Disney heads into the unknown with Frozen II, its first theatrical sequel to one of its biggest hits. Before Frozen II, most of the beloved Disney animated movies would receive at least one direct-to-video sequel or maybe a TV spin-off. But the incredible success of 2013’s Frozen almost necessitated a sequel that could once again tap into Elsa-mania with the help of brand new songs by Oscar-winning songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and the return of Idina Menzel‘s soaring vocals. And, according to critics who got the chance to see the highly anticipated sequel early, that’s exactly where Frozen II succeeds.
Critics praised the dazzling visuals and the undeniably catchy songs of the new film, but questioned whether Frozen II needs to exist at all — aside from being a surefire box office hit. See what critics are saying in the Frozen 2 early buzz below.
Despite the return of the original cast — which in addition to Menzel, includes Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad — and the first film’s directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Frozen II can’t quite capture the magic of the original, a few critics said. But they still praised the “eye-popping visuals” and a few new songs that could even surpass the original’s songs.
#Frozen2 seems to exist primarily bc box office for Frozen 1 demanded a sequel, but there’s still plenty to love here: eye-popping fantasy sequences, nice moments for your faves, LOTS of new songs incl the earworm-y “Into the Unknown,” and an unbearably cute new critter pic.twitter.com/PHg80bc1Bp
— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) November 8, 2019
FROZEN II radiates such strong “does not need to exist” vibes up until they give Jonathan Groff the best song
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) November 8, 2019
Just got out of #Frozen2! It doesn’t capture all the magic of the first, but it’s got: Elsa in a wetsuit, Anna ugly crying, Sven ugly crying, Kristoff singing a ‘90s rock ballad, Olaf at his wisest, and… THIS GOOD BOY!! (We must protect him at all costs.) pic.twitter.com/a4WJ0k08Hs
— Alison Foreman (@alfaforeman) November 8, 2019
Frozen 2 loses some of the magic of the original but its soundtrack is surprisingly superior. Kristoff, Sven, & Olaf standout even though the script leaves Anna & Elsa out in the cold. It is a decent sequel but definitely a step down from the first. #Frozen2 pic.twitter.com/xkEmVE4w9j
— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) November 8, 2019
Frozen 2 creates musical magic, but story wise, doesn't quite reach the level of the original. Olaf is certainly the highlight of the film & brings much needed levity to a pretty dark film. It feels like it is for a much older crowd than the target demo. #frozen2 #Frozen pic.twitter.com/ba5YTOpP76
— Ashley Menzel (@AshleyGMenzel) November 8, 2019
#Frozen2 is a worthy sequel. Inspiring story. Elsa rides a water horse and it’s breathtaking. The song “Into the Unknown” is primed to be “Let It Go”-like addictive (sorry parents). And there’s even an ‘80s ballad… sung my Weezer in the end credits! Get ready!!! pic.twitter.com/0ZCol85OjR
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) November 8, 2019
A few critics were even warmer to the movie, arguing that Frozen II is better than the original by taking its characters on a darker, more complex evolution. The film’s story is darker and bigger, which could challenge some younger fans of the original.
#Frozen2 embarks as not just an evolution of its characters, but it sincerely acknowledges that it's fanbase has grown over the last 6 years, and they have new things to learn in a changing world. Songs are plentiful. Beautiful shots at times. It was something I REALLY needed. pic.twitter.com/NMKEKvyLg0
— Clayton Davis (@AwardsCircuit) November 8, 2019
Loved #Frozen2. It’s a darker, more complex and more emotionally mature story, continuing everything you love about the first movie and upping the ante while maintaining the intimacy of the original. Gorgeous animation, wonderful new characters and (FINALLY) a Kristoff song! ?? pic.twitter.com/ZB7Dyul6Ia
— Drew Taylor (@DrewTailored) November 8, 2019
I can’t believe I am saying this, but FROZEN 2 is better than its predecessor. Darker, a little more mature, but still an excellent film for families, the songs believe it or not are catchier, so parents beware. SEE THIS MOVIE! #Frozen2 pic.twitter.com/0RLKpckHWS
— Skyler Shuler (@Skylerhxc) November 8, 2019
#Frozen2 is breathtakingly beautiful and leans in on empowerment for its characters. I cried at least 3 times. From the story to the last thread on Elsa's dress, the care and love put into it shows. And, good news, every one of Team Elsa gets at least one solo this time around.
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) November 8, 2019
#Frozen2 has some incredibly ethereal animation (and what they do with water is incredible), along with very solid songs, but the story didn't enchant me nearly as much this time around. It's good, but the first one was great. #Frozen @DisneyFrozen
— Joey Magidson (@JoeyMagidson) November 8, 2019
I really, really liked FROZEN II. A movie that doesn’t even try to have a traditional villain, but instead explores the fears of people, groups you haven’t met yet. And what happens when you learn your own tragic truth.
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) November 8, 2019
While critics are divided on whether Frozen II is better than the 2013 original, or even whether it warrants its own existence, it seems the sequel will be a major success thanks to its incredible visuals and show-stopping numbers. Spreading the solo songs out among the main cast seems to be a good call, especially the solo for Jonathan Groff, who received the most praise of returning cast members among the early buzz.
Frozen II opens in theaters on November 22, 2019.
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.
The post ‘Frozen 2’ Early Buzz: Not as Good as the First, But the Dazzling Visuals and Great Songs Make Up For It appeared first on /Film.