Frozen II REVIEW – Bigger Is Not Always Better

I guess maybe we should let this one go.

It’s no secret that the first Frozen is something of a polarizing film. While mostly well-received, the film did suffer quite the backlash due to the height of its popularity, with many calling it overrated and undeserving of its hype. Personally, I thought the first Frozen was amazing, and to this day still remains one of my favorite Disney movies.

But no matter what opinion you lean towards, if there’s anything that’ll make you appreciate the first Frozen film, it’s the second one. Right from the first scene, it’s like the directors completely forgot about what made their first film so special. Frozen’s first act was a masterclass in storytelling – so much of each character’s backgrounds were explained with as little dialogue as possible. You didn’t need an entire montage of Elsa and Anna growing up to believe in their bond – all you needed was one scene of them playing in the castle, just one.

The second film, however, smothers you with exposition before the title card even shows. It doesn’t even start with a song, à la the first film, which had the spectacular Frozen Heart. Instead, the film feels the need to dump as much information as possible on you before the five-minute mark. When we do eventually get to the first big musical number, it sounds so bland and forgettable that it almost feels like the songwriters took inspiration from the Barbie movies. That’s true for the rest of the songs too, with melodies so unmemorable and lyrics so cliché and forced.

One song feels straight out of The Greatest Showman, while another song has the lyrics, “Some look for trouble, while others don’t,” as if they had no idea what to put in the second half of the sentence. At times, you can’t help but wonder, these are the same writers and composers who made the songs for the first film, right? The ones who wrote For the First Time in Forever, Do You Wanna Build a Snowman, and Let It Go? The songs don’t even feel needed in this one. Where the first film used music as a means of storytelling, the second film is a musical because the first film was a musical.

Some reviews will tell you Frozen II is a lot darker than its predecessor. While that may be true, it’s also a lot dumber. The film wastes so much time of needless subplots and unfunny running gags that the first film was far too mature for. Every character just feels more immature in this one. Anna overreacts in the most theatrical ways, Kristoff is reduced to a running joke that wasn’t even funny the first time, and Olaf, while in the first film was a warm symbol of Anna and Elsa’s once strong bond, is just annoying and useless (mostly annoying).

When the film does decide to be serious, it has all the depth and complexity of a YA novel. Nothing is interesting about its lore. Where the first film felt no need to explain its magical elements, this one feels the need to overexplain everything.The experience is nothing but a boring tiring slog, and the songs aren’t even interesting enough to help us get through it.

And really, none of it feels like anything Frozen fans would expect or even want in a Frozen sequel. The truth of the matter is, this is not a Frozen sequel, it’s a completely different story. It doesn’t expand on any of the themes or arcs in the first film, it instead creates a whole set of new ones, completely out of the blue.The first film was a simple fairy tale about family and self-acceptance, that’s what made it so special. It wasn’t J.R.R. Tolkien’s missing novel before he died.

But the most unforgivable thing about this film is how joyless it all feels. The first film had moments of pure ecstasy, where it felt like the characters were so overfilled with emotion they just had to break out into song, however, the sequel has none of that. Instead, it’s bleak and somber and grey, and mostly because it wants to be. When the film does try to be happy, it feels so forced and has none of the natural charms the first one had in abundance.

This film was made for someone, but it certainly wasn’t made for a Frozen lover like me. To be honest, I have no idea who this film was made for. It’s too jarring and confusing for little kids, and too weak and immature for adult fantasy lovers. What Disney ends up having is a film that tries to be for everyone, but ends up being for no one. It’s another sequel that thinks bigger equals better, and in the process, fantastically misses the point of what made its predecessor so great.

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.

Frozen II offers little in terms of plot or music that will please either the adult or kid Disney fan, and will have audiences wishing they were watching the original film instead.