HOLLYWOOD─Can you believe it? It has been 6 long years since the Disney classic “Frozen” took audiences by surprise and delivered the biggest song of all time, “Let It Go.” Well, the hotly anticipated sequel, “Frozen II” has arrived and the question everyone wants to know is if it’s better than the original. Not quite, but it is indeed a worthy sequel. That is the problem with a movie as gargantuan as “Frozen,” trying to outdo the original is not impossible, but a very daunting task.
Our journey sees Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel) and Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) working to restore peace in Arendelle, after the waking of a few sleeping spirits unexpectedly by Elsa. This leads Elsa and Anna on a journey where Elsa learns how she obtained her powers, which were the direct result of her parents, King Agnarr (voice of Alfred Molina) and Iduna (voice of Evan Rachel Wood). Their parents were entangled in a treaty that was forged with Arendelle and the tribe of Northuldra. A battle erupted as a result of that treaty where a dam was built between the two lands, and the elemental spirts of water, air, fire and Earth trapped everyone in the Enchanted Forest.
That is the focus of this narrative that is easy enough to follow for children and adults. It was really nice to see the writers not afraid to tackle Elsa’s back story as a narrative. I think we ALL wanted to know where her powers came from and the story is believable and interesting to see unfold. We also get to see the bond between Anna and Elsa deepen more. Yes, Elsa is still the focus of the tale, but Anna plays a notable role here as well. There is a bit of a reversal in the roles here, where Anna gets the opportunity to rescue Elsa versus Elsa saving Anna.
There is also the return of comic relief via Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna’s love interest Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Grof). The chemistry between these four characters is amazing, and I can absolutely see a third installment in the franchise a lot sooner than later. With “Frozen II” it was a question more of how do we top the original? The answer: you can’t. With the box-office success of the original, we see another tale crafted where the sisters are taken on another journey and perhaps this time the focus will shift to Anna instead of Elsa.
Let’s talk about the music. The songs in the new movie are entertaining, but they don’t come close to the classics of “Frozen.” I mean I loved “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” and “Let It Go.” Is there anything that needs to be said about that song? It was inescapable for years, and it had kids and adults alike singing it nonstop for months. There are no such standouts like that this time around. If I had to name one song that will get stuck into your head its “Into the Unknown.” However, give it time, a few more songs might start to generate buzz with audiences.
Overall, “Frozen II” will entertain audiences and force you to recall why you enjoy the franchise so much. It’s not just an animated flick, it’s a movie about family and it’s always great to get a reminder of those things.