Frozen 2: Film Review

Anyone who saw my word-perfect lip-syncing effort to Let It Go during my recent 30th birthday party will know that I’m a big fan of the original Frozen. So I was a mixture of excited and nervous for this sequel and I had every right to be – Frozen 2 is good but nowhere near as amazing as its 2013 predecessor.

The film is set three years after the events of the first film. Everyone is happy with Elsa (Idina Menzel) being Queen of Arendelle and life is great – but she hears this mysterious voice calling to her. She finally decides to track down the source of the voice and heads to an enchanted forest with her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), her boyfriend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) – who is trying to drum up the courage to propose – talking snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven the reindeer to discover the origin of her powers and what happened to their parents.

There are so many positive things to mention about Frozen 2. First of all, it is visually stunning. I can’t accurately describe to you how beautiful it is. The enchanted forest features spirits of earth, wind, fire and water and these natural elements are gorgeously animated.

It is also hilarious. This made me laugh out loud as much as – if not more than – the first one. It has some really witty moments that were simply genius. Olaf gets the most comedic opportunities so he was the star of the show. His speed recap of the first film made me laugh so hard, as did the visuals for Kristoff’s solo number Lost in the Woods, which is basically a send-up of ’80s love ballad music videos.

The characters and their relationships are cool to watch and their interactions are written quite well. Anna is the first Disney Princess to feel like a real person. She is messy, emotional, irrational and funny. It was refreshing to see and I’m glad young girls have someone like her to look up to, as well as the more polished and powerful Elsa. This is all about family and female empowerment, with the two leads driving the action with little help from the men.

Now for the negatives. The storyline is just underwhelming and weak so that meant the film didn’t feel necessary. The adventure just isn’t as epic as the trailer led me to believe and the conflict is resolved far too easily. However, I want to praise the makers for creating a sequel that wasn’t just a rehash of the first. It is a totally different story, in a completely new setting, and it was a bold and brave choice picking a darker storyline with nods to colonialism!

Menzel gets a couple of standout songs – Into the Unknown and Show Yourself – and these are clearly hoping to be as big as Let It Go. At times they even sound a bit similar to it. Even though I liked them and Menzel really gives it her all vocally, they aren’t as memorable or catchy. It’s a shame they didn’t try to do a reprise of Let It Go but perhaps that was for the best. Besides these two, the rest of the songs are quite forgettable and mediocre.

Frozen was so well-loved that the sequel, given that it comes after a six-year break, was always going to have to be spectacular to truly exceed expectations and please fans of the first. Frozen 2 is very good in many ways but fails to capture the magic of the first.

In cinemas from Friday 22nd November 

Rating: 4/5

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