It’s almost as dazzling, magical, and delightful as the first. Don’t Let it Go.
The original “Frozen” made my list of the Best Films of 2013, because of how it relates to the Disney 90s renaissance with “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.” I even met three great people from that movie: Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf), Idina Menzel (the voice of Elsa), and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (who wrote the songs with her husband Robert).
As far I’m concerned, some of my friends complained to me that this was nothing more than a billionaire cash grab that rips off better Disney films. I know what cash grabs are (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The Fate of the Furious,” etc.), and “Frozen” is not a cash grab. And if “The Secret Life of Pets” copied the “Toy Story” plot, then why couldn’t “Frozen” alter the Hans Christian Anderson story “The Snow Queen?”
Now, we have “Frozen 2,” which leads sisters Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) and Elsa on a trek to discover the truth behind her ice powers, and the only hope to save their kingdom Arendelle from destruction.
It basically becomes “The Fifth Element” and “The Lord of the Rings” rolled in one, as the Four Elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water) are tamed by one magical being, rock Brobdingnagians come to life, and a hidden world is desperate for its freedom.
Now, I have heard word that this sequel is darker than the first, and it is. The story becomes complex and challenging that teens and adults can relate to. And for kids, it’s given a goofy spin, provided by Olaf’s questions about maturity, Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff) figuring out how to propose to Anna, and a cute little fire salamander who cools off in the snow.
The voice cast also expands. It includes Alfred Molina and Evan Rachel Wood as Elsa and Anna’s deceased parents, Sterling K. Brown as an Arendelle solider, Jason Ritter as Kristoff’s new reindeer-loving pal, Rachel Matthews (“Happy Death Day”) as his sister, and Martha Plimpton (“The Goonies”) as their leader-all of whom are trapped in the magical forest. And returning is Ciaran Hinds as the troll leader Pabbie.
The sequel, directed once more by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, has no generic heroes and villains; it has people consumed by fear, betrayal, and guilt. It’s more serious than the first, and I, myself, was moved by them. And not as a short film (“Frozen Fever” and “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”), fans are able to learn more about Arendelle’s origins and their radiant leader Elsa.
Allow the detailed animation, and Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s new lyrics to test your senses, and give Bell, Menzel, Gad, and Groff the vocals to bring them to life. All of them aren’t back just to make money; they’re back to see where their iconic characters will head into.
It’s not completely powerful like the original Oscar-winning masterpiece, but the songs, the animation, the colors, the voice actors, and it’s risk-talking abilities make “Frozen 2” worthy. And you don’t know how lucky you are to get sequels like “Toy Story 4” and this one, because some like “The Secret Life of Pets 2” or “Hotel Transylvania 2” fail to provide fresh material. The two Disney movies I’ve mentioned have expanded their horizons.