Review: Frozen II

2013’s Frozen was an enormous hit. Between the box office success (1.3B worldwide) and merchandise, it was impossible to go anywhere and not hear “Let it Go.”

The sequel, Frozen II, picks up some time after the events of the first film. After Elsa (Idina Menzel) starts hearing a singing voice in the distance, she’s drawn to an enchanted forest that holds information about Elsa and Anna’s (Kristen Bell) parents and the history of Arendelle.

Elsa, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), and Sven make their way north to find the voice that’s leading Elsa and uncover the mysteries of the enchanted forest in hopes of saving Arendelle from danger.

Frozen II touches on a lot of different topics – relationships, culture, colonialism, purpose, and family. The film touches on all of these subjects while maintaining the core tenants of a Disney film. There isn’t a frame that doesn’t include a joke, a song, or a heartwarming moment. You know, all the elements that make Disney films…..Disney films.

The adventure Elsa and Anna embark on feels a little familiar. The two sisters set off to save the city while being accompanied by a magical snowman, a classic hero and his trusty sidekick. All the heroic back-and-forth scenes will lead to an ending that’s designed to teach some life-lesson. Is it a predictable formula? Yes! Does it work? Absolutely.

Even with a predictable plot, Frozen II does what Disney movies do best; it draws you in and pulls on every emotion through moments of joy, sadness, and despair. This time around the emotion doesn’t come from the sibling relationship, but both characters accepting who they are and discovering what their purpose is.

What Frozen II really gets right is the songs. The musical numbers very good and are what makes this film series so likable. “Into the Unknown” and “All is Found” will be soundtrack favorites. Jonathan Groff’s performance of the 80’s power ballad “Lost in the Woods” is the best musical sequence in the film.

Frozen II is what fans should expect from a sequel. It’s fun, familiar, and drills deeper into relationships and characters audiences already know. It’s knows when to be charming, when to be visually stunning, and when to teach lessons of empowerment. Frozen continues to be a great franchise. Let’s hope the magic will continue whenever we get Frozen III.

Grade: A-