Review Roundup: What Did Critics Think of FROZEN 2?
Why was Elsa born with magical powers? What truths about the past await Elsa as she ventures into the unknown to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond Arendelle? The answers are calling her but also threatening her kingdom. Together with Anna, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven, she'll face a dangerous but remarkable journey. In "Frozen," Elsa feared her powers were too much for the world. In "Frozen 2," she must hope they are enough.
From the Academy Award®-winning team-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, producer Peter Del Vecho and songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez-and featuring the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Frozen 2" opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2019.
Find out what critics thought of the film below!
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter:
Certainly the overriding intent of Jennifer Lee's script (she also solely wrote the first installment and co-directed both with Chris Buck) is to position Elsa as a serious role model/inspiration for girls and young women, a resilient, can-do, nothing-can-stop-me character able to overcome any challenge in her path. This she most certainly does, and a raft of co-story writers has joined in to try to stir the ingredients to the desired balance among drama, excitement, comedy, suspense, action and inspiration.
Unfortunately, if you stop to notice you can readily sense the efforts of the many cooks in the kitchen, recommending a bit more sugar here, a pinch of spice over there, bake this a little longer, put some extra frosting on just for good measure. The recipe is a good one, but you can feel all the fuss that went into it.
Peter Debruge, Variety:
In a Broadway show, the musical numbers reveal feelings the characters wouldn't dare speak aloud, although the most effective "I want" song here comes from none other than Olaf, who yearns to understand the world better "When I Am Older." All four characters alternate articulating where their minds are at the opening via the song "Some Things Never Change," and though the sequence features stunning animation, its presence stalls the proceedings. Whereas the prologue informs that "the fighting enraged the spirits, and they turned against us" - language clearly engineered to misdirect - it's not until nearly an hour later, when the trolls explain, "The past is not what it seems. ... The truth must be found," that the story finally finds its proper course.
Christian Holub, Entertainment Weekly:
Menzel's voice certainly gets put to use with two resounding solo numbers. Summer and winter each got theme songs in the first Frozen, and now autumn joins the party with the sequel's first big group number. Even Kristoff gets a song, though its absurdity (it's filmed like a parody of the cheesiest Pop videos from a bygone era, albeit with a backing chorus of singing reindeer) mostly underscores how little he has to do in this film.
Again, what Frozen 2 is trying to say directly to kids has definite value. And there is sweetness to be found throughout, especially in the way the movie articulates how understanding oneself is a constant process-the first film's happily-ever-after only got these sisters so far, it turns out. But the project surrounding those sentiments has a wheezy, floundering inelegance. Plenty of children will find it special, I'm sure. And maybe that's ALL THAT matters. From my coldhearted grownup perspective, though, Frozen 2 pushes itself out on its own ice floe and it's all too easy to, well, let it go.
Matt Goldberg, Collider:
Even the songs don't have that same punch this time around. Songs like "Into the Unknown" and "Lost in the Woods" are certainly catchy, but there's nothing in here that I think will take the world by storm like "Let It Go". If anything, songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez kind of play into their weakest aspects with a song from Anna that veers into Randy-Newman-sing-about-what-you're-doing territory. Thankfully, it's just that one song, but overall, you have a movie where it feels like no one is taking any chances on any level.
Kate Erbland, IndieWire:
Despite the emotional upheaval of the final act, it also has a fair bit of amusement and spectacle. There's tongue-in-cheek jibs about the Disney experience throughout, and Lee and Buck have some serious fun spinning the big musical numbers into fresh territory (Kristoff's big song, "Lost in the Woods," is filmed as something of a power ballad music video, more Guns n Roses than anyone could ever expect from the Mouse House, and one of the best parts of the film). Olaf is as deranged and cute as ever, moving from court jester to something of a classic fool over the course of a transformational outing. In a flashback, Anna and Elsa's dad even makes off with a lightning fast joke about a "new Danish author."
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:
I couldn't help feeling that there is something a bit underpowered and contrived about the storyline in Frozen II: 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 II almost felt like an extended bonus featurette that could have gone with the Blu-ray edition of the first film. Having said that, it looks and sounds good, with a stirring central song for Elsa entitled Into the Unknown, the curtain-raiser for her encounter with the primeval forces of the forest.
David Sims, The Atlantic:
Frozen II sometimes gets impressionistic enough to reach the heights of its forebear, which was at its best when Elsa cut loose and made towering ice sculptures to symbolize her loneliness. A couple of sequences see the queen skiing across a raging ocean, encountering water spirits in the shape of horses, and exploring caverns of crystalline memories. Those standout moments, reliant on music and visuals, hit harder than the bulk of the dialogue. Most of the time, though, this elaborate plot doesn't yield anything remotely original. Frozen II may be big and expensive-looking, but it has no more reason to exist than the direct-to-DVD offerings Disney used to churn out.
Brian Truitt, USA Today:
The themes of growing up - especially evidenced by Olaf - make sense for a massive fandom of boys and girls moving through formative years themselves. But unfortunately "Frozen 2" is a heavily plotted - and sometimes plodding - affair with way too much going on and not enough of it working together cohesively. At the very least the relentless exposition looks great, with top-notch animation delivering a larger magical landscape and its dynamic nature-centric fauna. (Elsa befriends a little fire-demon salamander and a water horse who both look pretty nifty.)
Germain Lussier, IO9:
But that's what makes Frozen II so good. It's a near-perfect blend of characters, humor, mystery, and emotion that's chock full of memorable moments, gorgeous animation, and catchy songs-in other words, everything you'd want in a piece of family entertainment. Yes, the story is a bit too dense and parsed out a little awkwardly, but that's also a testament to just how deep the mythology goes this time around. Frozen II makes Frozen I feel like an appetizer before the full meal. And this Thanksgiving season, it's a fine meal indeed.