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article imageReview: ‘Frozen II’ sets Elsa’s origin story to music Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Dec 9, 2019 in Entertainment
‘Frozen II’ is the musical sequel to the highly successful Disney animation in which the sisters embark on a new journey to learn about their past and reclaim their future.
Disney likes to make a point of mentioning that while the rest of Hollywood is busy making sequels, they’ve only released a handful over nearly a century of animated feature production. That speaks not only to number of original narratives they’ve created, but also the quality and thoughtfulness that goes into the follow-ups they have delivered. This year, Disney adds to those exclusive ranks with their latest animated sequel, which also happens to be its first continuation that could be classified as a musical. Frozen II picks up a few years after the first film concluded with a new mystery to solve.
Things are quiet in Arendelle as Anna (Kristen Bell) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) settle into blissful domesticity, and Olaf (Josh Gad) relishes his new permafrost that lets him enjoy all seasons. But Elsa (Idina Menzel) is restless and her unease is suddenly heightened by a mysterious voice on the wind only she can hear. With Arendelle’s future at risk, Anna and Elsa look to a tale from their childhoods about an enchanted forest. There, they hope to find answers to the many questions recently raised about the origins of Elsa’s icy powers and their parents’ demise. While on this journey, Elsa begins to test the limits of her abilities and learns she’s capable of more than even she imagined — a concept difficult for Anna to accept.
While Disney’s movies typically include a number of memorable tunes, this movie is a true musical as the characters break into song to express their feelings throughout the picture. Elsa is worried about the meaning of the mysterious voice, but also yearning to get back out there beyond the castle’s walls; and Anna is, of course, worried about her. Olaf is trying come to terms with the fact he’s growing up and things are changing. Kristoff doesn’t know if Anna really needs him around — though this is one of the best numbers in the film since the sequence resembles a boy band video from the 2000s.
The story is quite interesting as their quest for the truth takes them to unexplored realms where they meet new people with whom they seem to fit right in. In the enchanted forest, they find themselves at home with both the forest natives and Arendelle’s lost. Elsa connects with the elders who know the land’s magic, Anna enjoys learning of their home’s history from someone who lived it and Kristoff connects with another romantic who empathizes with his predicament. It’s all very lovely and presents a rich palette of autumn colors compared to the icy blues of the first picture.
It’s all still very fantastical and while it likely falls slightly short of the first picture, it’s still a wonderfully enjoyable movie.
Directors: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad
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