There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
Although everyone believes that they have already reached their happy ending, Elsa (Idina Menzel) begins to hear a strange voice singing to her. It is a voice that only she can hear, but she knows it is trying to pull her away from her happy ending and the ones that she loves. It also seems to be pulling her toward the enchanted forest, but that forest has been shrouded in a magical fog that does not allow anyone in or out. The fog has been there since Elsa's father was just a boy, and Elsa knows little of the events that led to the fog's appearance.
Elsa knows the fog is connected to a conflict between her people and the natives of the forest, and she knows the forest created the fog as a result of that conflict. Elsa knows that she must put her happy ending on hold to discover the source of the voice and what it wants from her. Despite Elsa's best efforts, Anna (Kristen Bell) will not let her sister go alone. Thus, accompanied by Anna, Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Olaf (Josh Gad), and Sven, Elsa sets out to find the source of the strange voice.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
Anna & Elsa (+8pts)
The Spirits (+6pts)
Convenient Ending (-3pts)
Pro: Anna & Elsa (+8pts)
I enjoyed these two characters' story in this movie. In a sequel such as this one, you would almost expect the writers to have forced conflict between the two main characters. However, that did not happen in this movie. Instead, this was a story of two sisters who were each trying to do everything they could to protect the other, with a bunch of great songs to go along with their respective stories.
With Elsa, we had an incredibly powerful Queen, who had mastered her ability to create and manipulate ice. She was confident in her capabilities, and she intended to keep her sister out of harms way. Then there was Anna, who knew her sister was powerful, but she was desperate to follow her sister so that Elsa did not bite off more than she could chew. This was a story full of magic, and full of great songs, but at its core it was about two sisters who loved each other and who were willing to do whatever it took to protect each other. That made this an easy story to get behind.
Con: Kristoff (-2pts)
I did not hate what the filmmakers did with Kristoff in this movie. I actually found a number of his scenes to be somewhat entertaining, but I got the impression that the filmmakers had no idea what to do with this character here. Rather than leave him out of the movie, they gave him a very typical storyline in which he was trying to propose to Anna, only for that not to go so well for him throughout a number of attempts. It just felt like a very generic storyline, and while there were a few humorous moments, I really was not invested in it. He even dropped out of the story for a good chunk of the movie, which made me wonder why they felt the need to spend so much screentime on him earlier. Again, I did not hate what the filmmakers did with him. I just thought it was very typical, and I thought the rest of the characters were developed much better.
Pro: The Spirits (+6pts)
I liked the idea of adding different spirits into this movie. With Elsa finishing the last movie with control of her magical powers, introducing ancient, powerful, and angry magical spirits gave Elsa a challenge to overcome. It made her use her powers, which was entertaining to watch, but it was clear that the spirits she was facing were just as powerful, if not more so. It also increased the danger for other characters, so while Elsa could handle herself, she still needed to protect those around her.
Additionally, with there being four different spirits, the filmmakers introduced each spirit separately, each with their own challenge. This made it easy to see the road that was in front of Elsa, figuratively. The spirits were entertaining, they gave the movie a natural sense of adventure, they gave the protagonists various challenges to overcome, they increased my interest in the voice that was calling Elsa, and they helped provide this story a clear objective. All of this together made these spirits very effective, as far as supporting characters are concerned.
Con: Predictable (-3pts)
I liked the road to the voice that was calling Elsa, but it was really obvious what she would learn once she got there. Sure, this movie was intended for kids, so I am a little more forgiving of this than I would have been if this was not a kids movie. However, the filmmakers very clearly laid out what would be revealed to Elsa at the climax of the movie, and it did so very early in Elsa's adventure. Then there was the discovery that Elsa and Anna made, regarding the mysterious entity that saved their father when he was younger. I do not want to give either of these things away, but I thought both of these issues were incredibly predictable.
Pro: Olaf (+8pts)
If you have seen Frozen—although I do not know why you would be reading this if you have not—then you will know Olaf was an entertaining character. He was a comedic relief in a kids movie, and he was an effective one. Being a sentient snowman gave him some abilities that were used effectively for comedic moments. Whether it was shape-shifting for charades, or being able to take his limbs off so that they can be used for various things, this character was certainly unique.
The character’s abilities made way for a number of silly, comedic moments, but his personality was what made him work so effectively. He was afraid of change, so he was holding on tight to his group of friends. He was also afraid of seemingly everything that the group encountered in the forest, but he was trying to convince himself that everything was okay anyway. The character was hopeful, he was playful, he loved his friends, he was obnoxious, he was worried, and Josh Gad's voice worked really well for the character. He was just one of those characters for which everything seemed to align perfectly, and it made him as entertaining in this movie as he was in the last one.
Con: Convenient Ending (-3pts)
The ending of this movie suffered from some lazy writing. The first one was the almost death. This one was a head smacker for me, because it was so obvious that the character would absolutely not be dead. It was also crazy, because the last movie did something almost exactly like it, and the way that the almost death was resolved did not make any sense.
There was was also the lazy writing surrounding the potential consequences at the end of the movie. I do not want to give anything away, but the whole movie built toward what would happen if the main characters did something. Naturally, when the characters did what they did, I was ready for the ramifications of their actions. Then, the filmmakers pulled the rug out from under the issue by basically ignoring everything they said would happen in this exact scenario. This was a kids movie, so I understand the direction the filmmakers went in, but by spending the whole movie building toward something else, this ending felt like a cop out.
Grade: B+ (89pts)
After the massive success of Frozen, and after the way that Frozen ended, I was curious to see what the filmmakers would do with these characters in Frozen II. I liked what the filmmakers did with the story, but I had a few issues with the plot. To start, it felt like the filmmakers had no idea what to do with Kristoff, but they wanted to force the character in here anyway, so they gave him a storyline that was very typical. There were also two reveals that I saw coming from a mile away, and I thought the ending of the movie was as convenient for the protagonists as it was for the writers.
Despite its issues, I still enjoyed Frozen II. Olaf got some interesting character development, and he was still the lighthearted, entertaining character that you know from the first movie. Then there was the inclusion of the spirits, which provided a sense of adventure and they provided Elsa with formidable obstacles. I also liked that, at the end of the day, this movie was about two sisters on a journey together, while doing everything they could to protect each other—while singing great songs along the way. It had some minor problems, but I thought Frozen II was a strong sequel to the hit that was Frozen.