Frozen II

Animation Review

Tonight I finally got to see “Frozen II,” which came out two months ago, and I will let everyone know my thoughts on it.

I think everyone could predict that a sequel was going to be made. In 2013, “Frozen” made $1.3 billion at the global box-office making it the highest-grossing animated film ever (not adjusted for inflation).

Critics fell in love with the film and it won Academy Awards for best animated feature and best original song (Let It Go).

In the sequel, the main story is hugely untouched. Matthew Toomey stated in his review, “Inspired by a research trip through the forests of Scandinavia, writer-directors Chris Buck and Jennifer have returned with a fresh, creative story.”

Songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez come back and make seven new songs including the hit Into the Unknown. Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad have all reprised their roles as the film’s protagonists.

If you don’t seem to remember everything that happened in the first movie, there’s a hilarious moment at the end of the first act when Olaf, reprised by Josh Gad, gives a quick-note version.

It happens with the magical Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) and the brave Princess Anna (Kristen Bell) putting together their strengths to save their small kingdom from the villain Hans. The story was loosely inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale, The Snow Queen.

Toomey said, “The five-person writing team have done well to craft something distinctively different for the sequel.” Very close to the Kingdom of Arendelle is an enchanted forest. Its people, who look like Native Americans, can call upon the elements of air, water, fire and earth as part of their everyday work.

However, the forest has been surrounded by a thick mist for more than 30 years after the war that “enraged the spirits.”

Queen Elsa has been told this story as a child but it’s only now become important because of a musical voice that’s calling to her (Toomey admitted, “I was humming it too on leaving the cinema”).

Following the story to the enchanted forest, Elsa is able to use her magic powers to break the mist and, working with her friends, goes in to look for the voice. Following what the wise troll told – “the truth must be found.”

“Frozen II” is not as good as the first one but still has a lot to give. Toomey admitted, “Josh Gad wins big laughs as the deep-thinking Olaf, there’s a cute frog that will win audiences’ affections, and, while I can’t believe I’m saying this, there’s a scene stealing performance from a gust of wind (although it might be tough to sell merchandise based on that character!)”

The story is also great. It’s a nice, strange, magical world where you’re not completely sure what is around each side.

The character interaction is also great with the film focusing on the theme of siblings growing up and making their own sense of independence. There are some great, often emotional, conversations spoken between Elsa and Anna that many will relate to.

Toomey noted, “A research study published in 2016 showed that for Disney animated features involving princesses, male characters produced the majority of the dialogue in almost all cases (the only two exceptions were Tangled and Brave).”

The first one came up a little short (59% of the dialogue were said by men) but if “Frozen” and “Frozen II” are any sign, female-focused stories are in high demand.

This movie felt like it was borrowing from “The Lord of the Rings” and “Pocahontas,” but I still liked the movie for the characters, the sibling growth, the songs, the animation, and especially Olaf.

He cracked me up a lot throughout the movie, so it’s still a good one to watch. If you haven’t seen this movie yet and you liked the first one, check this one out. It’s not as good as the first one, but it’s still a good sequel to see.

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