REVIEW: ‘Disney’s Frozen 2: The Manga’ Falls Short

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Frozen 2: The Manga

Disney’s Frozen 2: The Manga (Frozen 2: The Manga) is an adaptation of the Disney movie of the same name, adapted by mangaka Arina Tanemura, and published by Viz MediaWhen Frozen ended, everyone was happy; the villainous Hans was defeated, Elsa learned to control her powers and formed a happy family with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven the reindeer. But things don’t stay perfect for long. Elsa begins to hear a mysterious voice calling her into the unknown, the mysterious enchanted forest home to the Northuldra.  

With the help of Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, Elsa sets out to uncover the mystery of the forest and the source of her powers. But the true cause of the conflict between the Arendellians and Northuldra, and the reason for the mist, is not what it seems.

Tanemura wonderfully adapts the characters and plot points from the movie to Frozen 2: The Manga. A big part of Frozen 2 is the lesson that history is biased and written by the victors. What the Arendellians say about the conflict with the Northuldra is very different than what the Northuldra would say. And what Arendellian history says is not the whole truth. King Runeard, Anna and Elsa’s grandfather, built the dam, not as a token of peace between the two groups, but to weaken the power of the Northuldra so they would need his kingdom’s help. He outright lied to them, and then his people, about what happened. 

While Anna and Elsa did not commit these crimes themselves, the truth is they benefit directly from their grandfather’s deceit. Arendelle grew stronger while the woods where the Northuldra live became isolated and trapped within time. Once Anna and Elsa learn this, they realize that it’s their responsibility to do anything they can to make things right. They can’t completely heal the wounds of the past, but they can try and make the future better and also make sure that the true story is told, however painful. 

The story is great. Frozen 2: The Manga follows the plot, tone, and pacing of the film it’s based on while standing on its own as a separate entity. thing. Unfortunately, Tanemura’s art and lettering are not as strong.

Frozen 2: The Manga is a very emotion-driven story, and Tanemura excels at making the reader feel for the characters. Anna and Elsa confront the monsters of the past and the uncertainty of the future, and they grow a lot over the course of their journey. Tanemura didn’t have the advantage of a beautiful soundtrack to underscore these emotional moments,  having to rely solely on the art and writing to convey the entire emotional message.  The often over-the-top antics of the characters are adorable and happy. But Tanemura is equally capable of drawing the very emotional scenes in a way that evokes real emotion from the reader.

However, the art isn’t always the easiest to discern. The manga is in grayscale, and occasionally there’s not enough contrast between characters and the backgrounds, or the background and the lettering. This is especially apparent in scenes that are very busy with lots of characters or especially elaborate backgrounds. It takes you out of the story when you have to stare at the page for a moment just to figure out what’s happening. In addition to the contrast issues, there are places where the speech bubbles feel like they interrupt the action and story by taking up too much space or appearing over characters.

Frozen 2: The Manga is just average in the end. It’s disappointing, but despite Tanemura’s strong storytelling abilities, the issues with the art are just too noticeable to ignore. If you’re a Frozen 2 superfan you might want this for your collection, but personally, I’d rather just watch the movie.

Disney’s Frozen 2: The Manga is available now wherever books or comics are sold.

Disney's Frozen 2: The Manga
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Summary

Frozen 2: The Manga is just average in the end. It’s disappointing, but despite Tanemura’s strong storytelling abilities, the issues with the art are just too noticeable to ignore. If you’re a Frozen 2 superfan you might want this for your collection, but personally, I’d rather just watch the movie.