Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“I believe in you, Elsa. More than anyone or anything.”
It turns out that Disney couldn’t just ‘let it go’ and so here’s the follow up to world-conquering original freeze-em-up. Firstly though, I must thank my pals for ‘lending me’ their three daughters to come and help review this as they are far more the target market than me!?
With the huge Frozen fanbase established by the first film to please, there have been various short videos and games set in the universe, but now the gang are back together for a full-scale all singing, all life-lessoning adventure.
Frosty Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), her kind sister Anna (Kristen Bell), comedy sidekick snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) and hunky Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) with his trusty reindeer Sven set off to unravel a mystery involving a mysterious magical voice from beyond the ice flow.
Unfortunately, there are some nature guardian spirits – air (nicknamed ‘Gale’), fire (a cute little pyro-lizard), earth (massive scary giant baddies) and water (embodied by a cool water horse) -to appease along the way. Also a time-locked forest, complete with aggrieved indigenous tribe and a possible dark secret make up the other plot points.
Co-directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee follow the Frozen game plan keeping the first film’s magical tropes and not straying very far from the Disney safe-zone of marketable cash-in creatures and new looks for the team. Elsa in particular gets a Gandalf the Grey to White transformation and there’s much exposition, especially from Olaf about accepting change and growing up.
The new songs are a mixed bag with nothing as iconic as the original ‘Let it go’ but I really enjoyed Groff’s power ballad (with Queen like backing from the Reindeer) that could slot pretty seamlessly into any Chicago or REO Speedwagon reunion tour.
My young friends all gave the film big thumbs up, they were suitably impressed by the fun banter, mild peril and ice-powered adventuring. The only negatives they picked up on was a lack of any very identifiable baddies and the slightly confusing plot that felt a bit episodic rather than a smooth whole.
Tribute to The Mist
Everything ticks along nicely; the animation is stunning in places and solid throughout. Whilst not hugely original or quite as good as the first, Frozen II delivers an all-age friendly package which should keep many families happy. I imagine this won’t be the last we see of the icy franchise!
Live action version?
(3 - Enjoyable if disposable follow up)
Awesomeness ööö – The animation is the star 'draw'
Laughs ööö – Occasionally funny
Horror ö – Not much scary stuff or trauma
Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Heavy handed moralising ahoy
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