Elsa the Snow Queen (Idina Menzel) has an extraordinary gift — the power to create ice and snow. But no matter how happy she is to be surrounded by the people of Arendelle including her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad), Elsa finds herself strangely unsettled. After hearing a mysterious voice call out to her, Elsa travels to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond her kingdom — an adventure that soon turns into a journey of self-discovery.
So it has been a week since I went to see Frozen II at my local cinema, and my brain is still basically a jukebox for the soundtrack.
Frozen II picks up three years after the original film (With Frozen Fever and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure happening in between that time) and the nation of Arendelle is celebrating the start of Autumn (by doing something that looks very similar to Thanksgiving). Everyone seems to be comfortable in their place and roles, with Kristoff getting ready to propose to his girlfriend Princess Anna. However, Queen Elsa has been hearing a mysterious voice singing out to her, for a while it seems, and hiding it from her family and friends. In order to start the plot fully, Elsa follows the sound, and accidentally awakens elemental spirits, which attack the kingdom, forcing all the citizens of the kingdom to evacuate to higher ground, and sets the Royal Sisters and Kristoff, and their sidekick Sven the Reindeer and Olaf the Snowman to journey to the enchanted forest in order to discover and correct the kingdom’s past.
So the biggest question of Frozen II, is it as good as the previous film? And I have been thinking about this question over and over in my head and flip-flopping between yes and no. I think the main thing is that it is a very different film to the original, while still managing to bring the most important aspects of Frozen over to it, including the Anna and Elsa’s characterisation and relationship, stunning vocal performances both sung and spoken from the entire cast (especially the powerhouse that is Idina Menzel reprising her role as Elsa, and the composers have obviously taken full advantage of her range) and genuine laughs, but there is something that is not quite as good as Frozen (2013).
I am left wondering if it is because of hype? I was lucky to go see Frozen (2013) before the hype got too big, as I saw it very close to opening day due to being a massive fan of animation, especially what Disney puts out. This meant I went in with normal expectations that I have for Walt Disney Animation Studio films, which I will admit are quite high, but I was still shocked by Frozen, being one of the people slightly responsible for the hype by telling all my friends and family how good this film was and listening to Let It Go over and over. This hype may become a little more when my daughter was born (in 2014) and grew up enough to show likes and dislikes, Frozen became the biggest thing in our house, with an Anna soft doll becoming my Daughter’s blankie. Because of this, the hype for both of us was huge for Frozen II as we had had five years of build-up. And to be honest with that build-up, the film was always going to disappoint a little. Of course, this is not to say the film is a disappointment, it is still a very well done film, any film will struggle with the amount of hype that Frozen II received.
I think some of the problems with the films are just little niggling things, For example, some of the new characters don’t really do any to the story, and there are not really any plot twists that I didn’t see coming, especially Krisoff’s own plotline being entirely around wanting to propose to Anna, and goddammit, he just keeps making mistakes, leaving the audience to wonder if they are going to get engaged or not? Although to most adult audiences, it is quite a tried trope done in tons of movies, even seen in pervious Disney canon films such as Rescuers Down Under, and we all know what is going to happen with this plotline. However, it does lead to one of the film’s best songs, an over the top cheesy 80s power ballad sung by Kristoff, named Lost in the Woods, with matching visuals including dramatic lighting, soulful close-ups and reindeer back up singers. Also for younger viewers, it seemed like they were quite concerned for Kristoff.
Speaking of younger viewers, when I went to see the film I was accompanied by three young women to help me in my judgement of the film. All three were all very impressed by the film, stating that is was pretty, and had enjoyable songs. Tia (5) noted that she found it scary in parts, but it was still nice and she liked the happy ending (Not really a spoiler, it is a Disney film after all). Evelyn (5), my daughter, noted that her favourite part was getting to see Anna and Elsa as kids again, and that everyone was happy, and although she did not tell me what her favourite song was, just by the number of times that Into the Unknown has been sung around my house and on the school run, I have a funny feeling which it was. My last fellow critic, Emma (5) found the film really funny, especially Olaf, and his song about growing up, and when the leaves kept keeping picking him up.
As a Parent, this is one is a film that I feel is good for both the adults and kids, with plenty of moments suitable for both. The animation, as expected from Disney is stunning, with many scenes that did take my breath away. The story has seemed to take more elements from Nordic Folklore which was lovely to see.
Final Verdict, it is defiantly a 4 out of 5-star film, completely enjoyable, a few small problems, but some amazing high points in the music, animation and overall an enjoyable plot although predictable. If you like Disney Animation, or just enjoyed the first film, you should go to see it at the cinema. If you have kids, I feel like this is a must-see.
Frozen II is still showing at cinemas and will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 30th 2020. If you want to pre-order a copy, you can use our Amazon links below. By ordering through these links, you are supporting Bunkazilla as we may receive a commission from your purchase. Please see our Affiliate policy for more information.
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