review by Bobby Blakey
Disney has a long history of delivering some of the best animated films in the world. In 2013 their hit film Frozen hit theaters and to no surprise became an instant hit. I personally wasn’t a fan, but clearly the masses spoke and have been eagerly waiting for a sequel and that time is finally almost here. Now the next chapter for Elsa and Anna is here with Frozen 2 featuring a great voice cast including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Jason Ritter, Evan Rachel Wood, and Sterling K. Brown. Could this latest chapter turn a non-fan to enjoy the franchise or will it be too cold at its core?
Frozen 2 follows Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their kingdom. It’s no secret that I cannot stand the original film. I found it boring and lacked any characters that really stood out. Don’t get me started on the fact that nothing happens and it’s filled with issues. That being said, heading into this new chapter I was obviously hesitant, but admit that the trailers for this one showed promise.
Where I found the boring and lack of anything really happening in the first film, this new chapter does quite the opposite taking the characters on an adventure while still not losing the spirit to what they tried to do with the first film. They have taken the importance of the sisters bond aspect of the first film and extended it into this new adventure while infusing it with more characters and situations to make a more complete film in my opinion. I am aware the first film has obviously tons of people that love it for varying reasons and not detracting it from that, but the lack of diversity and real depth just failed for me. There are some darker undertones to the original I have real issue with, but won’t get into all that because they are gone here and replaced with something enjoyable.
One of the things the original did have going for it was how beautiful it was
to look at and this one takes that to the next level. It is impossible for it not to attack all the senses as you experience it on every level. The animators here have truly crafted a movie that is stunningly beautiful and makes it worth that alone. That being said the story while does have some issues worked a lot better for me as it actually took the characters somewhere and expanded who they are. I loved that outside of the sisters they focus on some other characters both old and new. Kristoff gets a song moment, the only one that really worked for me, that is rare as it allows a young man to struggle to deal with his own feelings of love. Some will take this as yet another slap at toxic masculinity, but I found it to be just as important as some of the female empowerment elements for young boys to see.
The music was fine and while it did nothing for me here or in the original I can still recognize their talents. One big difference I noticed was the lack of anything that really stood out like songs from the previous films. I cannot stand the song “Let It Go” but after hearing if the first time could easily see it becoming a hit. Here nothing really had that punch that I noticed, but there is no doubt I am sure something will stick. I still don’t think there are any overly memorable characters this time around, but did enjoy the directions of the new and old characters alike. Whether it was meant to be or not there is one moment involving Olaf that just felt like a scene stolen straight from an Avengers, but they are all owned by the same people so does it really matter?
In the end I actually enjoyed this film a lot more than the original and will no doubt be willing to revisit and just pretend the first one never happened. I encourage others that might not have enjoyed the first one to let it go and give this one shot. If you enjoyed the original hopefully you can join in on the journey and have a good time with these characters once again.