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‘Frozen 2’ doesn’t live up to its predecessor

This image released by Disney shows characters, from left, Sven, Olaf, voiced by Josh Gad, Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff, Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, and Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell in a scene from "Frozen 2." (Disney via AP)

After “Frozen” captured the hearts of young and old alike with its unforgettable songs and engaging story, it was near impossible to avoid a sequel. Not achieving the standards set by the first film, “Frozen 2” is a weaker entry of Disney films.

When all is good in the magical land of Arendelle, sisters Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Ana (Kristen Bell) experience short-term peace when a mysterious voice calls out for Elsa to follow. Along with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad), the group travels into the unknown.

Following a typical sequel exposition of an added backstory, the film jumps off to a rocky start. While the exposition lasts too long due to frivolous scenes, I thought the next two acts were going to start to pick up. Aside from some exciting moments, the story altogether was lackluster. There was no sense of a unifying journey, but instead a haphazardly constructed excursion that was over before it started. When I thought the film was entering its third act, it was actually ending.

Plus, it doesn’t help when many key elements of the story are hard to follow. Either it was poorly presented to the viewer or it just doesn’t make sense. Even in a fantasy, it is hard to suspend that much disbelief.

Where this film does surpass the first is in animation. The bright colors of autumn leaves really pop throughout the film. The attention to detail was incredible, especially in the dazzling fire and water scenes. It was refreshing to see not a singular focus on winter; the diverse color pallet was spectacular at times. While the film was all over the place, that did allow for more opportunities to paint a pretty picture.

With almost every song in the original being quality pieces, the second installment had a lot to live up to. While half of the songs are truly great, the other half are pointless and awful. When music is used to advance the story, that’s when the music really hits its stride. Songs like “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself” brim with emotion while also progressing the plot. But the unnecessary filler from the other pieces were so bad. In particular, Kristoff’s song is a complete waste; it goes for a comedic take on a cheesy 80’s romance song but completely brings the pace of the film to a halt.

Ana and Elsa remain true to their character from the first film, but Kristoff and Olaf are undoubtedly the most annoying parts of the film. On one hand Kristoff is extremely one-dimensional and extremely underutilized. His only purpose is a recurring joke of his proposal to Ana getting botched each time. Olaf on the other hand is overutilized. He is the comedic relief that is used too much. I was a fan of the loveable snowman in the first film; this time he just doesn’t stop with the childish jokes. The few genuinely funny ones are far out-n shadowed by his unrelenting commentary.

This is easily a film that the whole family could enjoy, but the odds point to kids benefiting much more than adults. “Frozen 2” manages to be just good enough, but that is still a shame. I think it’s fair to say “let it go” to Disney.

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