Disney has had many animated hits over the years like the enchanted spectacle of Beauty and the Beast, or the adventurous appeal of The Lion King. However, in recent years, one title has dominated the scene and become a household name in the House of Mouse, and that film is none other than Frozen. Based on the fairytale of the Snow Queen, Frozen took the world by storm with its adventurous tale, memorable characters and catchy songs. Needless to say Frozen became a success and naturally, when this kind of thing happens to a movie, a sequel is put in the works; though when it pertains to Disney, their animated sequel tend not to get follow ups (at least not on the big screen). However that is not the case for Frozen as now in theater is the highly anticipated Frozen 2. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Frozen 2 continues to tale of two sisters who embark on another adventure. To say this movie had a blistering battle ahead of itself may be the understatement of the year as Frozen 2 not only had to live up to this year’s array of blockbusters, but its predecessor as well. The end result was the latter as while Frozen 2 may not have been as impactful as the 2013 film, it was certainly an enjoyable experience.
The story of Frozen 2 deals with Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) journeying to the enchanted forest after the kingdom of Arendelle fall into turmoil from an unknown force. Along with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad), the sisters go into the woods and discovers the mystery behind the kingdom as well as the voice that Elsa keeps hearing. The story behind this sequel was adventurous, to say the least, though it was not without its faults. While it could be a little hard to get into the story does pick up as it goes along and it featured several investing aspects such as its connection with the first film. Where the plot falters though is in its execution. The limited connection within the story itself caused a conflict in its direction, and it seemed to lack a grandiose impact that brought everything together. Yet despite this the adventure to the plot was both captivating and entertaining, and that was more than enough to make this tale a fitting continuation.
The cast of Frozen was a group of memorable characters and each of them have made a name for themselves in some form or fashion. So it was interesting to see just what direction Frozen 2 would take the group of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf-and the movie did not disappoint. In the matter of performances the group was as solid as ever. Each performer felt comfortable in their respective roles and the chemistry between them was as formidable as it was in 2013. In the case of development, each character was given understandable progression with Elsa, to no surprise, having the most direction. In fact Elsa’s story was a steady continuation as her arc in this film was about self discovery and deciding what is important to her. As for the others, each character had a decent direction to go in; such as Anna supporting Elsa or Kristoph trying to propose to Anna. However these directions lacked significance, or rather they did not have the same vitality seen in Elsa’s development. This issue has to do with the film’s execution as, just like the story, the development of each character could only go so far. As for the supporting cast, characters such as Lieutenant Mathias (Sterling K.Brown) and Yelana (Martha Plimpton) were good additions. However these characters only had so much to offer the movie as when it came down to it this cast was one that was led by its central characters; though that is not say that was not a bad thing.
Going into Frozen 2, there were two elements that were going to be highlights for the sequel: the animation and the music. To no surprise the animation was solid and kept true to the style of the first film. While it may not have explored different techniques, certain aspects such as the water animation provided a distinct look for the film and added much to its presentation. Yet of the two mentioned aspects, the one that had much to live up to was the music. The songs of Frozen were a major factor for the movie as the likes of “For the First Time” and “Let it Go” are some of the most memorable numbers from Disney’s musical repertoire. Needless to say the songs of Frozen 2 met these high expectations- well for the most part I should say. While they may not have the same impact as the songs of Frozen, the numbers of the sequel were still a delight and very stylistic as the main numbers matched the characters they represented; such as as Elsa big number, “Into the Unknown” or Kristoff’s ballad “Lost in the Woods”. However, while “Into the Unknown” had a lot of hype going in, I think the film’s standout song was “Show Yourself” as its lyrics and visuals were enticing and captured the best aspects behind this animated franchise.
Frozen 2 had a lot to live up and meeting those expectations was never going to be easy. However, when it came down to it, this sequel ended up being a decent continuation. The direction in both the story and characters left much to be desired and the movie seemed to lack a long lasting impression. Yet despite these issues, this sequel had plenty to offer. The story was adventurous, the cast were enjoyable and both the music and animation lived up to the series’ standards. So while Frozen 2 may not breach the unknown and stand among the best sequels to grace the silver screen, the movie remains true to its predecessor and if you ask me it among the better sequels produced by the acclaimed animated studio.