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Frozen 2

Though it may be impossible to remember, there was a time, not too long ago, when you had never heard the song “Let It Go.” This was a simpler time, and long before FROZEN fever ripped through the public consciousness, and before, as John Travolta famously gaffed, “the lovely and talented Adele Dazeem” (real name Idina Menzel) belted out the most infectious Oscar winning earworm of all time.

I can hardly believe it’s been six years since FROZEN released, as its brand seems as popular as ever. From toys, to costumes, to apparel, the images of Elsa (Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), and Olaf (Josh Gad) are still everywhere. This never-ending barrage of swag is unlikely to cease any time soon, as to the delight of children across the globe, FROZEN II was unleashed upon the world in November.

One of the key components of the success of FROZEN was its ability to take audiences by surprise. It was a production that, by Disney’s standards, hadn’t built a ton of buzz or fanfare before its release, and yet became an absolute juggernaut. With catchy songs, strong characters, and lots of laughs, it checked all the boxes of a successful family film. Obviously, it was an impossibility for the sequel to fly under the radar, as it was easily one of the most anticipated films of the year.

After six years of anticipation, FROZEN II may not be the masterpiece that some had hoped for, but will likely satisfy its core fan base. In the aftermath of the events of the first film, the folks of Arendelle are living in blissful harmony. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf, and Sven spend their time playing charades and chillin’, though Elsa is plagued by a mysterious melody that only she can hear. Convinced that the haunting music is beckoning her towards a greater purpose, she sets off to discover its origins. Considering what happened last time Elsa gave in to her questionable impulses, Anna reminds her that they are supposed to tackle all obstacles together, and refuses to let her sister set out on her own.

Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven travel towards the sound of the song, and find themselves in front of an impenetrable mist. This mist has covered the forest of Northuldra (located just beyond the border of Arendelle) since the inhabitants of both lands angered the elemental spirits of fire, earth, water, and wind. With a little help from one of these elements, our heroes find themselves plunged into the mist, and their adventure truly begins.

FROZEN II may not carry the same clout, or reach the same creative heights as the original, but it gets the job done. The animation is absolutely beautiful, showcasing a number of awe-inspiring and dazzling set pieces. The songs illicit toe-tapping joy, including obvious Oscar hopeful “Into the Unknown” that showcases Menzel’s impressive range, and Kristoff’s hilarious 80’s-inspired ballad “Lost in the Woods” that provides a nostalgic throwback that you never knew you needed.

There are a handful of genuinely laugh out loud moments throughout the duration FROZEN 2, most of which are provided by Olaf. In fact, the pint-sized snowman’s soliloquy on the events that unfurled in the first film was the highlight of the entire sequel. Most importantly, as they did with TANGLED, FROZEN and then in MOANA, Disney has continued to provide strong, independent women as its main protagonists. While Kristoff is there to lend a helping hand in times of peril, he spends most of the sequel trying to propose to Anna. Olaf provides comedic relief and brevity, but it is the sisters who heft dramatic weight. Their journey (and Elsa’s in particular) is the focal point of the story, and this carries enough clot to keep audience members, old and young, thoroughly engaged.

GRADE: B

FROZEN 2
RATED: PG
RUN TIME: 1h 43min
GENRE: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
STARRING: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff
DIRECTORS: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
WRITER: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Marc Smith

A special thanks goes to Regal Cinemas at Destiny USA for allowing me to attend this month’s film.

Brian Miller
Film Critic
Based out of Central New York, Brian Miller is a film critic who works in television, radio, and print. Providing passionate and energetic takes on every movie he sees, he looks for the best in a movie, not the worst.