Thursday, November 21, 2019

Frozen II: Movie Review

Beautiful scenery plus characters we know and love.
Can Frozen II live up to the perfection of the original? No? I mean they tried really hard and it’s a thoroughly great movie, but lightning doesn’t strike the same spot twice. It would be hard for anybody to accurately judge Frozen II on its own terms without a comparison to Frozen. I was so blown away by what they accomplished with the first movie, and I couldn’t help but go into Frozen II looking to see what they could replicate, re-create or what new magic they could capture. 2019

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee

Starring: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell

The animation is beautiful. Just breath-taking sceneries and the creation of a world that you’re desperate to go on the same adventures as our fictional heroes. That’s why you shell out the big bucks for IMAX. One aspect of the first film which I loved perhaps the most was how the colours of the scenery matched the emotions of the characters. A seldom-used part of the colour theory in imagery which adds to the story. Here the colours were chosen to enhance the setting (as opposed to the characters) – the autumn leaves for a forest in the fall or a fog that has settled over the enchanted forest.

The enchanted forest leads to the main plot of the movie. Elsa hears a calling. A voice singing out to her, an unshaken belief that her powers are needed in what Elsa and Anna remember from their childhood as an enchanted forest where their father once visited. The story fits the characters. And the birthplace of Elsa’s powers is an intriguing quest.

The highlight is that, for the most part, our five beloved characters are kept together. Anna and her child-like love of family staying together has kept Elsa by her side, she’s still best friends with Olaf; Kristoff is planning on proposing to her, and Sven will ably guide them all into places they probably shouldn’t be.

After venturing into the fog-covered forest, we meet new characters. One becomes a potential new best-friend for Kristoff and was the best addition probably because of the limited screen-time. The others just took away time from the fun that the originals could have been having. The best part, not unlike the original, is Olaf. After meeting the new characters, Olaf gives a physical rendition of the entire plot of the first movie. I laughed harder at that scene than any in the first movie. It definitely still has comedy on its side.

Which brings us to the songs. There were a handful which I could see approaching the cultural significance of Let It Go, but what stood out the most, is that that’s what they were trying to do. Instead of just writing a fun, catchy song, they were trying to write culturally popular songs. After one viewing, there isn’t a single song that I’m desperate to re-visit, however after multiple viewings, I’m sure some will stay in my head. All the songs fit the moment, but is that enough? Or are they too much? Only time will tell.

Considering how much I loved the original, and how excited I was to see the characters again, Frozen II lived up to its hype. The magical perfection of the first is not repeated, but it’s a worthy follow-up that deserves our time and attention.