Frozen II Movie Review
There is a reason why Frozen II, the sequel to the third highest grossing animated film of all time and benefactor of one of the most memorable movie songs of the last decade, didn’t even got nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards: it’s a sequel that doesn’t have a lot to say—or sing. It is undeniably a cash grab.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t an entertaining cash grab, however.
Frozen II looks like it was made to make $1.4 billion dollars—it beat out its predecessor to rank #2 of all time, behind The Lion King. The movie is beautifully animated, with rich color and detail. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking or unique about the visuals, but that’s okay.
The story is your typical sequel story, casting the original characters into a slightly new setting to deal with slightly different things, the details of which I won’t bore you with here. The characters themselves, unfortunately, are also lesser versions of their previous selves, the compelling dynamic established in the original—Elsa rediscovering her powers, Anna stuck in a love triangle, the emergence of Olaf—lost to the conflict resolved several years earlier. Elsa is now confident in her powers, though her schizophrenia is causing her to hear an annoying siren’s song from somewhere in the distance, while Anna is dating Kristoff, who plans to propose to her—no real suspense there.
And Olaf… well, Olaf is Olaf.
As generic as aspects of Frozen II are—that includes it’s completely forgettable Oscar-nominated song “Into the Unknown”—returning directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee make the most of the material. The movie is fast paced and often amusing, the characters likable if somewhat bland. Olaf is as silly as he was in the original, and benefits from another funny song.
Speaking of songs, Frozen II boasts a second chuckle-inducing tune, sung by Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) in the form of a late 90s pop love ballad. “Lost in the Woods” was, for whatever reason—actually, the reason is that most of the other songs fail to hold your attention—my favorite part of the movie.
Despite being a standard sequel, Frozen II has everything a Disney animated movie needs: adventure, humor, and just the right dose of goofiness. It isn’t boundary pushing or particularly clever, nor is it as emotionally resonant as Disney’s other 2019 film Toy Story 4 (which did get nominated for and won Best Animated Feature), but it’s fun, funny, and entertaining.
For a cash grab, that’s enough.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.