By Paul Hall
The year was 2013. A little animated film burst on to the scene and left kids and parents alike singing the music of Frozen. “Let It Go” was an anthem for the two sisters who found their way into our hearts. Now they are back, and we are ready to return to Arendelle.
Queen Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) is coming into her own as ruler of Arendelle. The community is thriving and, although Elsa is still learning to understand the depth of her powers, she definitely possesses what it takes to be in charge.
Anna (Kristen Bell) is the playful sister who is enjoying life. When we first get reacquainted with her, Anna is dancing and singing with her good friend Olaf (Josh Gad), now in a state of permafrost thanks to Elsa.
Of course this film would not be complete without Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his trusty reindeer Sven. Kristoff has big plans for Anna in Frozen II, but will he be able to carry through on his intentions?
Since all of our friends are back in the mix for the sequel, we need a story, right? The plot here is simple: a tune in the distance is calling to Elsa and she desperately wants to find the source of the sweet sound. When Arendelle faces an attack from the elements, the queen must answer the call to save her citizens.
Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven will need to work together to track the sound and will face a myriad of challenges in order to find out more about their past and to save their future in Arendelle. And of course, the journey will include songs aplenty.
Frozen is a beloved film for a generation of kids. It was inevitable that a sequel would be made as, although the main song then was “Let It Go,” no one would really want to walk away from the franchise.
Fast forward to 2019 and there are a couple of showstoppers in the new film. “Some Things Never Change” features Bell alongside Gad, Menzel and Groff, while “Into the Unknown” is Menzel’s time to shine and “The Next Right Thing” is Bell’s moment in the sun.
But a bit of the undiscovered magic that made Frozen a special film is missing here. The singalong moments don’t rise to the level we want, but are memorable in their own way.
Frozen II is like comfort food, all the ingredients we love mixed together, making a film that brings us back home. Lots of silliness, lots of music, and a story about two sisters, family, friends and growing up. There is a delightful post-credits scene featuring Olaf, and the credit roll features the music of Panic! At the Disco, Kacey Musgraves and Weezer performing the film’s main songs.
If you liked Frozen, you’ll enjoy Frozen II, but don’t expect to be blown away — despite the wind given the name of “Gale,” it’s more of a light breeze that prevails.
Paul’s Grade: B
Voices of: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
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