We all know that Frozen II was a cash cow. The story of Frozen was not begging to be continued via a sequel, but the successful box office and craze that it spawned pretty much made a sequel obligatory. With that in mind, does that make Frozen II bad? Here are my thoughts.
Mild spoilers ahead!
Frozen II takes place a few years after the events of the first film wherein Queen Elsa (voiced again by Idina Menzel) constantly hears a mystical voice calling her from the forest, a voice only she can hear. The forest is one wherein their grandfather built a dam to unite their people with the Northuldra people of the forest.
When Arendelle is threatened, Elsa heads out on a journey into the forest to seek answers along with Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf (voiced again by Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad, respectively). While Elsa seeks answers, Anna deals with emotions of being overprotective of her sister, Kristoff tries to propose to Anna in the best way, and Olaf embraces the ideas of “maturing” and “growing up”…somewhat.
The biggest disappointment with this film is its storyline. The plot is incredibly generic dealing with the four elements: Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water, a plot we’ve seen multiple times before and this film doesn’t do it any differently or better. Not much really happens in the film as most of it is about dealing with emotions rather than events occurring. Heck, the film doesn’t even have a proper villain!
All the subplots seem padded and many plot elements feel retconned. Like, you would think Anna and Elsa would mention this forest and the Northuldra people at least once in the first film! The overall product just feels like the studios knew they could get away with any mediocre story and still make over a billion dollars at the box office!
Having said that, I do like the film. The voice acting by the old cast is as good as the original. And the new additions including Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K. Brown, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Aurora, do great jobs too.
The singing performances are also amazing. Most of the songs are honestly forgettable, but two stand out for me: Into the Unknown and Lost in the Woods. Into the Unknown is the Let It Go of this film and a song I love way more than Let It Go; it’s just so much fun to sing!
And Lost in the Woods is an incredibly pointless song clearly made just to give Jonathan Groff something to sing. But man, it’s a lot of fun and pays tribute to ’80s/’90s rock ballad music videos!
The animation is gorgeous as you can expect! One particular achievement that stands out is a sort of water/ice horse creature that features in the film.
All in all, I liked the film fine, but the weak storyline really prevents it from being a masterpiece. I’m glad that the film didn’t get nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, and I really hope there won’t be a Frozen III, but based on the box office performance of this film, who knows?