Frozen 2 movie review: Disney sequel offers intrigue, familiarity and heart-warming moments in abundance
The fun bits in Frozen 2 come in plenty, beginning with the prospect of the old gang teaming up once again to embark on a big adventure, the return of catchy songs, and impossibly beautiful visuals
Behold – the correct application of tried and tested sequel formula which delights and entertains and even if it doesn’t reach the heights of the first film, still manages to render whatever it promises. Frozen 2 is here, and though it may be a slightly diminishing return, it’s everything kids, and those who were kids back in 2013, want in a sequel.
Predictably things get darker this time around, and ‘growing up’ is a theme that reflects on both the characters as well as the audiences watching this franchise. Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) is taking help from Sven the reindeer to prepare to propose to Anna (Kristen Bell); while Elsa (Idina Menzel) is seduced by an unknown force to an enchanted forest populated with a historic mystic civilization which may be a key to why she has magic powers and what happened to her parents.
The fun bits come in plenty, beginning with the prospect of the old gang teaming up once again to embark on a big adventure, the return of catchy songs, impossibly beautiful visuals coupled with charming fantasy elements as well as fantastic voice work from the returning cast. Make no mistake, the film does precisely the same things it did in the first movie – Elsa discovering herself and being the older (and slightly more tragic) sister to Anna, the second fiddle in the story. It’s just that returning directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee have such a strong grasp of the material as well as a flair for the big spectacle, you seldom stop to think that you’re watching the same movie once again.
It is also the kind of film that warrants a theatrical visit for the full experience of a big screen and thundering sound to sway you into submission – even if films like these have massive potential for home video and streaming. In a year packed with some beefy but mostly belly flop big-budget movies, Frozen 2 truly stands out as an event film because it’s the rare sequel that delivers on the holy grail combo of intrigue, familiarity, and heart; you’ll be hard-pressed to find another animation film this year that offers all three in dollops.
On the downside, Olaf the snowman is still annoying and gets too much screen time than required, it seems Disney didn’t learn from the critical drubbing this character received in the short film. It is also clear that we’re going to get more Frozen movies in the future – it makes you want to go back and be a movie buff during a time when you wished for sequels, rather than knowing that we’ll get a half a dozen of them over the next decade. Imagine being a Terminator fan in the late ’80s and being aware that we’d get five more sequels – it would make T2 inconsequential despite the film’s quality. The house of the mouse, with its massive resources, needs to figure out a way to keep audiences in the dark about the future to keep the excitement alive. As audiences, we need to feel like Elsa – pumped with magic power but unsure of what the future beholds, and thankful when new discoveries are made.
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