Friday, November 22, 2019

Frozen II

Despite the original not leaving much to follow-up on, Frozen II hits theaters this holiday bringing back the core cast of the first film for what feels like a straight-to-video adventure with an expanded budget. The sequel opens in a flashback which will have ramifications to the sisters' current dilemma as the nearby enchanted forest, cloaked in a heavy mist since their grandfather's time, begins to awaken.

Along with Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Sven, Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) will journey into the forest where they will discover secrets about their family's past and the source of Elsa's power. While reusing themes from the first film, the script by Jennifer Lee introduces familiar elemental forces executed at least as well by any number of films or TV shows.

Although it lacks anything as memorable as "Let it Go" (or even the cuteness of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"), the sequel does have some fun with Kristoff's big solo framed in the form of a music video and the climactic "Into the Unknown" where Elsa finds some answers.

Darker in tone than the original, Frozen II does get better as the story begins unfolding. That said, I will admit that the younger versions of the sisters are almost too cute to behold. How far are we from a Muppet Babbies-style cartoon of young Elsa and Anna? If it lacks some of the magic of the original, Frozen II does build on the relationships created in Frozen and continue to center the story on the core of the Elsa/Anna relationship while moving each of them into a new stage of their life.

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