Anna and Elsa are back and this time they are leaving Arendelle and taking us “Into the Unknown.” The sequel to the 2012 smash hit is a solid sequel, but still not as good as the original.
In this sequel, we learn more about Anna’s and Elsa’s parents, Elsa’s magical connection and how the pair are connected to a group of people living in the Enchanted Forest. The film tells a wonderful story about sacrifice that ends years of conflict and brings unity to the people of Arendelle and the Enchanted Forest.
I think this film does a great job making up for the flaws of the first film. Jonathan Geoff provides the voice of Kristoff. It was demonstrated from his role on “Glee” that he is an excellent singer. So, why did he not have his own song in “Frozen?” “Frozen 2” makes up for this by giving him what I think is the second best song in the movie with “Lost in the Woods.”
The scaling back of Olaf is also a nice touch. In the first film, I found Olaf to be quite annoying. No offense to Josh Gad whose work I enjoy most of the time, but in “Frozen,” Olaf came across a lot like Jar Jar Binks. In “Frozen 2,” he’s scaled back and I think it does a great service to this film. He’s still there for kids to enjoy but he’s not obnoxious and making me long for a scene he’s no longer in. I don’t know how much the backlash of the “Frozen” short that aired before “Coco” affected Olaf’s role in this movie, but my experience was enhanced by his tempered presence.
Not everything about this movie hit though. Many of the songs sound like they are trying to replicate the success of the first film. While I think it works for “Into the Unknown” and “Lost in the Woods,” the rest feel like cheap imitations. They remind me of the straight to video sequels of the 90s. Those movies had fun songs, but they felt like store brand versions of the theatrical release songs. That’s no knock on Idina Menzel, another “Glee” alum, and Kristen Bell who are still remarkable singers and actresses.
The ending is a nice touch, as well. During the first film, I kept waiting on Elsa to fully abdicate the throne and make Anna queen of Arendelle. While that didn’t happen in “Frozen,” it did here and it completed the journey perfectly in my opinion. Elsa is better suited as the ruler of the Enchanted Forest and Anna is better suited as the leader of Arendelle.
It’s a nice sequel. It’s an overall good movie. It’s got some elements that are better than “Frozen,” but it’s not quite as good. It’s a sequel. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Ranking: 3 stars out of 5
What did you think of “Frozen 2?” Was it as good as the first?