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FROZEN II gets 6/10 Cool story


Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

Starring Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad

6/10

It’s not often that Disney produces a theatrically released sequel to one of its animations. Sure you get related properties and direct to video/DVD/streaming sequels, but until Ralph Breaks the Internet was released last year, it had been decades since Disney (as opposed to Pixar) had dared to bring a sequel to cinemas. Now one of their most beloved films gets a follow-up, as we head to the land of Arendelle once more.

In the three years since the events of the previous film, peace has reigned in Arendelle. Yet Elsa (Idina Menzel) can sense something is about to change, as a mysterious voice calls to her on the wind. As elemental spirits are unleashed on the town, it is up to Elsa, Anna (Kristen Bell), and their cadre of friends to head into the north, and seek the answer in the Enchanted Forrest.

Elsa might be able to create an ice castle on a whim, or build a sentient snowman, but even the elemental ice princess can’t capture lightning in a bottle… twice. Frozen II is not the film its predecessor was, never capturing the magic, but it’s not for a lack of trying. You can see the effort put into this film, the beautiful world-building it has done, and the attempt to evolve the characters while maintaining the sense of empowerment and familial love of the first. However, it all does feel a little forced and slightly manufactured.

The songs may not have the show-stopping earworm of the original, but they are fairly good in their own right. Into the Unknown fills the role of Let It Go, giving Elsa a standout number to explain her motivation and launch into action, but even though it lacks the infectiousness of the first film’s hit, will still have you humming it the following day. Although my personal favourite must be Kristoff’s 80s power ballad, sung by Mindhunter‘s Jonathan Groff, complete with reindeer, and Queen references thrown in for good measure. Everything about that sentence is so wrong it’s right.

All of which leads to a solid sequel, addressing fears of change, while acknowledging the inevitability of evolution. That may be enough, as it does manage to recapture the charm of those characters and return them to the screen. It may not outshine its original, or even equal it, but it does bring more adventure and growth to the citizens of Arendelle, in a light and family-friendly fashion.

DAVID O’CONNELL

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