‘FROZEN’ raked in more than $1 billion worldwide. So do you think they’d just Let It Go? Of course not! So now comes “Frozen II” that pulls out all the stops to make sure it will level up, if not surpass, the success of the well-loved original that even won an Oscar.
The songs are once again penned by Robert and Kristen Lopez and they have come up with another catchy song, “Into the Unkown”. Will it be as big a hit as “Let It Go”? Well, that remains to be seen. As the lyrics say: “I’ve had my adventure, I don’t need something new. I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you…. into the unknooooown?”
Reactions to the sequel are varied. Some say it’s better, but some prefer the first one. Well, it’s up to you to decide for yourself. As for us, we’re just happy to reconnect with sisters Elsa and Anna, along with Olaf, Sven and yes, Kristoff who makes several attempts to propose to Anna, complete with an engagement ring.
Before “Frozen”, Disney came up with two other princess films, “The Princess and the Frog” and “Tangled”. They weren’t huge successes. Then “Frozen” came, a reimagining of Andersen’s fairy tale, “Snow Queen”, and it got universal praise from critics, with viewers all over the world embracing it wholeheartedly.
In it, Elsa escapes to a winter fortress because she can’t control her fingers that freezes anything she touches. Anna herself got frozen and it’s only the true love’s kiss of her own sister that brings her back to life. How sisterly sweet!
The story of the first one seems quite complete, but they have to cash in on the success of the first movie, so they have to concoct a more convoluted narrative for the sequel. Elsa is now living happily as queen of Arendelle, playing charades with Anna and her BF Kristoff and the perennially cheerful snowman Olaf who no longer melts because of perma frost and does a funny retelling of the first movie.
But Elsa keeps on hearing a haunting melody in her ears. It comes from the enchanted forest of Ahtohallan inhabited by an indigenous tribe. In a flashback showing Elsa and Anna when they were still small kids, their father, King Agnarr, tells them that as a boy, his own dad tried to make a pact with the indigenous tribe but this ended in betrayal and disaster.
The safety of the people of Arendelle is now threatened so, to save them, Elsa decides to venture into the enchanted forest, which is surrounded by an impenetrable mist, to find out what really happened. But before she does so, she gets to sing the movie’s power ballad, “Into the Unknown”, voiced by Idina Menzel to remind us that she has formidable vocal pipes.
But naturally, the mystical forest is full of danger, what with menacing giants made of solid rock lurking around. As they explore the place, Elsa and Anna discover some painful family secrets and figure out how they can best heal the wounds of the past made by their own elders.
Okay, enough of spoilers about some serious stuff that kiddie viewers might not fully comprehend. Suffice it to say that the new songs help to keep viewers engaged, Anna has two new songs, “Some Things Never Change” and “The Next Right Thing”. Kristoff sings “Lost in the Woods” while Olaf sings “When I’m Older”, all designed to be crowd pleasers.
Aside from the songs, the animation work is quite stunning, bursting with wonders, even breathtaking at some moments, making it an audio-visual feast of sorts. The level of detail is quite sophisticated. Wait till you see what the CGI people did with the cute fire-starting salamander, Bruno, and with water, the hardest element to animate but represented here by a magnificently shimmering water horse. In the end, Elsa gets a new hairdo and a new wardrobe. And judging from the end credits, looks like they’re planning to have a “Frozen III”. But will it win the Oscar again? Well, they have “Toy Story 4” to contend with this time.