We all scream for Ice Queen. The phrase “instant classic” is over used, but is perfectly apt in the case of the original Frozen. Trying to do a sequel to a beloved movie is tricky, and the primary rule is “first do no harm.” Frozen 2 checks that box. And while it doesn’t exceed the greatness of the first, it is a fine movie with a good message that will (hopefully) reach kids and the parents who are forced to buy a ticket of their own and accompany them.
Thawing Out the Past
This time around we find Elsa and Anna firmly ensconced in their royal roles, with Kristoff, Sven, and the Olaf the magically-protected snowman going on with life, when the sins of generations past come back to haunt the sisters. Our quintet embark on an adventure fraught with a dangerous fog and water with a sharper memory than a five-time Jeopardy champion.
The movie has our heroic cast forced to make tough choices and breaking promises to loved ones for the greater good. The themes of mistrust of outsiders, misplaced preemptive attacks to protect yourself, and misguided attempts to villify others resonate in society today.
Few studios tell a story that reaches multiple generations like Disney. The story is told to adults without being preachy, while also being simplistic enough for young audiences to grasp, at some level, that ignorance is wrong and, well, ignorant.
A Winter Waltz
Another thing Disney continues to do well: music. However, this version of Frozen doesn’t have the instantly catchy hits of the original. There is no Let It Go or Do You Want To Build A Snowman in this iteration.
However, the music is still really good and strong. Into the Unknown will be a popular choice at karaoke bars located off-off-Broadway. My personal favorite was Lost In the Woods, performed by a lovesick Kristoff dealing with some severe separation anxiety.
On the whole, this movie is solid. Really good. But an instant classic like its big sister? Sorry. That said, there are a lot worse films parents will have to sit through for the sake of the kids. Mom, dad, take the win.
The Critics Cocktail Recommendation
A Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri. Sweet but still adult enough for mom and dad.