Let’s get this out of the way right now: Frozen II is not as good as the first movie. Frozen was the second-highest grossing animated film Disney has produced outside of Pixar; it has become a cultural touchstone that has firmly embedded itself in modern society with an appeal that cuts across generational lines. Frozen was the kind of lightning in a bottle that cannot be repeated. That being said, Frozen II is still a good film that is a must-see for the little ones and diehard Disney lovers that is worth the cost of admission for everyone else.
We return to Arendelle to find a politically stable and economically prosperous absolute monarchy. Don’t forget that our beloved Elsa is an autocrat whose people have no recognized political right of self-determination. Elsa is firmly ensconced in her role as queen with Anna at her side, Olaf has become permafrost and no longer melts, Sven is desperately and incompetently trying to propose and is still a moose. Problems still remain though, such as the massive, impenetrable, magic fog barrier at the border (always a problem with the trade bottlenecks and what not). However, what makes it an imminent threat requiring royal intervention is the strange voice drawing Elsa like a siren song. Like any decent siren song, this leads her into mortal danger and creates a situation that requires the mass evacuation of Arendelle while our main characters set off into the fog and the forest beyond to give the matter a royal seeing-to.
What follows is an interesting tale of magic, a decades-old feud, political assassination, a monarch’s ill-thought-out attempt to minimize the risk of asymmetrical warfare with his neighbors, and the semi-peaceful establishment of a government amenable to Arendelle’s strategic interests. The technical aspects of the film are fantastic. In a time when animators seem a bit too obsessed with realistic animation, Frozen II remembers the value of stylistic enhancement, creating some truly stunning visuals. The voice cast puts in the same level of effort and competence they did the first time around. The score isn’t necessarily on the same level as “Let It Go,” but that’s to be expected. It still stands very well on its own. And, overly political plot analysis aside, the story mostly holds up and includes a few delightfully dark and unexpected moments.
All in all, 4 out of 5.
A solid film worth seeing in theaters.