FROZEN II Review

As a parent who has seen Frozen approximately 108,054,523,678,245 times it would be easy to go into a sequel with a cynical mindset expecting directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck to repeat themselves or simply recycle the rather exceptional visual and auditory elements that worked so well the first time, but have been consumed so frequently since that it now seems there was never any other option for what that film was meant to be or be received in any other way than becoming the cultural milestone that it did. There is also the inherent fear that studios will play it safe to the point they will simply re-fashion the first film to include a few new characters and a few new songs that will have the old characters go through the same motions of learning the same lessons, but never actually having them grow in any real or meaningful way. With this film in particular though, this never seemed as if it was going to be a concern-otherwise this sequel would have arrived three years ago. What made the idea of Frozen II exciting from the first teaser was the fact it seemed apparent the writing and directing team were intent on not repeating themselves-at least as far as narrative went-for even though Frozen II ultimately comes to explore many of the same themes touched upon in the original film it isn't doing so in a re-purposed fashion, but more expanding on them-namely, the idea of love not solely being that of a romantic quality, but that this greatest and most mysterious of all emotions is maybe even more genuine when there is no romantic factor to the equation, but is instead a pure, authentic, respectful appreciation of and connection to another being. This is a sequel that is admittedly a tough one to crack as it explores the ripples left over from the first film's complex emotional arcs. Furthermore, there's this idea that the world of Frozen only needed to be expounded upon if there was a desire for it and while the answer to that might seem obvious given the amount of money the first film made when taken on face value there was no real need to fill in further historical moments from the history of Arendelle. Still, Frozen II has many things on its mind and chief among them is allowing its two protagonists to come to terms with how they wound up in the crazy positions the events of the first film landed them in; if Frozen was about Elsa and Anna figuring out who they are then Frozen II is about them figuring out who they were meant to be and how well that aligns with who they've actually become.

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