Pros: Familiar characters; quality of drawing; soundtrack; a couple of funny parodies Cons: Straightforward and artificial continuation; Frozen II adds absolutely nothing to the story of the first film; translation of songs Frozen II / “Heart of Ice II”
Directed by Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Starring Kristen Bell (Anna), Idina Menzel (Elsa), Josh Gad (Olaf), Jonathan Groff (Kristoff), Sterling K. Brown (Lieutenant Matthias), Evan Rachel Wood (Queen Iduna), Alfred Molina (King Agnarr) and b.b.
Walt Disney Pictures Studios
Year of release 2019
It seems that only the lazy today do not accuse Disney of excessive commercial exploitation of popular franchises, which is best seen in the story of the Star Wars spin-offs. But still, for any business structure, it is quite understandable to want to increase profits while minimizing costs and risks. So in this case, Disney is acting quite logically, because creating and promoting a new IP is always expensive and risky. At the same time, over the 96 years of its existence, the company—yes, Disney is approaching its centenary—has accumulated a huge number of franchises, I don’t want to choose. Naturally, the most powerful and commercially successful brands are the first to get the green light, which undoubtedly includes Frozen.
It is worth understanding that the $1.276 billion earned by the cartoon at the box office is just the tip of the iceberg. The original Frozen was released in November 2013, and by the end of 2014, Disney had earned $1 billion in merchandise sales in the US alone. 500 thousand Elsa and Anna dolls were sold within 45 minutes after the announcement in January 2014. The cost of some limited edition collectible figures reached $1000 on eBay. T-shirts, dresses, school bags, shampoos, yoghurts, bed linen, etc. — Disney marketers have nothing wrong with their imagination. And we don’t yet take into account live Frozen shows, the same Disney on Ice, sales of the soundtrack, coloring books and other things. One of the journalists calculated that the free Frozen DVD he was sent to write a review cost him $900 over the course of a year, spent on gifts for his daughters and relatives. So you understand, the brand owners will not joke with Frozen.
That’s why Frozen II is a very neat, very restrained, and very toothless sequel. Let’s face it, the original cartoon was not a masterpiece in terms of plot; it was, by and large, only pulled out by extremely likable characters and a gorgeous soundtrack. With the soundtrack and characters, everything is fine in Frozen II, but the new cartoon has practically nothing to add to the story of the two sisters. This is the same good fairy tale about the importance of support from relatives and about finding your place in life. Yes, it turns out that even queens are dissatisfied with their position and want changes.
Having rather artificially inserted an episode into the childhood of Elsa and Anna that was not mentioned at all in the first cartoon, the authors decided to send the sisters to correct the mistakes of their ancestors. Not even missing parents, who, as it turns out, have their own secret, but grandparents. To do the right thing, the sisters will have to make a sacrifice, but… this is Disney, so everything is guaranteed to work out well in the end.
We would really like to say that the characters have grown over the past six years, become more serious and deeper, but, alas, it seems that they have only become dumber, especially for Kristoff, who still cannot propose to Anna, giving rise to most of the comic situations of the cartoon. As a rule, not very funny, with the exception of perhaps a great parody of 80s music videos. last century in the issue of Lost in the Woods (yes, this is a remake of the composition from the original cartoon).
In general, as mentioned above, Frozen II’s soundtrack is all right. Although there are not that many vocal numbers in the cartoon, and they too persistently exploit the central theme of All Is Found performed by Evan Rachel Wood, they are generally not bad. The songs were written by the same Kristen Anderson-Lopez and her husband Robert Lopez, who received two Oscars for the composition Let It Go from the first Frozen and Remember Me from Coco. As is customary for Disney children’s cartoons, all the songs are translated and voiced by domestic performers, and this is actually a problem. Yes, we understand that even older schoolchildren would hardly understand English songs with subtitles, let alone kids, but the English lyrics are definitely better and more melodic. So if you are already an adult and decide to watch the cartoon out of nostalgia, look for the English version. Or listen to the soundtrack separately, for example on YouTube Music.
No, don’t think about it, Frozen II is not a bad cartoon at all; children, especially girls, will absolutely love it. It looks good, sounds good, teaches the right things… but for some reason, while watching it, I only noticed how often Elsa and Anna change dresses and how many new dolls Disney can now sell. This is not a good call. It looks like Disney didn’t learn anything from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
A good, but somewhat artificial sequel to the popular cartoon