tells Kristoff, “Your feelings are real. Feel what you feel. Let your guard down and let your feelings out.”

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“I love that men and boys are getting the invitation to express themselves as well in the second movie,” Groff says.

Follow the latest from USA TODAY Parenting at usatoday.com/life/parenting.

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