Frozen IIU¦ 4K, 3D, Blu-ray, DVD
When a film of yours makes just over a billion at the box office, what follows must be the shortest meeting in history regarding a sequel.
And of course, with animation, the process is laboriously long, which is why it’s taken so long for the follow-up to Disney’s successful 2013 Frozen to materialise. The question is, was it worth the wait?
It’s three years on since we last saw Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell) and the rest of the gang in Arendelle, and life is good. Or it was, until Elsa started to hear a strange voice in her head.
The voice becomes so strong that one night she follows it outside. Unfortunately, in doing so, Elsa inadvertently awakens the elemental spirits, who seemingly have a grudge against her and all of the folk of Arendelle.
To try and rectify the matter, she sets off to the enchanted forest - which was told to her and Anna as children by their parents - in an attempt to restore harmony.
What they find however, once she, Anna, Olaf (Josh Gad), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven get there, is that what happened in the past, isn’t necessarily what truly happened, and that it will take a great power to make it right.
If you want to know the definition of pressure, it’s this: you’re given the task to come up with a musical number for this sequel, to match the success of that song, also known as “Let it Go”. It’s a mammoth undertaking, and one that the musical team sadly failed at. Even if you hate the song, you probably have to concede that it’s ever so catchy, and was certainly the audio version of crack to a certain age group for a number of years. There’s nothing as addictive here.
In fact, for the most part, the soundtrack is really quite deplorable. The lo-light being the truly awful track “Lost in the Woods”, which sounds as if it was ripped off of a Peter Cetera solo album from the early nineties, making the most lame, unpowerful power ballad you’re ever likely to hear. To that end, the film clearly falls into the Grease 2 category, by being a sequel to a successful film, which has a soundtrack that doesn’t include one memorable number. It will certainly echo around ice rinks during Frozen II on Ice, with the audience still waiting for that song to pop up.
The film’s story fairs only slightly better. It’s all rather too airy fairy, relying more on visual energy rather than plot. To its credit, the two central characters are young, strong females, and yet there are at least two occasions when they have to be saved by a man.
It even feels they struggled with characters, as there are a couple of new ones included that they couldn’t even be bothered to name, but are no doubt widely available in the Disney store.
If the plot is lacking, at least the pretty animation helps pass the time. It’s hardly jaw-dropping, but if you like attractive leaves and beautiful snowflakes, you’ll leave content.
So then, what is the answer to the question posed earlier if it was worth waiting for? Well, to a certain degree, that does depend on how old you are. With its original audience now six years older and wiser, that nostalgia kick may not be enough to win back their hearts and minds, particularly when the soundtrack is borderline offensive.
There will be no solace for adults too, who were forced to sit through the original on a loop for a number of years, as they probably have spawned further Disney fodder to gobble this stuff up. At least it won’t haunt them as long, as there’s nothing to compare with that song.
As inevitabilities go, this sequel is a let down. It may well help in the short term, keeping youngsters vaguely entertained at home, but it’s by no means a Disney classic, making it far easier to let go of.