Frozen II had a lot to live up to with the first movie revolutionizing the Disney brand and the perception of its heroines. I did not expect it to deliver on such novelty again but to certainly ride on the popularity of the original, reiterate the concepts, and showing the characters evolve into a new phase. Overall, I thought that the movie was a good cinematic experience visually, some songs were perhaps a bit forgetable, and the emotion came up a bit short.
Effects are getting more and more spectacular with every movie these days. Plus I went to see this on IMAX. The movie did create scenarios to show off some amazing work: the forest and the fog, Elsa’s journey to find the truth, and a variety of new landscapes, the best of which was water and waves. The last of these has a nice sample even in the movie trailer. On a somewhat related note, I love the outfits of the sisters, especially Elsa. Their flow and design was good animation and style choice.
Olaf asks some big existential and philosophical questions. They don’t necessarily require answer within the plot or by any of the characters. Just in themselves, his observations and queries made for an amusing sideline in the movie. His questions to Anna about love are the closest the movie comes to bringing forth emotion. But in response Anna promises him that they will be together like this forever. I was a bit skeptical about her response because Elsa and Anna lost their own parents at a young age, the sisters didn’t have any connection for many years, and we have seen movies like Coco. Still, their moments of family affection were quite touching.
This is where the magic waned a bit in my opinion. Part of the power of the original movie was the novelty of the sisters’ relationship and its discovery and strengthening through the plot. In this second movie, that is a given already. They did make it super important with a new back story and explaining why Elsa has the powers that she does. However, when a challenging adventure arises in the second movie, Elsa leaves Anna behind imagining that she will be safer there. Anna got lucky but Elsa had pushed Anna away right into her own dangerous adventure, and without any magic powers too. Spoiler alert: yes, at the end, Elsa says that the magic is that of both sisters bridging together the physical and spirit world (I am fondly remembering Avatar here) and that Anna saved the day, but I was looking for something more. Anna saved the forest and Elsa saved Arendelle. I was left wanting to see Elsa realize that Anna could help her and was strong, and then see them go through the climax of the movie side by side, solving problems together as a team.
On the other hand, Kristoff’s temporary troubles to propose to Anna and the resulting misunderstandings were his major role in the storyline. It started out cute and might have stayed that way for me if it wasn’t for the odd inserts of exaggerated behaviour and a choir of singing reindeers.
Finally, the matter of business. Yes, the movie and Frozen concept is strong enough to be financially successful still. Without a doubt, Frozen II also has the scope to create new merchandise that can create new adventures for kids. Games and figures from new characters, creatures, plots and places. I expected to see a lot of merchandise in the coming time with the Frozen theme but not including Cheerios!
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