Frozen begged us to let it go but Disney’s bank account couldn’t help but answer the mysterious hum of a voice in the distance begging it to come back for more. So here we go again with our friends; sisters Elsa and Anna, Anna’s boyfriend Kritoff, his reindeer and of course, the glue holding the whole thing together, Olaf, the sentient snowman brought to us via magic.
Their first adventure together made, at a rough estimate, $40 gajillion dollars at the box office and through that sweet, sweet merch a tri-gajillion more. Some new characters here are clearly meant solely to recreate the magic at the cash register. Don’t be surprised when your children ask you for a stuffed fire god lizard thing, it is very adorable. Other new characters are here to advance the story that never really grabs you.
It’s been 6 years since we last saw Elsa whip up ice crystals out of thin air, and a lot has happened to all of us since. Hell, when Frozen was released, Obama was barely into his second term. We’ve grown a lot, our culture has shifted, social media has changed us, a lot has changed. So has the audience that came in droves to see the original, and the story sort of advanced along with them with some themes in this movie that are pretty heavy for a children’s animated feature. Gone is the anthem to just, “Let it go, man,” and in its place is ultimately a message of self reliance and becoming who you were destined to be and doing “the next right thing” no matter how hard that might be.
An adult can look at this and think of heavier themes like addiction, loneliness, isolation, depression, and anger. A younger, less on the internet and reading tweets all the time, brain might not see it that way and can be very fun things for children to laugh at. I will say it’s never too scary or too intense for little ones and it keeps the story moving enough for adults, the run time is a fairly breezy hour and 43 minutes.
Josh Gad once again steals the show as his Olaf provides extremely necessary points of relief and laughter. But if not for Olaf, there’s not a lot of levity here. It meanders at parts, feels overly complex at others and new characters are introduced but never fully explored or developed which is a little odd. Sterling K. Brown and Evan Rachel Wood are in the movie, but barely, as the film definitely doesn’t steer too far from the characters you already know and love.
Frozen was a beautiful film, but it is stunning to see how far in just six years animation has come. This movie at times looks like moving piece of art, the animation is truly jaw droppingly stunning. The water looks like water. Let me rephrase that: the cartoon water looks like real water. It’s remarkable.
The music is typical Disney with nothing reeeeally landing as deeply into your brain as Let It Go. I can barely recall the songs and I saw the movie less than two hours ago. Which is never a good sign. One is an obvious attempt to recreate Let It Go which probably comes the closest to getting stuck in your head, and while it may not be the earworm of its predecessor, Idina Menzel knocks it out of the park and paired with the animation in the scene itself, it is quite something.
Kristoffs solo rock music video from the 80s performance went over extremely well with the parents at our screening, but again, couldn’t sing a note of it now if you paid me to. But it was a wonderful dumb homage to a hair metal banger that you probably didn’t expect to see in Frozen II.
The voice cast was good, the story is fine, all in all it’s a great way to spend a couple hours at the movies. It’s all fine. It’s a visual stunner, but it just might leave you feeling a little cold..