Elsa the Snow Queen (voice of Idina Menzel) and her sister Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) embark on an adventure far away from the kingdom of Arendelle with the assistance of friends Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff), Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), and Sven.
When the original 2013 Frozen film was released, it was one of the biggest and most surprising Disney successes of all time. The film, made on a budget of $150 million, managed to rake in $1.276 billion at the box office, making it one of the most profitable Disney animated features ever released.
Many people all around the world fell in love with the characters of Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, Sven and company, and of course, one of the biggest praises for Frozen was its songs. In particular, the now infamous “Let It Go”, sung by Idina Menzel, which every parent has probably heard countless times over. The songs in that film were a smash hit with a lot of them being some of the most famous Disney songs to date.
But at the centre of the film was a big heart and a terrific story to tell with an incredibly touching moral of the story – family is important. It was a message that a lot of young kids could take note of and that is one of the many reasons why I genuinely adore Frozen. It has the heart, the surprisingly emotional moments, it has the greatly funny moments, and of course, the amazing music.
Topping a film like that in a sequel is no easy task, but I can happily say that Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen II comes quite close. As they directed the original film, they definitely know what they are doing with the film and story. This is a highly satisfying sequel that was certainly worth the six year wait.
In the original film, it took me about twenty minutes or so to get invested in the story, but once I did, I thought it was extremely exciting. With Frozen II, however, I was invested right from the beginning. The film starts off with a bang with “Some Things Never Change”, which is sure to be yet another hit song. Even though this picture’s story is greatly interesting, as this one delves into Elsa’s origins, where she comes from and how she got her powers and what they mean, the stakes this time did not feel as high.
The first time around, Elsa managed to freeze all of Arendelle and almost caused an everlasting winter to freeze everybody and the story felt like a big race against the clock which made for some riveting and tense moments. While Frozen II has a more thought-provoking and character driven story, which I appreciate, it just did not feel as gripping as the original.
Now let’s talk about those songs – they are, yet again, amazing. Although I personally don’t think that any song on this soundtrack is going to reach “Let It Go” levels of fame, there are absolutely a few songs that are going to be quite big indeed, and listening to them as the story progresses makes them even more enjoyable to listen to. Some of my personal favorites include the aforementioned “Some Things Never Change”, “Into the Unknown”, and “Show Yourself”.
The animation team most certainly deserves a pat on the back as well. There were a few shots in particular in the film that looked like it used real scenery instead of animation. It was that gorgeous to look at. The scenery and animation that you saw in the trailers is just scratching the surface.
Similar to the first, this movie gratefully has its fair share of comedic elements as well. However, I did not find myself laughing as much as I wish I did. There were some times where the jokes landed completely, but some of the jokes fell completely flat for me, and some even came off a bit too strong.
Also, I couldn’t help but feel like some of the character choices that were made in the final act felt a bit out of character. One character in particular makes a decision that just felt like it came completely out of left field and almost as if the filmmakers did not know how to resolve the conflict without doing what they ended up doing.
But all in all, Frozen II is not only a great sequel, but a great film that will entertain families across the world. It is such a wholesome movie that you can feel good while watching, and movies like that do not come too often these days.
Frozen II is a sequel well worth the wait, as it contains an interesting and emotional story, has breathtaking animation, and even more catchy and fun songs.
Overall Grade: A-
MPAA Rating: PG for action/peril and some thematic elements
Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad
Directed by: Chris Lee, Jennifer Lee
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Running Time: 103 minutes