D J Jackson: Passionate about Film.
RAVISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL, IMAGINATIVE & COMPLEX SEQUEL.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 June 2020
This is a review of the March 2020 All Region Blu-ray from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
Although we are retired, my husband and I enjoy all kinds of cartoons along with our more serious film fare, and are great fans of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’(1991), ’Tangled’(2010) and ‘Moana’(2016), as well as their ‘deeper’ offerings, like ‘Up’(2009) and ‘Inside Out’(2015). We enjoyed ‘Frozen’(2013) though not as much as ‘Tangled’, and my review here gives it a strong 4½ Stars.
We had expected a similar sort of film from ‘Frozen II’, and of course, there are strong similarities, because we meet many of the old familiar characters, and we are again in a traditional world based largely on Norwegian and Sámi (Lapp) architecture and costume.
However, whilst ‘Frozen’ was quite a straight-forward story, introducing us to the Snow Queen, Elsa, and her younger sister, Anna, the sequel is very different. It is a complex, layered fantasy, with historical flashbacks, major geographical shifts and a strong flavour of Norse and Celtic sagas. This is a deeper, darker tale, showing wonderful imagination. It is also ravishingly beautiful. Much of the film is set in autumn, so the reds and russets of autumn light up the screen. And the scenes mid-way through the film involving the ocean, and a sea horse, must be some of the most breathtaking in any animated Disney film.
The music and songs, written, as with the first film, by husband and wife team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez are again critical to the feel of the film. Elsa’s wonderful “Into the Unknown” won an OSCAR, and is the defining song of the movie, as her "Let It Go” was for ‘Frozen’.
‘Frozen II’ has proved to be the highest-grossing animated film of all time, but it does not appear to have won quite the same level of acclaim as it’s predecessor. ‘Frozen’ won the Animated Film OSCAR, ‘Frozen II’ was not even nominated. This is a shame, because, in our opinion, it is by far the better film. It is certainly very beautiful, but it is also clever, exciting and engrossing. The script is often witty, and the characters we met in ‘Frozen’, grow up and develop into much more complex and interesting personalities. Perhaps the problem with the film is that it IS more complex. Whilst it is much more satisfying for an adult audience, much of the greater sophistication and intricacy of the plot might be lost on children. Nevertheless, kids will undoubtedly love meeting up with old friends again!
We loved this film. In our view, it is probably one of the best Disney animations of recent years, and it deserves a strong 5 Stars.
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