Attention: This review is spoiler-free.
Where did Elsa get her powers from? And what were Anna and Elsa’s parents really doing when their ship went down? These pivotal questions lie at the heart of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ supremely entertaining and beautiful sequel Frozen 2.
The film basically picks up where the first film (and the myriad of Frozen-themed short films) left off. Princess Anna (again voiced by Kristen Bell) and her big sister Queen Elsa (again voiced by the dreamy Idina Menzel) are best buddies once more and are peacefully ruling the kingdom of Arendelle. Anna is still with her boyfriend Kristoff (again voiced by Jonathan Groff) and they continue to be accompanied by Kristoff’s reindeer Sven and Elsa’s magical creation Olaf the snowman (again voiced by Josh Gad).
We’re treated to a flashback when Anna and Elsa are little girls and where we learn more about their parents, King Agnarr (voiced by Alfred Molina) and Queen Iduna (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood). Their parents tell the girls a story about an Enchanted Forest and other places outside of Arendelle when some important events took place that directly affected their family.
Back in present day, Elsa keeps hearing voices. She is troubled to know if she should try to figure out what they are saying to her or if she should just ignore them. Of course, being the smart and responsible queen that she is, Elsa heeds the mysterious call and sets the film’s adventure into motion. With all of the gang in tow, Elsa ventures off “into the unknown” (which is also a name of one of the many terrific new songs from the film) to try to find out what these voices are attempting to tell her.
When they find the Enchanted Forest, they meet the indigenous Northuldar people who have a long history with the Arendellians and who have a tradition of caring for the environment (and maybe have a little magic to throw into the mix, too). And while the people seem prosperous and happy, there is (literally) a cloud hanging over them and a major mystery that needs to be solved. Can Anna and Elsa solve the puzzle? Do the Northuldar hold any answers to where Elsa gets her power and to what happened to her parents? You’ll have to see the movie to find out.
I found this film utterly delightful. The trademark high quality animation done by the masters at Walt Disney Animation Studios is again absolutely stunning and is such a pleasure to watch. Co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck are back along with most of the creative team from the first film and they’ve infused this film with love, craft, and care. The new songs written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the same writing team as the first Frozen film and the Broadway musical, are again catchy and wonderful and help propel the story forward.
Ultimately, Frozen 2 serves as a terrific complement to its predecessor. Questions are answered, rights are wronged (including giving Jonathan Groff a full song to sing–and it’s a doozy), and the story all comes together in a very satisfactory way (at least for this viewer). Sisterly love once more reigns supreme along with the encouragement to all to be brave, loving, and to go into our own unknowns, whatever and wherever they may be.
Frozen 2 is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association for “action/peril and some thematic elements.”
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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