“I’m going with you,” says Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell). “Anna, no, I have my powers to protect me,” replies her sister, Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel). “Excuse me, I climbed the north mountain, survived a frozen heart and saved you from my ex-boyfriend so…you know I’m coming!” answers Anna in the highly anticipated animated sequel, Frozen 2.
As Frozen 2 opens, life is good in the kingdom of Arendelle. Anna and Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff) are still together and growing ever closer in their relationship. Olaf the Snowman (voiced by Josh Gad) is enjoying learning things and relaxing in the sun (thanks to Elsa’s magical powers), and Elsa’s happy to see everyone in her kingdom doing well and enjoying life.
However, Elsa’s hiding a disturbing secret. She’s hearing a voice calling to her from the dark forest. Only she can hear it and it won’t stop.
When the kingdom experiences a loss of power and ends up in darkness, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf evacuate the townsfolk to a safety zone. Elsa confides in her sister about the voice, believing it’s the key to what’s happening to Arendelle. She thinks it might also lead to the discovery of the secret to her powers.
No way will the gang allow Elsa to travel alone, so Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven (the reindeer) join her to travel outside of Arendelle to an ancient, autumn-bound forest in an enchanted land. Their quest to discover the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom is filled with adventure – and songs.
Exciting, visually breathtaking, and at times slightly dark, Frozen 2 is a sequel that not only matches its predecessor, it surpasses it. The film has an even bigger adventure with deeper character development for not only Elsa and Anna but also for Olaf and Kristoff as well.
Idina Menzel as the voice of Elsa brings to life the inner struggle inside the young woman who’s yearning to follow the voice and hopefully discover the secret behind her magical powers while at the same time being fearful of losing those she loves. She also embraces and truly enjoys her magical powers, realizing she was always meant to have them.
Menzel’s two new songs – “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” – are the two best songs in the film. They’re even better than the first film’s original songs and have deeper meaning than the first film’s big hit, “Let It Go.”
Kristen Bell returns as the voice of Anna who, in this sequel, is determined to stick with Elsa on her journey no matter how dangerous. Her loyalty, love, and devotion to Elsa are unwavering. She also comes up against new challenges and dangers that force her to face the possibility of great loss.
Josh Gad’s back as the voice of Olaf, the character who once again provides most of the comic relief and humor in the film (on a bigger scale than Frozen). This second adventure is even funnier than the first film and features more jokes and humorous scenes that hit their marks. The nifty little scene in which Olaf quickly summarizes what Elsa and Anna went through in the first film to a group of people they meet on their journey is actually laugh out loud hilarious.
Frozen‘s animation was stunning, but the sequel outdoes it and is more vivid and refined. In particular, the scene with Elsa trying to use her freezing powers to cross the dark sea is visually astounding. The music and songs are stronger and have deeper meaning to the characters in this adventure in which they’re all forced to find their inner strength and courage.
With its glorious animation, stirring action scenes, and its darker, larger story, Frozen 2 is not only one of the best animated films of the year, it’s one of the best films of the year, period.
MPAA: PG for action/peril and some thematic elements
Running Time: 104 minutes
Release Date: November 22, 2019
Directed By: Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck