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Frozen II

December 5, 2021

Frozen II (2019)
Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Actors: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff

My Kids Loved 'Frozen 2,' But This Parent Is Deeply Confused | Vogue

Synopsis: The call of a siren leads Elsa to inadvertently awaken the elemental spirits. This forces a decimated Arendelle to be evacuated, so Elsa, Anna and co. embark on a mission to the nearby Enchanted Forest to rectify the situation and answer the call of the siren.

Review: I was a rare naysayer in the near universal admiration for Frozen on its release some seven years ago, so it’s a surprise to report that I find its critically maligned sequel, Frozen II, much more to my taste – save for the fact they don’t quite have the same showstopping number that the first film had in “Let it Go”.

The narrative hook is far more compelling here. It really fleshes out the mythology of the ‘Frozen’ world, and isn’t centred on such an unbelievable conceit as the first movie had of Elsa potentially not being accepted for being able to freeze things. This film’s eco-parable about a native people essentially being tricked by what we had perceived to be the ‘good guys’ (the civilised and more ‘worldly’ inhabitants of Arendelle) is lightly done and is not at all stodgy or patronising, and the emotive kick of Elsa and Anna having to investigate their own origin and the mystery about their parents’ histories and deaths is poignantly done.

As with the first film, Frozen II’s calling card is the way it uses colour and texture to drive the ideology of the film. It reminded me of an old adage by language theorist, Robin Lakoff, who opined that women have larger colour vocabularies and a greater sensibility for colour than (most) men, and that feeling certainly transmits here.

It is well documented in some of my other writings on animation that I find the contemporary convention for bulbous eyeballs extremely off-putting and incongruous – and it’s a continual personal annoyance for me when watching something as sincere as Frozen II – but, that aside, this is a beautifully rendered film and certainly deserves a greater reputation than as the inferior knock-off of the first film. (December 2021)

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