‘Frozen 2’ brings itself up from a mediocre first half to a surprisingly powerful conclusion, and while a slight improvement from the original to satisfy Disney aficionados, it’s still far from the studio’s best offerings.
After Elsa hears a distant voice calling for her, Anna, Olaf, Sven and Kristoff join her into an adventure to find out its origins and how it might be connected to their own past.
Following up the smash hit sensation that ‘Frozen’ and its titular song ‘Let It Go’ were a few years ago must have been quite the struggle for the Mouse House, who was once not to keen on making sequels for their films unless they went directly to home media. However, Jennifer Lee (now also head of Disney Animation) stepped up to the plate, and while the results trend slightly positive, the question remains if the film was a worthy creative endeavor.
Lee opts to take a different approach with the film, going for a much darker and serious story that often feels like bypassing the usual animation tropes and embracing the blockbuster formula that has plagued Disney’s live-action films, which, while it may come off as a bit over-the-top and not believable given the first film’s cheesiness and much different tone, it’s a welcome transition to a more mature animation audience.
My main problems come straight out of the gate — it can’t help but feel like Lee struggled to begin the story and properly transition the story from where we left off to the darker scenario, and the result is, admittedly, jarring; it opens with a joyful song, “Some Things Never Change”, and moves forward into super serious ‘Let It Go’ wannabe “Into the Unknown”. There are just too many underdeveloped ideas that sometimes lead to nothing. However, it is by the end that the film, once it finds its footing, when it does elevate itself into something truly special, not only featuring some of the best animation of the year, but a very strong message and strong conclusion that at least satisfies more than it seemed possible by the looks of where the story began.
In conclusion, ‘Frozen 2’ might not be among Disney’s best, but it works for what it is: a joyful, funny, and sometimes truly special sequel that is a really good time.