It’s likely that we are all familiar with the Princesses of Arendelle, Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel). Well, it would be hard not to be after the massive hit Disney had on their hands with Frozen back in 2013 and now the highly anticipated sequel is out in theaters. Once again, the audience follows Anna and Elsa alongside their compatriots Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Sven as they try to uncover a mysterious force that has put Arendelle and all its residents in grave danger.
With a call similar to a siren’s that only Elsa can hear, she and Anna set off on a journey to discover where the song might be coming from and how it could possibly be the key to unlocking the source of Elsa’s powers, and the truth about Arendelle’s past. With a new mystery set out before them, the quintet embark on a new adventure which includes meeting new allies such as Lieutenant Mattias (Sterling K. Brown), Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews), Ryder (Jason Ritter) and Yelana (Martha Plimpton).
Where the film really shines is its voice cast. What Bell, Menzel, Gad and Groff brought to their characters of Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff respectively in the last film is back, and dare I say they’re even better in Frozen II. What made the characters much beloved after the first film is still in-tact in the sequel. With new experiences to be had, it’s interesting to see where the characters find themselves. In conjunction with the returning cast we have newcomers Brown, Ritter, Matthews and Plimpton who all do an equally good job with their respective characters. While they do not have the same amount of screen time or lines as their counterparts, all four do great work and it’s a treat to watch their characters interact with Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven.
In Frozen II, all of the characters have to weather new storms in a plethora of forms, most of which deal with various changes that are happening in their lives. All are seeking happiness and a way to save Arendelle, but they are all also trying to deal with personal happenings. Due to this, we see our characters in places we haven’t seen them before and the voice cast navigates these changes with ease. It truly makes for some of the film’s best moments and the way that change is explained as something to be embraced and not feared (even if it is a change we do not necessarily want), is very well done.
Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Frozen II delves deeper into the world of magic than was previously seen in the first film. The main plot of the film is one that’s intriguing as its likely that many have wondered about the source of Elsa’s ice powers, and this sequel strives to rectify this with answers for the audience. However, the storyline suffers from a few choppy moments and is not always totally cohesive, which ultimately affects the film’s pacing – making it seem longer than it truly is. In addition to this, not all of the songs truly land, nor do they have the impact of “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”, but it’s likely that you’ll have “Into the Unknown” stuck in your head for days to come.
Visually stunning and full of catchy new songs, Frozen II is a worthy addition to the Disney library. However, while it is not necessarily better than its predecessor, Frozen II still has a lot to offer both children and adults alike, especially with a voice cast as charismatic as the one we are lucky enough to have in Frozen II.