By: Miranda Mong
It’s been six years since the first Frozen became a worldwide phenomenon, so, since no one seemed to be able to “Let it Go,” a sequel always felt inevitable.
Any concern that Frozen 2 would be a cash grab should have been put to rest by the gap between the two movies, with the time taken to make something that would live up to the first one. Fear not, Frozen 2 will satisfy fans of the original, as it offers big laughs and even bigger songs, and, if it doesn’t match the original, it comes very close.
Set three years after the first movie, Frozen 2 reunites us with Anna and Elsa as a mysterious voice starts calling to Elsa. Arendelle is threatened and Anna and Elsa must head on a dangerous mission to an enchanted forest with Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven. They hope to discover why Elsa is being pulled to the forest and figure out the mystery of why Elsa was born with magic.
Even if you’ve never seen Frozen, you have definitely heard the hit song from the soundtrack, “Let It Go,” so it’s no surprise that people were expecting something similar in Frozen 2. There are more songs this time, but it’s hard to predict which one will be the new hit because the quality level of each song is so high.
Elsa’s first song, “Into the Unknown,” is the closest to “Let It Go” and works as a power ballad, but it doesn’t quite have the same punch. Fortunately, there are plenty of other songs, from “Some Things Never Change” to Anna’s emotional solo, “The Next Right Thing.” This time around, every main character gets their own song and Kristoff’s is our pick of the entire soundtrack. “Lost in the Woods” is a ’80s rock parody, and the performance of it is bright and fun.
Like most sequels, Frozen 2 is darker than the original, but, don’t worry, we’re not talking about something like Empire Strikes Back or Toy Story 3’s incinerator scene. It has mature themes and one moment that is surprisingly dark, but it’s not too much because you know things will be alright in the end.
The darker moments are balanced out by the fact that the sequel is funnier, with Olaf stealing the show. He was a bit of an annoying character in the first movie, but even the biggest Olaf haters will get a laugh from the sequel.
A slight let down in the sequel is visible in the final half. For the most part, it is a good addition of Anna and Elsa’s story so that the two movies work to tell a complete story. The problem is the sequel lacks that extra magic that made the first movie such a success. It pans out like you would expect. There’s nothing to match the Hans reveal or the unique true love trope.
However, that’s not enough to stop Frozen 2 being an extremely satisfying sequel. The returning cast of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad makes it feel like reuniting with old friends, and it almost goes without saying that it all looks beautiful to make it a great movie experience.
Whether Frozen 2 has the same impact as the first movie is still up in the air, the sequel will make you want to build a snowman all over again.