In 2013, Disney released Frozen, which became a HUGE phenomenon that took the world by storm. Everyone was singing the songs, merchandise was flying off the shelves as fast as they’re put up, and for a while, it was the highest grossing animated film of all time. Of course, with such popularity came backlash and suddenly, people would do barfing sounds at the thought of Frozen. The backlash hit its peak with Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, which took up way too much time before screenings of Coco. All of that aside, even though it’s not one of my favorite films, I still like Frozen with its likable characters, gorgeous animation, catchy songs, and how it subverts most of the tropes associated with Disney films. Nowadays, the latter is no longer special since the more recent Disney films revel in how self-aware they are. So they had to do something special with a sequel. Did they do that? Well, let’s find out. This is Frozen II.
Three years after the events of the first movie, a cataclysm puts Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf on another adventure as they set out to save Arendelle once again and find the origins of Elsa’s powers. I’m not gonna lie, the story in this movie sucked. I hate saying it because I really like the first Frozen, but it’s true. A good sequel either advances the story of the original or brings new elements to the table that enhances the world that was built and Frozen II fails at both tasks. They took what should have been a simple plot and made it convoluted and messy. Characters make decisions that backtrack whatever development they had in the first movie and not much really happens, especially in the middle act.
The first positive thing I can say about this film is that the voice acting is really good. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel nail it as Anna and Elsa once again as their relationship is easily one of the strongest parts of the movie. They still care for one another and are willing to throw everything down on the line. If you’re someone who doesn’t like Olaf (Josh Gad), you’re not gonna like him in this movie as he gets more screen time. That’s not a problem for me as I like Olaf. He was pretty funny and I liked his character progression. I laughed the hardest when he did a re-enactment of the first Frozen. Kristoff pretty much does nothing of worth in this film. He’s trying to propose to Anna to no success and it’s a cliched rom-com trope that’s getting tiring by this point. As for new characters? They exist. They don’t do anything that amazing nor are they memorable, they just exist. For those wondering if this movie has a villain, it doesn’t.
The animation is amazing, from the backgrounds to the movements to every time powers are used. It actually looks better than the original, which shouldn’t be a surprise since Disney is one of the masters of animation. As for the music? Well, that’s another downgrade from the original. Don’t get me wrong, the songs aren’t bad (except for that one Kirstoff song that sounds like an 80s Chicago ballad), but they don’t leave the same impact as the songs from the first Frozen. The best song on here is Into The Unknown, which is clearly being the Let It Go of the film and while it’s no Let It Go, it’s still great. I mentioned my disappointment with the story, so let’s go over some spoilers. So our main characters head off into an enchanted forest that contains a lot of magic and there’s these spirits based on the classic elements (do I even need to explain what those elements are?). Apparently, Anna and Elsa’s grandfather, who was a king, started a treaty with the tribe of Northuldra, who live in the enchanted forest, and built a dam to. symbolize their alliance. But something went wrong and there was a fight that enraged the sprits. Turns out it was caused by the king killing the leader of the Northuldra. Why, they don’t really explain, which is a problem with this film. They throw a lot of lore into the film that makes things more complicated than they should. At the end, Anna becomes the Queen of Arendelle with Elsa stepping down to become the protecter of the enchanted forest. Happily ever after?
I give Frozen II a 6/10. The animation is great and I like Anna and Elsa’s relationship. But man, the story just did not work at all. There’s no cohesion to it or any focus, it feels thrown-together at the last minute, which makes me think that this was just another cash-in on the Frozen craze. And as much as I like certain songs like Into The Unknown, most of them aren’t as catchy or memorable as the songs from the previous films. This and Ralph Breaks The Internet (which doesn’t hold up well in hindsight) are just underwhelming Disney sequels, which I thought we’ve done away with in the 2000s. Guess not. Man, I wanted to like this movie more, but all I was left thinking was “well, that existed.” Thankfully, the next animated Disney film is an original story not based on any franchises, which is good.