Is it really six years since Frozen was released? Is it really only six years since children everywhere were belting out “Let It Go!”. It seems so. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee are back in the world of Arendelle once more.
I went in with low expectations and Frozen II disarmed me with it’s charm and humour and the catchy songs. Kristen Anderson-Lopez wrote the songs for the original and she’s hit all the right notes and in the right order once more. “Into The Unknown” is being touted as the new “Let it go” - there are better songs in the film - but I love the ability she has to move the story forward or provide exposition through the musical numbers.
The plot won’t tax anyone’s brain. Suffice to say, Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their kingdom. Lots happens and, surprisingly for Disney, there’s not much darkness here.
The animation is beautiful, seamless and, at times, awe-inspiring. One of the difficulties with animation is that it’s all too easy these days. Pixar have led the way and animated realism is with us. There is one scene where Elsa gets ready to cross the sea to achieve her mission (no spoilers) where the crashing waves on the sea shore are just jaw-droppingly beautiful. I know it’s all pixels but wow.
For me, the highlight of this sequel id Olaf, the eternal snowman. Played once again by Josh Gad, he gets all the best one-liners and is more rounded than in the original.
I know I’m not the target demographic for Frozen II. I saw it in a half-full screening with lots of five, six and seven year-old in their Elsa costumes. Clearly, they have seen the original on DVD, one imagines many times. They whooped and laughed...and cried at all the right moments.
I loved it. It charmed me, made me laugh and I even had something in my eye at one point.