Frozen came out in 2013 to commercial and critical acclaim. It was one of the non-Pixar films put out by Disney, but it managed to make a name for itself. It was only a matter of time before a sequel came out, though we’d have to wait another six years for it. Well, the wait is now over and we’ve got two of these films in the books. Will there be a third? Hey, if it makes money (and this one did, though not as much as its predecessor) there’ll be a third installment. But there’s also that time factor. A ten year old who saw Frozen in 2013 will be heading to college in a year or so. And as I age, I find that time is more and more relative. But I’m getting off track. We’ve got the main cast back for this sequel so let’s “let it go” and get onto what this sequel is all about.
Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) hears a strange musical call. She believes that it will lead her to answers about the origin of her magical powers and wants to leave Arendelle to find out what that answer is. Her sister, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) won’t let her fly solo, so she and Kristoff (voiced by Jonathan Groff), Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad) and reindeer Sven accompany her. They eventually end up in an enchanted forest that does, in fact, create a connection to the past of Elsa and Anna. And then things get a bit weird involving four elements (like we couldn’t have seen that coming), along with a few songs. Because…it’s Frozen II.
Part of what made the first Frozen so unforgettable was that it was cute, clever and original. This one is as well, to an extent. The script is all over the place and the film has some elements that seem to be thrown in just…because. Yes, it’s good to have the original cast back and, as expected, there are some new additions but it seems to break the rule of sequels (or follow them, depending on your point of view) in that everything has to be bigger, more, better, etc. Still, that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is an animated film and its job is to entertain. And, mostly I was. As I alluded to above, I feel there probably will be a third installment, though given how this one turned out, I don’t know if it’ll be worth the wait.
Video: How’s it look?
As we might expect, the film looks beautiful. This has been the case with most every Disney animated film and certainly those that come out in 4K. The film has a very, as expected, “icy” look to it that tends to lend itself to the darker end of the spectrum. That said, it’s nearly equally balanced with some scenes that are very soft and warm. The 2.39:1 HEVC 4K transfer is all we could expect it to be and more. Textures, freckles on the skin and even hair have a very naturalistic look and feel to them. Not that the target audience will mind too much, but for those that are watching with the little ones and are concerned about video quality – they need not be as this one looks the part.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Likewise the included Dolby Atmos soundtrack is stunning at parts and only “highly acceptable” in others. I kid. The songs, the vocals, the sound effects and so forth – they all sound great. And though there have been some complaints about Disney’s Atmos soundtracks over the years, I didn’t really pick up on anything like that here. I felt this was a good, robust and evenly-balanced mix that gave the viewer exactly what they want; namely a robust experience that’s satisfying, but not so immersive that it was distracting. Like the video, it certainly delivers.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Sing-Along Version of the Movie– Sing along with your favorite songs as you watch the movie.
Song Selection– Jump to your favorite musical moments, with on-screen lyrics. Songs include Oscar-nominated “Into The Unknown,” “All Is Found,” “Some Things Never Change,” “When I Am Older,” “Lost in the Woods,” “Show Yourself,” and “The Next Right Thing”
Outtakes– Laugh along with the cast of “Frozen 2” as they record their lines, sing their songs and have fun in the recording booth.
Deleted Scenes– Check out a few scenes that never made the final cut.
Intro – Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck offer a glimpse into their filmmaking process with scenes that didn’t make the final cut.
Prologue – A battle rages between Arendelle and the Northuldra while a mysterious figure challenges King Agnarr.
Secret Room – A secret room reveals even more of Anna and Elsa’s past, including a shocking revelation about their mother.
Elsa’s Dream – Anna’s playful glimpse into Elsa’s dream takes a dark turn.
Hard Nokks – Kristoff reveals his true feelings about life in Arendelle when the Nokk won’t take no for an answer.
A Place of Our Own – Elsa uses her magic to relieve Anna’s lingering doubts about their parents’ faith in her.
Deleted Songs– When it comes to “Frozen 2,” there can never be too much music. Hear some of the songs that got cut from the final film.
Intro – Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck revel in the chance to share a few songs that didn’t make it into the final film.
“Home” – Anna savors every moment as she wanders through this kingdom she calls home.
“I Wanna Get This Right” – Kristoff wants everything to be perfect before he proposes, leaving Anna to wonder, “Will it ever be just right?”
The Spirits of Frozen 2– Cast and crew explore the Scandinavian and Nordic mythology that inspired the spirits inhabiting the enchanted forest of “Frozen 2.”
Did You Know???– Olaf asks us the question “Did You Know” as we discover “Frozen 2” fun facts, Easter eggs and tidbits about the making of the film.
Scoring a Sequel– Composer Christophe Beck combines a 91-piece orchestra with 30 choral voices to create the compelling score for “Frozen 2.”
Gale Tests – They say you can’t see the wind. Only its effects. Filmmakers give it a shot while creating the playful wind spirit, Gale.
Gale Test – A young girl and boy play tag in this fully animated effort to “give personality to something that’s invisible.”
Hand-Drawn Gale Test – A hand-drawn test to bring the precocious wind spirit to life.
“Into the Unknown” in 29 Languages – Hear Elsa’s soaring call to adventure in 29 different languages
Music Videos – Weezer and Panic! at the Disco lend their voices to a few of the soaring melodies from “Frozen 2.”
“Into the Unknown” (Panic! at the Disco version) – Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie stars in their version of “Into The Unknown” from “Frozen 2.”
“Lost in the Woods” (Weezer version) – Weezer puts their spin on Kristoff’s epic ballad, “Lost In the Woods.”
Meet the Lopezes– Meet the award-winning husband-and-wife team behind the incredible songs from “Frozen” and “Frozen 2.”
Deleted Song“ Unmeltable Me”– An animatic version of Olaf’s celebratory song about his newfound freedom.
The Bottom Line
This is a title that sells itself. Then again most animated films that Disney puts out are. Nothing I can say here will detract from someone adding this to their collection. While I preferred the original, this one has its fair share of moments as well. No doubt that this is adding more money to the mouse’s wallet. Top rate audio and video along with a plethora of supplements only sweeten the deal.