Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee (director)
1h 43mins (length)
21 November 2019 (released)
05 December 2019
Given the success of the original Frozen in 2013, and the staying power of its signature song Let It Go, it's no surprise that Disney agreed to a sequel and the original team came back for more.
Frozen 2 is set three years after the events of the first film. Elsa (Idina Menzel) is Queen of Arendelle, everyone is happy and life is good. Naturally, that doesn't last.
Elsa is the only one that hears a mysterious voice calling to her and she believes it's coming from the enchanted forest her late parents told her about.
When the natural elements - earth, wind, fire, and water - start playing tricks on Arendelle and make it inhabitable, Elsa heads to the forest to find the voice and the origin of her magical powers - with her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), Anna's boyfriend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) - who is trying to drum up the courage to propose - talking snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), and Sven the reindeer in tow.
First things first, Frozen 2 is a lot of fun. There are many witty, laugh out loud moments, mostly thanks to Olaf, who has grown up and has many existential questions.
The interactions between the characters were well written and it was nice seeing how their relationships had developed. Anna feels like the most realistic Disney Princess yet - she's messy, emotional, irrational, funny and more like a real person than her polished and powerful sister. Their tight bond was nice to see, as was the clear female empowerment message - the two leads drive the action with little help from the men.
The animation in the first film was beautiful but it somehow manages to be even better in the sequel. Frozen 2 is jaw-droppingly stunning, with gorgeous landscapes and realistic visualisations of fire and water in particular.
The filmmakers should be praised for taking a brave leap and exploring new, darker territory rather than playing it safe and rehashing the original. However, the overall storyline was underwhelming and meant this instalment didn't feel necessary.
Songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez were always going to have a challenge trying to create a song as memorable as Let It Go.
Into the Unknown and Show Yourself, two ballads sung by the incredible Menzel, come close but the melodies aren't as catchy as Let It Go.
There are a few others that were forgotten about instantly, although Kristoff's solo number Lost in the Woods is memorable because it was accompanied by hilarious visuals paying homage to '80s music videos.
Frozen was so well-loved that the sequel, given that it comes after a six-year break, was always going to have to be spectacular to truly exceed expectations and please fans of the first. Frozen 2 is very good in many ways but ultimately fails to capture the magic of the first.