We saw Frozen 2 at the weekend and I have been hesitating a bit as to whether to mention it here because I am so clearly not part of the target audience. This is probably also why I am so ambivalent about the film.
With Frozen, Disney managed to come up with an original spin on The Snow Queen in which all the parts slotted together so perfectly that it launched a phenomenon. This time around… Not so much. Instead, we have the same characters pressed into (what certainly feels like) a very generic plot in which Anna and Elsa are sent on a Quest to Save The Kingdom.
And every step of the way I was able to accurately predict what would happen next.
On a purely technical level, Frozen 2 is every bit as impressive as you would expect but the film is let down by the weakness of the story. It’s probably because of this narrative weakness that I couldn’t find any reason to care about any of the characters. That and the songs.
All Disney animations (with the notable exception of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, a film that deserves a much larger audience) are built around their musical numbers. The songs in these films tend to be of a very high standard — even if they’re not my cup of tea — and the songs in Frozen 2 is no exception. My problem is that they felt intrusive.
Whereas Disney scripts usually manage to move seamlessly from dialogue, into the musical number and then back again, this didn’t feel to be the case this time around. Instead, each line of dialogue was followed by a pause, then a song, followed by a pause, and so on. This gave the songs a very tacked-on feel which made them painfully noticeable.
Disney Animation Studios don’t tend to make sequels (only three, if I’m counting correctly). Frozen 2 provides a very good case for continuing this policy.
But what do I know? The kids all enjoyed it.