In 2013, director duo Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee brought the world a new Disney animated fairy tale, Frozen, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen. It’s a pretty safe bet to say that Frozen captured the hearts of children (and annoyed parents) everywhere as the film made $1.27 billion dollars and won Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. Six years later, we now have a follow up to a juggernaut of a movie. Does Frozen II make you want to build a snowman (In Adelaide weather) or is time… to let it go?
Picking up three years after the events of the first film, Elsa (The wickedly talented Idina Menzel) rules Arendelle as the Queen with her younger sister, Anna (Kristen Bell), by her side. However, Elsa starts hearing a strange melody calling to her from the north. In an effort to find the mystery of the sound, Anna’s boyfriend, Christoph (Johnathon Groff), the goofy snowman, Olaf (Josh Gadd) and the loyal reindeer, Sven, join the sisters as the sound guides them to the enchanted forest of Ahothallan, where the indigenous Northuldra tribe defends the kingdom. The group finds that the sound somehow has to do with the answers of their past and Elsa’s chilling powers.
Looking past the large cloud of hype that the first movie has built since 2013, it isn’t hard to see why Frozen is considered amongst the high caliber Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast or The Lion King, as it brings an enchanting premise and the importance of the relationship and friendship between sisters. As a follow up to such a massive film, Frozen II ticks the boxes for what makes an engaging sequel by exploring and developing new parts of the mystical universe. To bring this story to life, the absolutely flawless animation creates such an immersive experience, while also going in very surprisingly dark directions that may scare younger children.
While the film goes to great lengths exploring Elsa’s powers and her and Anna’s family, the rest of the gang falls into typical comedic relief, especially Christoph with a running gag that starts amusing but then quickly stumbles throughout the entire movie. Despite this, all the returning cast still brings the fun characters to life, especially Idina Menzel in the follow-up to “Let it Go” with another empowering song, “Into the Unknown“, which MAY or MAY NOT be the next love/hate song. However, the rest of the songs, while entertaining, felt a bit forgettable, but then again, doing a follow-up soundtrack to the first movie would have been difficult to top.
Overall, Frozen II is a very different follow up the now-iconic Disney movie as it goes into darker and mature directions, but the cast and visuals still bring enough magic to this fairy tale. A recommendation to whether or not to see the movie seems a bit unnecessary as you’ll know if you will be dragged to see Frozen II, but this exploration into the unknown is worth having a look.
Rating: ★★★(1/2) out of 5
Frozen II is in cinemas on November 28th.