Frozen 2 has finally arrived with the excitement of every Disney fan in the world on its shoulders. This sequel has huge pressure on it to deliver, and the impossible task of repeating the magic of the first one and trying to deliver another knock-out punch of a song like the first on provided. Does it manage that mammoth task?
First off, the cast of the first returns and they’re all excellent again. Idina Menzel provides an unbelievably powerful voice in her solo songs that reminds you what made Let It Go such a huge hit. Elsa is once again the split protagonist with Kristen Bell’s Anna, who outdoes her own great performance in the first film to bring some great emotion to the film and if I had more of a heart it might have even been touching.
The star of this one, a little surprisingly to me, was Olaf. The Josh Gad voiced comedic relief hit me with nearly every joke he made, and he even had a touching scene that worked for me. I cannot be as full of praise for Kristoff though. I can’t put my finger on what, but something about his character just annoyed me throughout the film. To be honest, it’s the only real negative I have in the whole film, every time he came on screen I groaned. His bumbling buffoonery wore thin quickly with me and from then on, he just felt a bit out of place. They clearly didn’t have much for him to do relating to the main plot, and the story line he has which should feel important plays out like a meaningless side show that wasn’t needed.
So, I enjoyed three of the four main characters quite a bit, but what about the adventure they’re on. It’s a perfectly serviceable story, with some attempts at surprises that will work wonders with kids. The film just never quite got its hooks in me to the point where I was really into the story. The adventure they’re on is fun, but for me it felt telegraphed from miles away. I appreciate that films often give you some crumbs early on of where the plot is heading, but this gave me more than I needed. I was in with the initial tease of the plot, then it carried on and I was sure of the core story, and that doesn’t add to the fun of the experience for me.
A huge part of the first film is the music, it provided several songs that you were humming right out of the theatre. “Do you want to build a Snowman”, “Love is an open door” and of course “Let It Go” were all in my head for days afterwards, and this is one key area I think Frozen 2 falls a little short. Idina Menzel’s incredible vocals during Into the Unknown and Show Yourself are just as hair raising as ever, but they are missing that magic that Let It Go captured. I realise it’s essentially asking for Disney to capture lightning in a bottle twice in a row, but that’s the problem you give yourself with a sequel to Frozen.
Anna’s song “Some things never change” is a fun ride, and Olaf & song are both superior to their previous efforts, but nothing is there to reach “Do you want to build a snowman” or “Love is an open door” levels of catchy. A friend of mine made the point that the songs in this film are similar to something you would find on Broadway, and I have to agree with him, but for some reason that just didn’t work for me the same way it did for him.
One of the things I am confident in about Frozen 2, is that you will have a good time watching it. It’s got very little wrong, and it’s one of the most beautifully animated films ever, which is becoming par for the course with Disney & Pixar’s’ efforts each year. Every film in recent memory has added a new element to the Disney Animation bow, be that the realistic flowing hair from Tangled or the perfect water from Moana, and I genuinely look forward to just looking at each new Disney animation because of it.
The one element Pixar has consistently nailed in their films that Disney still misses for me, is being able to tell a story that is compelling to both children and their parents alike. Whilst most older generations will enjoy this film, I don’t think it’ll have you thinking about it for hours afterwards. As great as Tangled, Frozen 1 & 2 and Moana are, I couldn’t argue for any of them over Coco, or Up. That is the next step for these films in my opinion, and one I hope they make soon.
Frozen 2 is a good film, its biggest problem is the strength of the first film. Whilst it never reaches the heights of Frozen, it’s a worthy successor and one I think most people will enjoy seeing.
Good: Stunning animation, solid musical numbers, great voice acting across the board.
Bad: Telegraphed plot took away something, and no song quite hits the heights I wanted. Kristoff consistently annoyed me.
7/10 – Do you want to knock a dam down?