Updated: May 14, 2020
Frozen II is the sequel nobody asked for. Nobody. The first film became a classic and one of Disney’s staples in animation. For all the acclaim it was getting, Frozen felt like it was missing something. It did everything right, but it was only close to perfect. Luckily, despite being the sequel nobody asked for, Frozen II brings a sense of completion to the story the first film started and is somehow better than its predecessor. Yeah, I said it.
From a narrative standpoint, Frozen II works well. It doesn’t exist as a sequel with no purpose, it answers questions the first film left us with like where Elsa got her powers from and how the she and Anna function in their newfound roles. What makes this film great is how it answers these questions in a more serious and mature tone than the first could ever hope to have. This is a Disney film willing to take its audience to a darker place, trusting they can handle it. The themes of family, belonging and acceptance are prevalent here but don’t hit you in the head like a stray piece of ice.
The journey Anna and Elsa goes on is important and at the frontline of Frozen II. Their bond is tested and it’s hard to watch some of the things they go through together. It’s sweet, frightening and can be a bit exhausting. Surprisingly enough though, Kristoff and Olaf have their own stories, both of which hit parts of the heart in ways I found quite surprising. Kristoff trying to propose to Anna (which leads to one of the greatest songs in Disney history), and Olaf’s existential crisis are effective in bringing laughs and a surprising sense of relatability. They can be a nice break from when things get too heated in Anna and Elsa’s journey. But make no mistake, this is Anna and Elsa’s movie.
What made Frozen amazing but not perfect was the small amount of memorable songs. We all know “Let It Go,” but what else really sticks out? In Frozen II there are songs such as “Into The Unknown,” the hilarious aforementioned Kristoff song “Lost In The Woods,” and the most beautiful song of all “Show Yourself.” Giving Jonathan Groff time to shine was an excellent choice, as was giving Idina Menzel and Evan Rachel Wood a mother/daughter duet. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez created some powerful gems for Frozen II, outdoing themselves from the previous film.
The animation is a huge step up too. The CG art is some of the best I’ve ever seen in any film ever. The details, no matter how grand or minute, are displayed so beautifully. From the creatures seen throughout, to the different ways ice is crafted, nothing is boring or plain looking. Every motion is so well crafted, and every big budget animated film can and should take a few notes about how to do CG art from Frozen II.
I absolutely loved Frozen II. More than the original. This is coming from someone who is always skeptical of sequels. But Frozen II is fun, intense, and will leave you with what some would call the juicy eyes, whether it be from laughing or from the powerful moments it presents.