Friday, November 22, 2019

FROZEN 2 Isn’t As Fun As The First, But The Kids Won't Care

Now playing everywhere that movies play:

FROZEN 2 (Dirs. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee)

Since the first FROZEN was a massive hit - the top grossing film of 2013, the 15th biggest movie of all time, and the second most successful animated film ever - it was inevitable that there would be a sequel. Here it is, and while it’s undeniable that it will be a soaring smash too, I doubt it’ll come close to the boffo box office of the original.

For starters, the story isn’t as good. The computer-animated epic reunites the royal sisters Queen Elsa, and Princess Anna (voiced by Idina Menzel, and Kristen Bell); Anna’s boyfriend Kristoff (voiced by Mindhunter’s Jonathan Groff), his companion reindeer Sven (not voiced by anyone), and, most importantly to the movie’s comedy, the wacky Olaf the snowman (voiced by Josh Gad), who journey to a mythical enchanted forest in order to unravel the mystery behind Elsa’s icy powers, and to save the kingdom of Arendelle from dam-busting doom.

Along the way, they encounter the new characters of Lieutenant Destin Mattias (Sterling K. Brown), nomadic tribe leader Yelana (Martha Plimpton), tribe member Ryder (Jason Ritter), and Ryder’s sister Honeymaren (Rachel Matthews), who has powers of her own. While not new characters, Elsa and Anna’s parents are given new voices by Alfred Molina and Evan Rachel Wood.

The motions that the leads go through include a scary storm, ginormous stone monsters, flood-threatening tidal waves, and emotionally magical visions, none of which equal the impact of the first film’s fantastical sense of wonder. A subplot involving Kristoff’s farcical attempts to find the right time to propose to Anna also fails as it offers nothing new to a well worn sitcomish premise.

Then there’s the soundtrack which features seven new songs, none of which are very memorable, or have the potential to be big hits like the previous adventure’s top ten hit, “Let it Go.” Also, it isn’t very likely that any of the tunes will be award winners like the Oscar and Grammy grabbing “Let it Go,” let alone be nominated.

The only element that I found superior to the first FROZEN is that Gad’s Olaf has more funny moments.

But none of that means that FROZEN 2 isn’t a fair amount of fun. The pace is pleasing and never dull; the animation is vividly immaculate, and the cast provides their share of energetic entertainment. It also has the fact that it's deliciously darker this time around.

I can’t say that I found the first one to be Disney’s best animated achievement – there are many much more solid contenders for that classic crown – but it was rightly beloved as it’s omph and infectious spirit were right on the money – literally as it made billions.

This sequel just can’t compete, as hard as it tries, and is bound to be seen as a second fiddle follow-up; an assistant appendage that isn’t likely to be remembered as fondly.

However, for the time being, one thing’s for sure – the kids won’t care about its quality. They’ll still eat it up.

More later...

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