The kingdom of Arendelle needs to be evacuated when the forces of nature threaten to destroy it. Elsa, Anna, Olaf and Kristoff set off to find some answers. But Elsa has been distracted. She has been hearing an unfamiliar voice calling out to her in a strange tune. Led by her, the group follows the melody to find themselves at the edge of an Enchanted Forest with untold mysteries and dangers.
Rather than retracing the steps of its record-breaking predecessor, ‘Frozen 2’ tries some new thematic tricks. This time around, the surprisingly mature plot focuses on transformation and growing up. The film’s setup leading up to the climax appears to be promising, but its third act doesn’t quite live up to expectations. The conflict resolution lacks a sense of impact and feels rushed. This is particularly baffling since the first half tends to meander, focusing on songs than on purposefully furthering the plot. Additionally, the tracks are far too many and certainly not as catchy as the first film. Which isn’t to say they are bad – the compositions are layered, but it is yet to be seen if they have enough sing-along power to become as popular as ‘Let It Go’. Still, the picturizations of the music is incredibly captivating.
This extends to the rest of the film’s animation too, and some vibrant colors combine with photo-realistic visuals to create quite a spectacle. Minor details are noticeable as they enhance the essence of each character. While each of the group gets their moments, Elsa and Anna continue to be the focal points. The uncontainable chemistry of Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell, respectively, picks up where they left off without missing a beat. Olaf provides ample humor, either in visual slapstick or by Josh Gad’s endearing yet tongue-in-cheek, almost self-aware delivery. An interesting new character played by Sterling K. Brown is an immediate standout. However, a subplot involving Kristoff and Anna feels shoed in to give Jonathan Groff something to do besides singing probably the most amusing song in the soundtrack.
It’s a tall order to expect this sequel to capture the lightning-in-a-bottle magic of the original, but Frozen 2’s stunning eye-candy and humor will be enjoyable enough for its younger core audience.