6 years ago, on November 19th, 2013, parents and kids alike received the wonderful gift of ‘Let It Go’, which soon became a curse to the parent of every young ‘Frozen’ fan, who waited dutifully for the song to leave their heads. Unfortunately for them, ‘Frozen’ is now back with even more catchy songs that will be sure to take up residence in their heads once more with ‘Frozen II’.
Just like in the original, the film includes relevant messages of teamwork and resilience with characters bonding together to help save their home from the new supernatural threat that seeks to harm it. An especially important idea which kids can take away from ‘Frozen II’ is that doing the right thing may not always be the easy thing, as the characters of Elsa and Anna teach viewers.
‘Frozen II’ essentially picks up where its predecessor left off, returning to the vaguely-Scandinavian kingdom of Arendelle and it’s queen Elsa. Elsa continues to be an icicle wielding heroine, now using her powers to help the people of Arendelle. Her sister Anna also returns, still ever-concerned for her sister, ignoring the fact that her partner Kristoff is attempting to propose to her. The film concerns itself with the unfinished business between the Northuldra, the natives who reside in the mountains beyond Arendelle and the people of Arendelle. Subsequent elemental hijinks ensue, and the sisters are placed on an adventure that takes them far from their home.
The thing about many Disney sequels is that they often fail to live up to the originals and end up imprisoned in the darkest corners of an over-commercialized streaming service (Disney Plus- if I could roll my eyes at this is would) and end up being forgotten. The original ‘Frozen’ benefited from the fact that it was a new and original intellectual property that did not have to live up to the legacy of any Disney classics, and so without high expectations, the first adventure dazzled audiences. ‘Frozen II’ is not as lucky, and the most disappointing part of it is that when the film is good, it really is. But when it’s bad the cracks and deterioration begin to show.
Great positive points of this film are in the animation and the music. The animation strikes one’s eyes fantastically with every ounce of magic that appears on the screen being so vibrant and colourful that one might just stop short of considering it to be real magic. The soundtrack of the film remains fantastic with the original composers, Kristen Anderson- Lopez and Robert Lopez returning to give viewers a stellar soundtrack that mirrors the emotional journey of the characters and thankfully does not include an obvious sequel to ‘Let It Go’.
The film intends to tell a more mature story, maturing with the audience that grew up with the original in the last 6 years, but the story feels like one that is only servicing to build the world of the characters rather than to build upon the characters themselves. Another unfortunate casualty of this Disney sequel is the character of Olaf, once lovable and naïve is now somewhat annoying and given too much attention- like many side characters of Disney sequels. But while the film is narratively flawed it does still make the most of the relationship between the two sisters, using the emotional beats to the advantage.
Ultimately, ‘Frozen II’ is a fun sequel that is narratively flawed but returns with fantastic music and jaw-dropping visuals. So while your heart may not feel the same impact as the original, you can be sure that your eyes and ears will enjoy the film.
CRESCENT FINE FOODS.