Frozen II was the third highest grossing movie in 2019 raking in 1.4 billion dollars worldwide and 477 million domestically. With that being said, it was not nominated for best animated feature at the 2020 Academy Awards, and for good reason.

That is not to say Frozen 2 doesn’t do its job well of entertaining the youth and throwing a couple of bangers out there. The vocal performances are strong from all the returning cast and movie looks unbelievable from a visual standpoint. But the story…it’s as contrived, predictable and WAY TO CONVENIENT.

The opening of the movie uses a flashback sequence as exposition for the steppingstone story that’s going to unfold. Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) hear a very Pocahontas-esq tale from their parents discover there is a mystical enchanted forest that is yearning for exploration. Fast-forwarding to the present, Elsa hears a calling (literally) to go find out what happened in the misted, magic forest. Naturally, all the major characters come join along in a story of self-discovery.

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What’s most infuriating about Frozen II’s story is its lack of depth. Every single action by the characters, in particular Elsa wo is doing her best Frodo Baggins at the end of the Fellowship Of The Rings, is obvious and lacking emotion. Frozen (2013) had some creativity in the story and especially the ending with the twist and symbolic meaning. Frozen II tries to hit the same touchstones but the story punches you on the head with childishly simple dialogue instead of tickling you forcing you to interpret it on your own.

One of the most infuriating parts of the story is when Olaf literally retells the entire story of the original movie and then summarizes the first third of the movie you are already watching. Sure it’s mean to be cute, and while it may delight those emotions for a smidge, the whole thing is just repetitive and annoying.

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Speaking of Olaf, there is too much of him in Frozen II. Josh Gad’s snowman was a fantastic distraction back in 2013, but within this 2019 version he gets overused so much so that his charm becomes lost halfway through the movie. On the opposite end, I could have used Kristoff (Jonathan Groff). His running bit of not being able to get the proposal out to Anna is the funniest thing throughout the movie.

I understand that right now I may seem like an old hermit with the dislike of the story, but I just don’t like stories that give no hinting or anything to future events. Anna and Elsa discovering their parents board and the reimagining of their parents’ voyage and death literally came from outer space. It was just a device to add guilt to Elsa. It can be appreciated that the “water has memories” motif is picked up during that scene is hinted at earlier, but the rest just seems like a cop out to throw in emotion.

Other nit-picks about the story include the following:

  • the trolls just say “go ahead, here is your mission. We will take care of it here.” I mean really?
  • The ending with Elsa getting frozen is just a rehashing from original Frozen
  • When Elsa says there is a fifth element…like a five-year-old could see what was coming. Is this a PBS show?
  • CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THE EXTEND OF ELSA’S POWERS TO ME?? Like she can stop a literal tsunami but struggles to put out fires in a forest? This is like the Captain Marvel and Scarlett Witch problem in Marvel; no idea what scope of powers are.

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Alright, we can get to some of the positives now.

Frozen II looks amazing. It looks visually spectacular. When Elsa is making her final run through the torrential waves and then skipping across the ice steps on while belting “Show Yourself”, yea that is awesome. There is no denying the visual improvements made in the seven years between the two movies. This may be simplistic to me, but the different styles of the snowflakes that are readily apparent when Elsa engages her superpowers is mesmerizing. Animation is crazy man. I just watched Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island (1998) and it has to be the most continuously evolving type of cinema.

The soundtrack to Frozen II is still very good overall, but the best song is the aforementioned “Show Yourself”. It’s the song that Menzel can show off the most in, and it also as Evan Rachel Wood tagging along as Iduna, the sister’s mother. People may recognize Rachel Wood’s voice from HBO’s flagship show Westworld.

Jonathan Groff and Kristoff is wonderful, and Josh Gad is really good at what he does as Olaf; with that being said, there was too much Olaf written into the story for my liking. Menzel is just a dynamite singer, and there is no denying that.

Now let’s get to Anna and Kristen Bell. Is it bad that all I ever want her to be is Veronica Mars? Anna in Frozen II is the most annoying character in the movie. All I can remember about her in the movie is a lot of whining, distress and attempting to help but being shoed away. She gets the title of Queen at the end of the movie, but she really takes the crown of “I wish this was different” in Frozen II.

This movie made bajillions of dollars. It was immensely successful. But the movie was not strong. It is not NEARLY as rewatchable as its predecessor. The depth of story is fit only for inflatable kiddy pools, and the plot points are as stitched together like a worn-down college pillowcase that hasn’t gotten change in four years. Story isn’t the most important thing about an animation movie, I do get that. But when it comes to Disney movies the standard is highest. Frozen II falls below the bar despite achieving what it was supposed to do.

Frozen II is now streaming on Disney+.

STANKO RATING: C (2.0/5 Stars)

“Frozen II” IMDB
“Frozen II” Rotten Tomatoes

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