‘Frozen 2’ Critics’ Review: Disney Sequel Charming but Plays Safe

The film has been voiced by Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Evan Rachel Wood and Jason Ritter.

2 min read
A poster featuring Elsa and Anna from <i>Frozen 2</i>.

Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Frozen 2 is the sequel to Disney’s 2013 animated musical Frozen. The story is set three years after the events of the first film. Elsa hears a strange voice calling her from the forest and she and her sister Anna set off on a journey to confront a family secret and save her kingdom. Frozen 2 features the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Evan Rachel Wood and Jason Ritter.

Here’s what critics have to say about the film:

“It’s nice to see these figures again, but I couldn’t help feeling that there is something a bit underpowered and contrived about the storyline in ‘Frozen 2’: a matter of jeopardy synthetically created and artificially resolved, obstacles set in place and then surmounted, characters separated and reunited, bad stuff apparently happening and then unhappening. At times, ‘Frozen 2’ almost felt like an extended bonus featurette that could have gone with the Blu-ray edition of the first film.” 
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“But a dire case of cynical sequelitis plagues ‘Frozen 2’. The directors – Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck – and writers – Lee and Allison Schroeder – grasp for a new mythos to match the original’s, but come up woefully short. In that striving to justify a sequel, the ‘Frozen’ team is forced to go bigger, grander, more existential, while still keeping things accessible to children. That’s a really tough balancing act, one ‘Frozen 2’ can’t manage. While I admire the movie’s attempt to more deeply mine the identities of sister-princesses Anna (sweet, non-magical) and Elsa (restless, can control snow and ice), its discoveries are rushed and are served up half-baked.”
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
“It’s not until Menzel sings “Into the Unknown” that ‘Frozen II’ comes anywhere near the goose-bump-inducing, icicles-on-the-nape-of-your-neck thrill audiences experienced with “Let It Go” last time around — although none of this cartoon’s new tunes packs quite that punch. Even so, the characters spend an awful lot of time singing: Groff delivers the amusingly over-earnest pop-idol parody “Lost in the Woods,” and later, Bell belts out goody-goody anthem “The Next Right Thing.” (All three of those songs are repeated in less-interesting Radio Disney-ready cover versions over the marathon end-credits roll, performed by the likes of Panic! at the Disco, Kacey Musgraves and Weezer.)”
Peter Debruge, Variety
“Disney has been careful, cautious, conscientious and committed to continuing the franchise with the utmost fidelity to the original, resulting in a sequel that can’t miss with its massive constituency and will make another mint, but at the same time can’t help but feel predictable, safe and beholden to formulaic rules.”
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter 

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