Movie #242 2020: Frozen II (2019)

Onto a sequel that people (many of them small people) actually wanted now…

Frozen II is pretty self explanatory to be honest. I mean, at this point, who hasn’t seen or at least had some awareness of its predecessor? In this follow up, we rejoin Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) in their icy kingdom, and their pals Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) are back for the ride. This time, something is troubling Elsa – she can hear a mysterious voice beckoning her from out in the wilderness. Naturally, being the sucker for danger that she is, she sets out to find the voice and runs into a world of trouble.

Of course a sequel of this magnitude is going to come with a lot of comparison to its predecessor, so let’s not beat around the bush in that regard. Frozen II seems a lot more adult in themes (specifically the ‘aboriginal’ people stuff) and plot than the previous film. Alongside that, it’s definitely more complex to follow and more “grown up” in a sense, perhaps due to the fact that the original movie’s target audience has aged six years since then. A smart move when you think about it – a child who watched the first film at age six would now be eleven, meaning they are ready for slightly more adult content. It seems like Disney took this prompt from their peers over at Pixar, as it’s very similar to what they did when they transitioned from Toy Story 2 to Toy Story 3. Not a bad idea!

Animation-wise, the landscapes and the backgrounds in this sequel are glorious, it’s undeniable. Of course the water/ice sequences are all incredible and probably the bst of the lot, but I can’t put my finger on why the animation of the humans (especially their mouths) is really odd… it’s like they couldn’t figure out how to animate an “ooh” sound? Watch it again and you’ll see what I mean. It’s even more strange that I don’t remember such an issue in the first film? Either way, someone dropped the ball here.

The cast are just as good as the first time round – as expected. However, as talented as Idina Menzel is, its really distracting to me that she voices Elsa. I – a theatre kid – grew up with Idina’s voice, and her vocals coming from a skinny blonde princess is just something that is difficult to get my head around. Despite this, she reprises her role well.

Whilst we’re on the topic of Menzel’s pipes, Into the Unknown is infinitely a better song than Let It Go, and if you disagree then you’re probably deaf. Personally, I didn’t think much of the other songs and all of them (other than Show Yourself) are instantly forgettable, and yet the music was still better in this than in Frozen. Is that because I have a personal disdain for the majority of songs in the first movie? Probably. My personal distaste aside, the two aforementioned songs are still better in their own right. Prove me wrong.

Sadly, regardless of the talented cast and the beautiful scenery, it’s really difficult to become invested in the narrative here. Nevertheless, I found this more enjoyable than the first film, and it is still important for young girls to see strong female characters like these on screen.

Do I love it? No. Is it a step up from Frozen? I give that question a reserved yes.

Frozen II is available to stream on Sky Go, Now TV and Disney+ in the UK.

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