“When asked in May 2014 about a sequel, Disney CEO Bob Iger told host David Faber that Disney would not “mandate a sequel” or “force storytelling”, because to do so would risk creating something not as good as the first film. Iger also expressed the hope that the Frozen franchise “is something that is kind of forever for the company” similar to The Lion King…” – Wikipedia
20 years in Gotham, Alfred…we have seen what promises are worth… how many original ideas are left…how many stayed that way. Even if there’s one per cent chance that a sequel/remake can make Disney money, they will take it as an absolute certainty.
Frozen was a breath of fresh air. A modern twist on classic Disney animated movie tropes – no single-layered dark villain, a movie that didn’t end with a marriage and a true love’s kiss which spoke of sisterly love rather than the typical boy meets girl. It had some good music (‘Let it go’ and ‘Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?’ were great, the rest were so-so) and great animation. It was a pop culture phenomenon and became one of Disney’s most successful movies ever.
Frozen 2, on the other hand, feels like a gust of cold wind (pun intended). It’s practically hard writing a review for it because in its short 103 minutes runtime 30% of it is just songs. Now musicals are not a new affair for me, as an Indian am accustomed to 3 hour classic Bollywood movies with many songs woven into them. But even the worst of them have better pacing than Frozen 2. There is literally a song every 15 minutes which is neither catchy nor contributes anything in particular to the story. ‘Let it go’ from Frozen was at least a climactic outpouring of the protagonist central to the theme of the movie and ‘Do You Wanna Build A Snowman…’ had the story pushing along. Frozen 2 just doesn’t have that magic nor the logic to know when to have songs.
Towards the intense second half when the story finally starts picking up, there is a scene with a character literally alone in the darkness. It would have been inspiring to see the character pick up the pieces and get the courage to move on. Instead, we have a song about the same. In a musical, a song might be intended to convey a character’s deepest emotion however having them sung out loud at ALL the important moments somehow reduces one’s connection with the story.
But what does work for the movie is definitely the well-timed humour in most parts and the animation. Now Disney has absolutely mastered the art of making things cute (they even manage to make a gust of wind cute here) but other than that the most fantastic part (which had caught my eye in the teaser) was the way water has been animated, particularly the ocean sequences are just majestic! It was just that experience that made the IMAX ticket worth it… Because quite honestly nothing else in this movie feels worth it.
Disney being Disney does not take any more risks with the characters than it should, mild spoiler – but the movie kills and brings back to life a character (who had a similar treatment in the first one) while trying to teach a lesson about growing up and accepting change. There were some missed chances of digging deeper into Arrendelle Kingdom’s past and creating a genuine mystery which is again left out to give room for more songs.
Even such kids movies as The Lion King, Toy Story, Aladdin and even Frozen had something in it for the adults as well. That is why they continue to remain fresh over the years. Frozen 2 is best left in the back of the freezer (yes welcome to Reel Anarchy where we make more ice puns than Dr Freeze in Batman and Robin)
While certainly not denying the creative teams effort behind the movie one would have a hard time believing that Frozen 2 was the logical next chapter absolutely necessary to Elsa’s arc. It feels more like a cold (you were warned) cash grab. Aside from the great animation, the movie is somewhat of a mess yet not completely without enjoyment. It is weird to rate such a movie and the closest I can come up with is – Take your kids if you don’t have anything else to do on a weekend.