By George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
2013’s FROZEN, based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen went onto both stratospheric commercial success and Oscars glory, branded a classic not only in the animated realm. Forget all about how the children absolutely loved it; curmudgeons light up and were unbale “let it go”! It had to have been daunting for Disney to come up with a Sequel worthy as a successor. Not only did they do this, succeeded wildly!
FROZEN 2 opens with Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) as young girls who are told a bedtime story by their parents about the nearby land of Northuldra. A quick segue with the first of many songs that induces goosebumps and we are back in the castle of Arendelle, three years after the events of the first movie. Queen Elsa still is rather somber and now she is hearing things that no one else does. Convinced that this could be the impetus of her magical powers (that she could turn anything into ice or snow), she goes on a trek with her sister Anna, Olaf the Snowman (Josh Gad), Anna’s beau, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven. Their journey takes them through an enchanted forest where they meet a Northuldra leader (Marsha Plimpton) and an Arendelle soldier (Sterling K. Brown), who have been trapped inside the forest for decades, as well as being subject to other dangerous things.
FROZEN 2 excels on so many levels. It may be slightly darker in tone from its predecessor (there are many scenes with flames that may be ironic in a movie set in ice and snow) but this mystical fairy tale explores the bonds of sisterhood succinctly. The comedic episodes all land successfully. It is impossible not to laugh at Olaf’s observations and antics and I enjoyed genuinely the many aborted attempts by Kristoff to propose marriage to Anna: he may be more Prince Doofus than Prince Charming, but I was charmed!
The animation is spectacular, visually-dazzling and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I was consistently overwhelmed by what I was seeing. Whether it be an underwater sequence, a giant rock formation come to life or Elsa travelling through ice and snow, it surpasses the impact the first Movie made on me on many levels.
Then, there’s the songs! Being (stealing a line from a Sondheim song) a “Broadway Baby”, musicals are a big part of my DNA and the songs here (written and composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez) are brilliant. The monster hit will undoubtedly will be Into the Unknown first sung in the Movie by Menzel with fervent pyrotechnics then heard again during the End Credits by Panic! at the Disco. It’s most definitely the…”and the Oscar goes to” song to beat. Menzel thrills once more with the powerful showstopper Show Yourself. Bell shines with her song The Next Right Thing and Gad steals the show with hilarious When I’m Older, which recaps the previous movie with even a smidgeon of now anthem, Let It Go.
My love for FROZEN 2 is transparent like a sheet of thin ice. It’s a colossal achievement and will be loved by generations to come.
Walt Disney Studios Canada release FROZEN 2 Thursday, November 22, 2019.
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