Let’s talk about Frozen 2.
When Frozen was a massive success many years ago, people started talking about a sequel and I scoffed at them, telling them Disney don’t do cinematic sequels, well not very often. I know there was a lot of straight to video sequels in the 90s, but they were just cheap cash grabs made because Eisner wanted all the money in the world. No Disney Princess film has ever had a cinematic sequel but Frozen was so successful and made so much money for the big mouse through not only the movie but all the merchandise, shorts and Disney On Ice retellings they couldn’t resist but break the rule of 80 years and bring a Disney Princess movie back to the big screen.
Elsa and Anna are living quite nicely in Arendalle with Kristoff planning to propose. But Elsa starts hearing a mysterious voice which she starts to believe is related with her ice powers and so with the rest of the gang in tow, she goes on a quest to discover the voice and the source of all of her powers.
At the start of the film, you get the feeling the movie isn’t quite sure of what to do with itself. It feels like everyone involved is quite shocked there’s more story to tell and while there are some nice songs, they do feel like retreads. That’s a thing with many of the early songs actually, they do feel like attempts to recreate some of the songs from the original. Some Things Never Change is definitely this film’s version of For The First Time In Forever, When I Am Older is the new In Summer and Into The Unknown is the attempt to replication the huge success that Let It Go had. Also hah, you’ve just got that in your head again so enjoy that for the rest of the day. There’s an element of everyone waiting around for the plot to happen and the singing happens because it’s a Disney film, singing needs to happen.
However the movie does kick into high gear during the Into The Unknown song. When it hits its second verse, it finally becomes something more than a retread of Let It Go and becomes its own thing and guess what, if you are a parent of a young child it’s going to be on repeat in your car for the next three years. But this is when the movie realises what wants to do and gets its own themes and ideas which differentiate it from the original. Elsa, Anna and gang head out to the north to find the source of the voice and instead of the standard rescue quest with the odd twist, we now have an adventure movie with magic. And an adventure in some stunning scenery. This is an incredible looking movie and there is some jaw dropping scenery to go along with our adventure into the wilds.
And when they are in the wilds, the movie becomes everything this sequel can be. The sister relationship between Elsa and Anna gets more development and analysis. While their relationship was key to the first Frozen, it’s worth remembering how little time they actually spent together in that movie. Their relationship was defined by its distance and now we finally get to see them have a sisterly rapport. They have an incredible closeness but the scars of that distance is still there and it forms a huge part of what ends up happening. Also it’s pretty cool to spend some time with Elsa as a leading character rather than her being the ice princess stuck in the ice castle for most of the movie. We get to see more of her character outside of one kickass albeit overplayed song and that’s another strength of the movie.
I don’t want to spoil too much but there’s a lot of other very memorable and fun moments that make this movie incredibly good. Kristoff finally gets a song of his own and it’s a homage to hair metal ballads which was completely unexpected but definitely the most awesome thing that could have happened. There’s a lot of loving references to the original Frozen that you’ll enjoy but a retelling of the movie from Olaf will bring you all the enjoyment in the world. Seriously, I get the character can be very annoying at times, the shorts did not show off his best side, but he definitely reprieves himself with that one hilarious sequence. And as much as it’s a side plot that could easily be removed without affecting a thing, Kristoff trying to propose to Anna leads to a lot of fun skits. And when the movie turns emotional, it hits all of the right notes.
Frozen 2 is not as good as the first one but that’s because it didn’t have the surprise factor that one had. This movie is so close to matching it that its quite unbelievable really when you consider the quality of the other Disney Princess sequels out there. No, I’m not apologizing for quietly dragging on the Little Mermaid 2. It advances the stories and relationships from the original, adds some new songs to the rotation which should give a little bit more peace to parents and most importantly, is incredibly entertaining for the whole family. That one better end up on the Blu-Ray box as it was tailor made for it.