Whilst Frozen II falls short of being the instant classic the original was, it’s still a heartfelt, thematically complex, and beautifully animated delight for the whole family.
Set three years after the events of the first film, Frozen II rejoins the Snow Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), who has begun hearing a strange ethereal voice calling to her. As the voice’s pull gets stronger, it becomes clear it is linked to elemental spirits attacking the kingdom of Arendelle. Along with her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), her boyfriend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), his reindeer Sven and the snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), Elsa sets out to find the source of the voice, a quest that will ultimately uncover shocking revelations regarding her ancestors.
This work expands on the first film’s themes of familial love and self-discovery, but directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee move the story into far more thematically complex and dark territory as they venture into themes of colonialism, Indigenous theft, cultural amnesia, and the need for reconciliation.
In a clever way, this film has no villain. Just one generation being forced to deal with the fallout
And whilst it doesn’t quite stick the landing, the film deserves to be praised just for attempting to deliver such bold commentary in a mainstream animated family film.
The main characters
However, a few characters, most notably Kristoff, are sidelined for long stretches of the film and the songs are only passable, with the only exceptions being Into the Unknown and Show Yourself.
But despite a few shortcomings, Frozen II is a solid sequel and was worth the six-year wait!
Reviewed by Jordan Ellis.