Reviews are a strange thing. Everybody is different and we all like different things. Some people glide from one review to another whilst others stick with a reviewer that they tend to agree with most of the time. I thought I would start by giving you, the reader, full disclosure – THIS REVIEWER IS A FROZEN FAN. That was not always the case. Frozen passed me by for a long time and it was not until much later that I jumped aboard the hype train. But like Elsa would say – the past is in the past and here we are six years later as Walt Disney Animation Studios provides a sequel to the most successful animation feature film of all time. Let’s dive in.
The film takes place several years after the events of the first. We find the gang have grown since we last saw them with everyone enjoying the new norm – except for Elsa. The story is a much more grown up affair and whilst this will suit youngsters who have grown themselves it may prove to be slightly more difficult for a younger audience coming to see their first Frozen adventure. The darker sides of the tale bring epic moments of tension and drama which risks alienating younger viewers. For adult viewers however, it heightens the viewing experience. We feel for Elsa as she continues to find herself, we feel for Anna as she tries to show her sister the love and support she craves herself. Luckily Olaf is on hand to provide multiple moments of comic relief without ever feeling forced or cheap. To this reviewers delight Sven gets in on the gags even more this time. Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck have understood that the characters and their relations are part of the recipe that made the first outing such a success.
Where the film misses the mark slightly is with the songs. How do you follow up to the smash hit that is « Let It Go » or « Love is an Open Door » well the answer is you do not… Despite Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez being back on hand the magic has brief sparks of excellence before falling down to the curse of the sequel. “Show Yourself” almost gets there but just stops short from giving any song from the first movie a run for its money.
Where Frozen 2 falls down musically it more than makes up for in fantastic storytelling, beautiful animation and heartfelt interactions. The film succeeds in continuing the story with plenty of subtle nods to the first film. It never really feels cheap and reminds of us why we love the story to begin with.
Frozen 2 is such a different movie than it’s predecessor that it is almost impossible to compare. The magic is there but in a less classic Disney princess movie and more a swashbuckling action adventure for the 21st movie. The interesting themes will strike chords with older viewers and keep the franchise going fresh for years to come. If like me you have been caught up in the Frozen hype train head on down down to your local cinema – there are plenty of surprises along the way. Oh and about that ending….