*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
If you’ve ever made it through “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” Coronation Day and (um) parental death with no problem, only to have your child flip his lid when Elsa’s snow monster appears on screen, you’re probably the type of parent who wants to know what she’s getting into before shelling out $26 for two movie tickets to the sequel. Your number one question this holiday season: Is Frozen 2 scarier than Frozen? Bottom line: Yes, Frozen 2 is a little scarier than the original. We’ll explain.
As a memory-jogger, the major scary moments in the first film came in the form of Marshmallow (the snow monster), some eerie glowing wolf eyes and a final scene where Hans locks Elsa in a dungeon and then encourages Anna to freeze to death.
In contrast, the sequel has ginormous rock monsters made of boulders (like, they are three times as tall as trees). In other words, it’s the same scariness level as the aforementioned Marshmallow.
There’s also a scene midway through where something pretty bad (but not permanent) happens to Elsa and Olaf. All this happens while Anna is separated from Elsa, prompting some feelings of abandonment and an anthemic power ballad about “doing the next right thing.” Bottom line: There’s a pretty harrowing ten minutes.
Additionally, kids who are afraid of water might not love the scene where Elsa dives into roaring waves (just go with it) in the middle of a storm, and is suddenly fighting with a horse-like water spirit who is essentially trying to drown her. She’s eventually victorious over the horse, but until she learns to tame it, it’s definitely a threat.
Other than these three moments, which are pretty easy to spot coming on, the movie is decidedly little kid-friendly. But if any of the above sound like a trigger for your child, you might want to let her know what’s coming in advance...or risk being the mom who has to leave with a screaming four-year old, 45 minutes in. (No judgment, we’ve all been there.)