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December 6, 2019

Frozen 2 (2019) --- “Love Is Not Fragile And Fear Can’t Be Trusted.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     It’s been 3 years since Anna (Kristen Bell) saved her sister Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) and the kingdom of Arendell with the help of Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad). Now they embark on a new journey that takes them beyond the kingdom of Arendelle in order to find the source of the mysterious voice that calls to Elsa, learn the truth behind the legend of the Enchanted Forest, and possibly discover the origin of behind Elsa’s powers. Can Anna, Elsa, and their friends learn the truth and save Arendelle in time? And are they prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to right the wrong?
     Writers and directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee return alongside writers Marc E. Smith (Tangled), Kristen Anderson-Lopez (music dept. for Frozen and Coco), and Robert Lopez (music dept. for Frozen and Coco) to helm Frozen II (2019) the sequel to the 2013 original film Frozen, which is loosely based off of the classic story The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. Since the first film established the characters and their backstories, Frozen II is able to focus more on the funny, exciting, silly, and romantic adventure. The story is engaging for both kids and adults as it touches on some complicated issues and delivers reassuring messages about responding to change with courage and curiosity, as well as the importance to understand the mistakes of the past in order to do "the next right thing." 
     The music and the visual effects have improved a lot since the last film six years ago. The musical numbers help propel the film forward and while there is no grande-scale breakout hit like “Let it Go”, the music overall has gotten stronger and even more mature in some areas. Elsa ballad “Into the Unknown” is strong and intimate, while her smaller ballad of “Show Yourself” shows how the character has come to a new chapter, a new discovery. Anna’s solo ballad of “The Next Right Thing” shows the level of maturity that she has grown into, while group number “Some Things Never Change” is a great start to open the film. Olaf’s fun solo song “When I Am Older” is even more hilarious than his last one, while Kristoff’s goofy solo is reminiscent of a hair metal ballad from the ’80s and will no doubt gain a lot of laughs from the older audience members. As for the visual effects, the first film was set in Summer and then quickly did a 180 when Elsa cursed the kingdom to eternal winter, turning the warm weather into a frozen tundra. But Frozen II surpasses the ice magic of the first film by giving audiences a visual autumn fantasy of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns, which provides new textures for the lead characters and implies that the story is going to deal with rich themes about change - about growing older and growing apart.
     Veteran voice cast Idina Menzel (Uncut Genius), Kristen Bell (The Good Place), Jonathan Groff (Mindhunters), Josh Gad (A Dog’s Journey, Artemis Fowl), and Ciarán Hinds (Red Sparrow, First Man) return as their previous characters, while newcomers Sterling K. Brown (This is Us), Evan Rachel Wood (Across the Universe, Westworld), Alfred Molina (Vice), Martha Plimpton (Younger), Jason Ritter (Raising Dion), Rachel Matthews (Looking for Alaska), and Jeremy Sisto (FBI) seamlessly fill the cast with new characters. The core characters remain affectionately familiar but like the story, music, and visuals have also grown a lot since we last saw them. Not only do you see it on their face and with their clothes but also in the way that they speak and interact. Anna and Elsa are still endearing as young sisters who are still haunted by the past and the future’s what-if but their new level of maturity gives them the strength to face any challenge. Olaf is more expanded upon and considering that he talks about experiencing certain feelings he has never felt before, like anger and fear, it appears that he is going through some level of growth, whether it be puberty or something of the like. Kristoff has also grown and plans to propose to Anna and the nervousness that he experiences every time he tries to pop the question shows how much he has changed from being the lone mountain-ice-man of the first film.
     Overall, Frozen II (2019) is the magical return to the world of Arrendell and the level of growth and maturity that the audience is met with shows that this story is going to be talking about themes of change and messages about strength and growth. Every aspect of the film has been improved, from the story and the music to the visuals and the characters, no stone has been left unturned. The story handles it’s more complex themes in a way that helps young audience members understand and satisfies the adults enough to not feel like they are watching a predictable kids film. I highly recommend that you see this film and if you can see it with a large group all the better. Although keep in mind, there is a small post-credit scene that will be sure to leave in laughs as you exit the theater or turn off the film.

Final Vote --- 7.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
Brave (2012)
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Frozen (2013)
Frozen II (2019)
Inside Out (2015)
Moana (2016)
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Tangeled (2010)
Wreck-it Ralph (2012)
Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
Zootopia (2016)

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