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The sisterhood is back in Frozen II

Frozen II (U)
Running time 1hr 43 min
Rating ****

2013’s Frozen was nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. Elsa was the go-to Hallowe’en costume, Olaf the snowman cuddly toys filled shop shelves and who doesn’t remember the never-ending radio play of Let it Go. It was inevitable that Disney would release a sequel to what became the second highest-grossing animated film of all time. Six years later, that film has finally arrived and its themes and characters have certainly matured along with its audience.

Following the events of the first film, the fictional Scandinavian kingdom of Arendelle is at peace three years after Elsa’s coronation. Elsa (Idina Menzel) along with her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), Anna’s boyfriend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad) and the reindeer Sven enjoy their days relaxing and ruling the kingdom before a mysterious voice only Elsa can hear causes her to accidentally awake the elemental spirits of earth, fire, water and air. These spirits threaten the safety of Arendelle, and so Elsa and her friends go north to the enchanted forest to seek out the voice and save the kingdom.

Plotwise, I think Frozen II improves on the original. With its themes of sisterhood and self-discovery still intact, this second adventure better facilitates them even if the nature of all the spirits and magic can at sometimes be a little confusing. The introduction of the Northuldra people (based on the real-life indigenous Scandinavian Samí people) and the enchanted forest they live in is a great addition to the Frozen world. The new cast of characters don’t take away from the journeys of the protagonists, but it is still good to see some new faces.

Unfortunately for parents, the sequel still very much appeals to its young audience with its humour and story, but Frozen II definitely doesn’t feel as childish as the original. The annoyingness of Olaf has been significantly toned down, and the film touches on some surprisingly serious themes such as colonialism and environmentalism. However, the film will be sure to entertain young children who were fans of the original, even if they are six years older.

The film’s animation is notably beautiful. Disney’s animators rendered the lands and characters perfectly, with especially great
attention paid to nature. The autumnal palette really does lend itself well here, with the falling leaves and stark trees looking especially lovely. It is certainly a nicer film to look at when compared to the wintry whiteness of the first film.

Frozen II, of course, has a great variety of sing along musical numbers. Although Into the Unknown doesn’t quite reach Let it Go standards of song writing, it is still a suitable single to represent the film. Other musical highlights include Kristoff’s boyband crooner ballad Lost in the Woods and Olaf’s playful When I Am Older.

All in all, Disney again goes on to prove it is the king of animated children’s entertainment.
It’s a suitable sequel to one of their most beloved films in recent years, and one that I believe surpasses the original.
It is nothing ground-breaking, but it is sure to entertain Frozen fans of all ages.

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