Film Review: Frozen 2

I really loved the first Frozen movie, and with Ralph Breaks the Internet having been rather well done I wasn’t worried about Disney dropping the ball with the sequel. It made sense for them to capitalise on the first movie’s insane popularity, and also these were characters who seemed to have more stories to be told.

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This sequel delivers an entertaining and visually stunning second adventure for our heroes. It’s three years since the events of the first film, and things are good in Arendelle. Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) rules over a prosperous and peaceful kingdom, and has built a strong bond with her sister Princess Anna (Kristen Bell). Anna is still with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) who is trying to pluck up the nerve to propose, aided by his loyal reindeer best friend Sven. And Olaf (Josh Gad), the living snowman is growing up and starting to think about life, worrying that things will change, despite Anna’s assurances that some things, such as their friendship will remain constant.

But trouble arrives in the form of a mysterious voice that calls out to Elsa and that nobody else can hear. Who or what is it? And is it connected to the story their father told them about an enchanted forest far to the north. As a boy he visited there, where the locals lived in harmony with the four ancient spirits of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. However, when fighting broke out between the Arendelle visitors and the locals, the spirits were angry and brought an impenetrable mist wall around the northern lands.

Elsa sings to the voice and confronts it, and seems to unleash the spirits, who attack Arendelle, forcing the citizens out of the city and into the hills. The trolls, who as well as being love experts seem to know a lot about magic and they explain that they need to work out and calm the spirits. Elsa decides to head north to do this, and the others join her.

Kristoff and Olaf are repelled by the barrier, but it opens for Elsa and allows them in. There they find that the dam built by their grandfather still stands and that the local people, and the Arendelle soldiers are still living there, trapped within the mist. Their father’s guard, Mattias (Sterling K Brown), has grown old but remains loyal to his kingdom, and both sides blame the other for starting the fire.

Elsa promises to uncover the truth, save Arendelle and free those trapped in the mist. But can she do it, even with the help of the others? And what does she risk heading into the uncharted north towards a mythical river of memory and knowledge? Are her powers enough to help her? And what effects will what she learns have for her family and kingdom?

I really dug this movie a lot, because it manages to build on the first movie in a really interesting way. It deals with the fact that Elsa is still very much apart from her subjects and that the origins of her powers are still a mystery, even though she shows more skill with them here. As before, the emotional heart of the movie is still the relationship between the two sisters, with Anna fiercely loyal and dedicated to helping her sister, while Elsa worries that she is endangering her younger sibling.

Their clashes, and Elsa’s urge to go it alone provide much of the drama, as does seeing both of them dealing with the revelations of their quest. Anna is a true hero here, fighting against the odds, never giving up and defending those she loves. She’s a great princess for modern audiences, strong willed but sweet, and a character who yet again has to overcome significant challenges and dark moments.

Both characters are given a bit of room to grow, and strong plot lines for each of them. Their stories are really interesting and the visuals, especially as Elsa battles against a wild sea and showcases her growing skill with her powers are gorgeous.

There’s plenty of laughs along the way too, particularly coming from Olaf, who is now reflecting on life more and a scene where he quickly explains the events of the first film is magnificently done, with those being told reacting as cinema audiences did. It’s one of several wonderful sequences, another being Kristoff going full ’80s power ballad.

The Anna-Kristoff relationship stuff is handled rather well, with Kristoff being rather sweet in his bumbling, nervous attempts to apologise.

The supporting cast is the only area I have a few minor quibbles with, this being that the movie lacks a real villain and that some of the new characters aren’t really developed in any depth. Still, these are minor quibbles and the movie works in every other regard.

Stunning visuals, a funny and engaging script and some wonderful music ensures that this is a fitting followup to the first movie and shows Disney at the height of their powers, crafting a truly magical animated adventure.

It’s an utter delight, and I will watch it again the first chance I get. Magical.

Verdict: 9/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

 

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