Tony's Take

FROZEN II review

Into the Unknown

Six years after the phenomenon of “Frozen” took the World by storm, Disney is back with a brand new adventure featuring our loveable Arendellians.  “Frozen II” picks-up a few years after the events of the first film, with Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) ruling, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) still together with Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven, and the gates still open.  To tug at our heartstrings, we are treated to a flashback involving Anna and Elsa being told a story about an enchanted forest.  During his father’s reign, he tells of a partnership between Arendelle and the Northuldra and how the dam was built to better their lands.  But something went horribly wrong and the forest was left encased in fog and inaccessible to all.  With Elsa hearing a strange calling, her investigation ends-up angering the forest and causing the people of Arendelle to evacuate as the four elements vanish from the town.  Upon discovering the people of her father’s story, she feels compelled to discover the truth to what really happened between Arendelle and the Northuldra; sending her on a journey that may take her too far.

No one can argue that “Frozen” was anything less than a cultural phenomenon when it caused worldwide pandemonium back in 2013.  From the endless playing of the songs (like “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”), to the lovable characters, and especially the two princesses that inspired little girls everywhere.  It is somewhat shocking that it took 6 years for Disney to bring out a true sequel, yes there have been a few shorts along the way, but one can only imagine how much goes into crafting a film such as this.  The main voice cast of Bell, Menzel, Groff, and Gad are as adorable and charming as ever.  The new additions of Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K. Brown, Jason Ritter, Martha Plimpton, and Alfred Molina and the returning Alan Tudyk and Ciarán Hinds rounds-out an impressive, diverse voice cast. Though the years have passed, the magic certainly hasn’t.  “Frozen II” gives the animators a giant canvas and the result is nothing short of spectacular.  Bright and wide-ranging colors fill the screen; making you realize just how far animation has come.

The real magic and charm of “Frozen II” comes from its story.  I found it to be much deeper and fun than the original, tackling important issues of love, loss, and change in a way that only Disney can do.  Their subliminal messaging trick is on full-display once again, but I cannot wait to see how deeply it will resonate with its audience.  Not only is the story stronger, but the songs carry much deeper meaning this time around as well.  The anthem “Into the Unknown” speaks of courage and the fear of change; a song which is soon to be heard in all car stereos of those with little kids.  “Lost in the Woods” talks about the feeling of love and how gripping and intoxicating it can be, while “When I am Older” is a playful look at the inability to understand things at a certain age.  The combination of the two proves Disney’s brilliance; they’ve crafted a gorgeous sequel that is designed to help the “Frozen” generation grow-up and boy will it succeed.  The 103 minutes fly-by and leave you thoroughly entertained with all of the new songs stuck in your head as soon as you walk out.  “Frozen II” is an excellent achievement and one that is sure to captivate audiences of all ages once again when it hits theaters this week!

It’s a difficult task to strike gold twice (Only “Toy Story” and “The Incredibles” can boast this fact), but Disney absolutely has done so once again as “Frozen II” is more fun, magical, and charming that its predecessor!  Get ready to hear “Into the Unknown” on repeat for the next few months!  

 4.5/5

FROZEN II is rated PG for action/peril and some thematic elements, in theaters NOVEMBER 22ND!