The best way to start off a movie review is with one of those great “ when I was a kid” sentences. Now this is not about me having to walk five miles in the snow barefoot, although it would be appropriate for this movie. No, instead this is about how when I was growing up a sequel to a successful Disney movie could only be found in VHS form, and it usually felt like a cheap imitation of the original. Boy have things changed, I mean now they even go straight to the theater. But, with Frozen II, will the 6-year wait be worth it? Would they be able to top that sensation of the movie/song combo only preceded by Titanic and “My Heart Will Go On”?
Well good news parents, Anna ( Kristen Bell) and Elsa ( Idina Mezel) are back and they even brought new songs. Of course Anna and Elsa’s life is not all about singing, even know they do a lot of it, no they are all about their kingdom. Something though is afoot and it requires Anna, Elsa, Kristoff ( Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), and their reindeer to go and check it out. Together they travel to a magical forest that has a mysterious mist covering it. Once there Elsa must follow a voice that only she can hear to help discover the mystery of the forest and her powers. Things get complicated and it is only through the magic of Anna and Elsa relationship that can unlock the secret go their past.
Going into a Disney animated films you pretty much know what to expect. For those who want a crash course, I will provide a quick checklist. Cute animals that make you say aww and can make good toys, check. Princess breaking out into song, check, and of course a loveable character that provides the laughs, check. Since we have checked all the boxes, not the only question is, is it good? The simple answer is yes, but not quite on the level of the first. The story is good and of course the cast is excellent and we even get what feels like more Olaf, so we have that working for us. What doesn’t work is the film feels a little longer than it should be, where it misses what feels like it’s perfect runtime by about ten minutes.
The other thing and this could be good for some, it lacks that song you can’t get out of your head, as none of the original music stands out. That though, doesn’t take away from the overall quality of the film, it’s just after the first one where there was mystery and magic, trying to explain it can bring the interesting ideas and concepts down a few notches. That though is the only cold shoulder I am throwing the way of Frozen II, because the one thing Disney knows how to do is capture the hearts and minds few animated films do. Here they don’t build a new snowman, but there is enough that you can let it go.