Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Running Time: 103 mins
Frozen II is an American film and the sequel to Frozen. Upon the discovery of an ancient enchanted forest, Anna, Elsa and friends set out on a quest to save an ancient people’s homeland, and discover the source of Elsa’s powers.
Within Disney’s stunning resurgence in animation over the last decade, Frozen stands out as the biggest hit of all, thrilling with gorgeous visuals, a stunning soundtrack, real emotional depth and an ingenious blend of the traditional fairytale narrative and something new and exciting.
So, it’s fair to say that its sequel has more than enough to live up to. In that, Frozen II is for the most part a satisfying, enjoyable and thoroughly delightful follow-up to an already legendary film, and will absolutely give younger viewers a great time at the movies.
As far as matching its predecessor goes, on the other hand, Frozen II doesn’t quite deliver the same show-stopping spectacle, missing the mark with a fairly ordinary plot that lacks in real emotional power, as well as a soundtrack that, despite featuring a couple of good hits, isn’t anywhere near the same level as the last film.
Saying that, this sequel does show an astonishing step-up in animation style, and the degree of realism and sheer visual beauty on display in Frozen II is quite a sight to see, particularly when you consider it’s only been six years since the last film.
However, while Frozen II certainly doesn’t match up to its predecessor, it’s important that we look at it as a standalone movie, in which context it’s difficult to find a major fault. Of course, Frozen II does occasionally drag in its quieter moments due to a lack of real, strong emotional conflict and depth, but when it comes to telling an enjoyable, fantastical story of adventure and imagination, the film always manages to do the job and put a big smile on your face.
Once again, the film unapologetically plays out in the vein of a classic fairytale – something that I always love to see in the modern day. Now, although it doesn’t quite have some of the exhilarating, genre-breaking subversions of expectations that Frozen did, Frozen II is a simple and light yet still fast-paced and action-packed adventure, and in between some of its most outstanding musical numbers, the film is always full of delightful energy and excitement, exactly what you need and expect from a good Disney movie.
As I said, the story does lack real emotional depth, not only when compared to Frozen but also in a standalone context, and a lot of its main conflicts are resolved either too easily or too quickly to be particularly interesting. That’s probably the film’s biggest weakness, and what prevents me from considering it among the upper echelon of modern Disney movies, particularly if you look at it in contrast to the stunning tear jerkers of Wreck-It Ralph and Ralph Breaks The Internet.
However, if there’s one thing that Frozen II is noteworthy for not only on its own, but as an improvement on its predecessor, it has to be the animation. Despite a bold move from the filmmakers to move away from the distinct snow-white colour palette that defined the original, Frozen II is a visually astonishing watch wherever you look.
Featuring stunning photorealistic natural backgrounds, the quality of animation here is something we’ve become used to from the likes of Pixar, but not so from Disney’s main animations. And when that’s put into a film that’s full of such great energy and action, as well as balanced perfectly with gorgeously animated characters that have such elegance and delightful, cartoonish energy, it’s difficult not to be really taken aback by the technical achievements on display.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Frozen II. It’s not on the show-stopping level of the original, lacking the same emotional depth and stunning soundtrack, but with truly gorgeous animation as well as an undeniably enjoyable, delightful and energetic fantasy adventure, Frozen II proves an endlessly entertaining watch regardless, and a satisfying follow-up to its legendary predecessor, which is why I’m giving it a 7.7.