I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how big a hit 2013 movie Frozen was. For a long while after it was released, you couldn’t go on social media, or even turn on a TV, without seeing mention of Frozen in some form. And you couldn’t really avoid hearing somebody bash out their rendition of ‘Let It Go’, arguably one of the biggest and most recognisable songs of this decade. Frozen became the highest-grossing animated film ever and a sequel was always inevitable. But, with any sequel, there’s always a high chance that they’ll fail to live up to the original, simply coming across as nothing more than a cash grab. Frozen 2 had a lot to live up to!
Following the events of the first Frozen movie, Arendelle is once again a calm, happy and carefree place. Elsa and Anna are close sisters once more. Anna and Kristoff are a couple, although in a running theme throughout the movie, Kristoff is now keen to try and propose to Anna. Meanwhile, some magic from Elsa means that Olaf now has a permafrost, no longer needing his own snow cloud and able to freely go around without fear of melting. He’s also extremely keen to learn – becoming more thoughtful and aware of the world, asking existential questions, and sharing new found facts with his friends.
An early scene shows a young Elsa and Anna being told a bedtime story by their parents. The story involves an enchanted forest and their grandfather, who went to the forest as king in order to make peace with it’s inhabitants, the Northuldra, and to sweeten the deal by building them a shiny new dam. But a betrayal caused the elemental forces of the forest – air, earth, fire and water – to become angered, resulting in a fierce battle and the entire forest being sealed for all time beneath a magical shield of mist. Clearly this story is being told in order to set the scene for a major plot point in this sequel, so it’s not long before present day Elsa begins to hear voices – a mysterious siren, beckoning her with a beautiful melody. And when the terrifying elemental spirits strike the town of Arendelle, forcing its residents to flee for safety, she remembers the story we’ve just heard and heads off to the enchanted forest to look for answers and a resolution, closely followed by Anna, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf.
What follows is an epic adventure involving all of the main characters as they work together, or separately at times, to try and regain order and peace to this expanding world we’re being introduced to. It becomes a quest to uncover the sisters ancestry and an attempt to undo damage caused by past generations with each character deals with their own personal transformation and growth. It’s all beautifully animated, as you’d expect, full of peril, action and fun. And Olaf still manages to generate big laughs in pretty much every scene he’s in!
Once again, Frozen 2 boasts an impressive soundtrack of songs. At least one is extremely powerful and catchy, knocking loudly at the door of ‘Let It Go’ in terms of memorability (admittedly, I’ve already listened to it a few times since leaving the cinema!), and there are more fun songs for Olaf to sing too. Kristoff comes up short though, getting dealt the worst of the songs, but that’s not to say they’re not still enjoyable.
Like Toy Story 4 earlier this year, Frozen 2 is a sequel that wasn’t really necessary. But, as with Toy Story, it is still wonderful to be back in the company of such great characters. Having re-watched the original Frozen the day before seeing Frozen 2, I can honestly say that the sequel for me was just as enjoyable and entertaining as the first. Highly recommended.