By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
Let’s be honest, you know you were always going to watch Frozen 2.
And you love Olaf. Stop lying to yourself.
The only question is, does Frozen 2 live up to the several rewatches of Frozen that you’ve absorbed through your skin, possibly even without your knowledge or consent? Well, considering the plot revolves around Ana and Elsa confronting the trauma of losing their parents as Elsa’s powers draw her to the unknown and endanger her kingdom with Ana & friends following to save her sister however possible, I’d say Disney & Co are sure trying.
I’m being a bit glib drawing exact parallels between the two Frozens, as the creative team here is clearly trying for something more mature and even dark- the Empire approach, if you will. There’s a lot more discussion of (and even halfway shocking representation of) death in this movie than you’d expect, even if you know it’s all going to turn out okay in the end because, well, it obviously has to.
Arnold Swarzenegger addressing the median audience for this flick.
That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of fun to be had, from Olaf and the bumbling duo of Kristoff and Sven to Kristoff’s very 80s power ballad single that doubles down on the fun with a mid-credits cover by none other than Weezer. Speaking of the music, well, there’s no contesting the power of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, and Jonathan Groff’s pipes. Finally, the animation is of the every dollar up on screen variety- not a boring frame to be seen here, with whenever Elsa gets to demonstrate her powers a particularly impressive sight.
Finally, don’t forget about the #2 new toy of the season, cute fire salamander Bruni, who licks his eye a lot and is generally as adorable as you’d like. Too bad he has no chance of making the top slot.
Don’t even dare to come at the King.
I’m not being too glib with my comparison between plot synopses, though. Frozen 2 is stuffed with callbacks to the original as you’d expect, and what isn’t directly paralleled is overentangled in new mythology, which it feels manufactured wholesale as the movie goes along. At times it can be almost hard to follow, even though it’s still very much a “know yourself” parable. Just with a whole lot of window-dressing.
I, and then Oberst, racked our brains for any examples of truly successful musical sequels, and well, the good news is that we now think Frozen 2 is the best one. When you think about it, producing both a film that lives up to what everyone loves about the original at the same time as creating at least one if not two plus smash hit earworms that fit in the context of film as well as converse with those famous hits is a thanklessly impossible task.
Menzel particularly sure does her damndest to will another “Let it Go” into existence, though.
Frozen 2 is an overall satisfying sequel to the supernova original, but doesn’t quite reach the same musical or plot heights in the end.
Frozen 2 (2019) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time somebody states that water has a memory
Take a Drink: every time Olaf sings about being more mature
Take a Drink: every time Kristoff tries to propose
Take a Drink: every time somebody gets separation anxiety (pre- or post-)
Do a Shot: for each new natural element/spirit we meet