WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Frozen 2, in theaters now.
As expected, Frozen 2 has reached the financial heights of its predecessor while getting similar critical acclaim, once more cementing it as one of Disney's best franchises ever. This film is a perfect extension of the first movie six years ago which introduced Elsa as a princess with ice powers, going on to now detail exactly the source of her abilities.
However, with the film basically wrapping the story for her and her sister, Anna, the best decision would be for the studio to let it go and not make a third movie based on the sense of closure we get by the time credits roll.
Now, admittedly it's crazy thinking Disney won't take its time and milk the property for what it's worth in the form of a third movie. The powers-that-be know fans would flock to the cinemas for it but that wouldn't be the best direction at all based on the narrative. Frozen 2 doesn't really conclude open-ended or with the possibility of more to the narrative, so other than a cash-grab, there's no reason to focus on extending the story.
Disney should instead look at developing new properties in the same vein it did with this in 2013 and put the third chapter on ice for good. It's a brave and bold move but one which would reap dividends. Honestly, how much more can they get out of this story? The studio would end up being the animated equivalent of the Fast and Furious franchise. Here, we discover Elsa got her powers from her mom, Queen Iduna, who was connected to magic when she was part of a mystical tribe, and by the time the story ends, Elsa and Anna are ruling two kingdoms happily ever after.
Anna's in charge of the Arendelle realm and mankind with Elsa as the bridge to the magical world. And with Elsa as the queen of the Enchanted Forest, the two protagonists have fulfilled their roles. Anna got to start a family with Kristoff and as they erase the sins of their ancestors, they're uniting the entire land with Olaf and Sven. Elsa's officially the fifth Elemental Spirit and now carrying out duties basically as the avatar for Mother Nature, which means there are no questions left and nothing worth exploring in a third movie.
The girls, their identities and their destinies have been fully dissected and now, both kingdoms are at peace. Trying to stretch it out means carving out antagonists in a world where there aren't really any. Also, there's only so much the sisters can go through. It was already a dark journey for Elsa discovering her heritage while Anna also went through a mind-wipe, an abusive ex and losing her family on a few occasions, so in terms of emotional plot points, we've more or less covered everything.
It wouldn't feel organic to create some sort of conflict from thin air for the sisters to battle through, and had the second movie laid down some foundation we could have seen a threequel working. But this was always a self-contained journey about discovery and not a world with true villains threatening the girls. As it stands, the property has been bookended, to the point it hasn't even bothered to give Elsa a love interest. Their stories are over and while both princesses felt fresh and inspirational as symbols of feminism and women's power, it's hard to hold interest with a potential third movie that we know wouldn't be natural -- it'd just be about the dollars. This might be a cold perspective but it's something most franchises don't do and they end up suffering for it, losing the magic of old and failing to recapture the charm of what made it special in the first place. Frozen is original and fresh, and with two in the can, it's already a winner and honestly doesn't have to prove anything to anyone ever again. So let's enjoy it, both the substance and style, as Frozen 2 ends because this is the perfect way to go out: on top.
In theaters now, Disney's Frozen 2 reunites directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and producer Del Vecho with voice actors Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad. Returning musical talents include Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.