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Watch Frozen 2 (2019), Story, Stars, Reviews & All You Want to Know About a Great Movie

 

Frozen 2 (2019)

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa’s powers in order to save their kingdom.

Frozen 2 (2019) Trailer

 

Frozen 2 (2019) Reviews

“Frozen 2” has an autumnal palette, with russet and gold setting the stage for an unexpectedly elegiac tone in the follow-up to one of Disney’s most beloved animated features. Even the irrepressibly cheerful snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), now permafrosted so even the warmest hugs don’t melt him, is worried about change as the leaves turn orange and float down from tree branches.He is confident, though, that as soon as he gets older he will understand everything. After all, that’s what he expects from Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff). Anna reassures him (in song, of course) that yes, some things change, but some things are forever. She tells him that even when you don’t know the answers you can always just do the next right thing, and that will help.

“Frozen 2” is funny, exciting, sad, romantic, and silly. It has great songs and a hilarious recap of the first movie, and then it is all of that all over again. Plus an extra scene ALL the way at the end of the credits. This sequel can seem overstuffed at times, and tries a bit too hard to replicate the magic of the first film, but it is impressively willing to engage with some complicated issues in a frank manner that is accessible to children and insightful even for adults.It throws a lot at us, like rock monsters, a cute fire salamander, and a magnificent water horse (the latter two likely to appear on holiday gift wish lists). The settings are gorgeously imagined and wonderfully inviting. Anna has a sensational new wardrobe. We learn family secrets, some comforting, some painful. Characters confront some of the most daunting human questions about loss, change, trust and how we can best heal the wounds of the past.

In a charming flashback, we see the princesses as little girls, playing together happily and being put to bed by loving parents. The king tells them a bedtime story from his own childhood about visiting an enchanted forest with his father to celebrate the completion of a dam the Arendellians built to help the indigenous people. But the gathering turned into an attack.

The king was killed, and only the young prince survived, rescued by a mysterious character. Ever since, the enchanted forest has been barricaded by a powerful mist. The girls learn from their mother’s lullaby that the river may hold some answers about what happened. “Dive down deep into her sound, but not too deep or you’ll be drowned,” the Queen sings. “When all is lost, then all is found.” It’s surprising how dark lullabies can get, a character points out.

In the present day, the sisters live happily in the castle, enjoying family time (Olaf is the Charades MVP) and caring for their community. But Elsa hears voices calling to her from the enchanted forest. She is afraid, but also thrilled. It is an invitation she struggles to admit that she wants to accept, leading to this film’s belter ballad, “Into the Unknown.” “I’ve had my adventure/I don’t need something new … don’t you know there’s part of me that loves to go into the unkn-ow-ow-own.”

And so, after a warning from Kristoff’s “love expert” friend Pabbie (Ciarán Hinds) and Olaf’s not-always-helpful fun facts commentary along the way, they reach the enchanted forest. There, they meet new characters, sing some more songs, sort out some misunderstandings and try to protect each other. They confront the consequences of bad, even tragic choices made by their family.

Parents often ask me why children, especially preschoolers and middle-schoolers, like to watch the same movies over and over. I tell them that when everything around you seems to be drastically changing on a daily basis and you barely know yourself anymore, it can be a great comfort to have a movie friend that’s the same every time. “Frozen II” is destined to be one of those movies children will want to see dozens of times.It will reward repeat viewings with both its reassuring messages about responding to change with courage and curiosity, and its challenge to understand the mistakes of the past so we can begin to work on “the next right thing” together.

  • Nell Minow –  Roger Ebert
  • Nell Minow is the Contributing Editor at RogerEbert.com.

For many years, Disney resisted the urge to craft big-budget sequels to popular animated films. During the “second wave” years of the 1990s, a cottage industry was born whereby cut-rate direct-to-home video follow-ups were made but the studio considered these to be ancillary “products” designed to satisfy a consumer desire and make a few bucks.

Modern realities eventually changed long-held policies and a second installment of the hugely popular Frozen franchise became inevitable. Two theatrically-released shorts weren’t enough to sate demand. Frozen 2 became one of Disney’s most eagerly-awaited animated sequels.

When Frozen was released in 2013, its mix of throwback elements and cutting-edge CGI animation made it Disney’s second-most popular non-Pixar branded animated film of all-time (unadjusted for inflation). For the sequel, the decision was made to stick with the elements that made Frozen so popular: themes of sisterhood and family, dashes of romance and comedy, fantasy/adventure elements, and (most importantly) musical numbers.

The songwriting team of wife-and-husband Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez and composer Christophe Beck were brought back to create a soundtrack that mimicked but didn’t repeat that of Frozen. The result is eight new songs, seven of which recall the Menken/Ashman tunes of the late 1980s/early 1990s and one (“Lost in the Woods”) which sounds suspiciously like something by REO Speedwagon.

The greatest difficulty faced by writer/director Jennifer Lee and co-director Chris Buck was to tell a story that’s new and interesting without relying on regurgitating elements covered by Frozen. It needed to be about going forward more than looking back.

While the first movie was inspired by Hans Christen Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” Frozen II appears to draw at least some of its inspiration (both in terms of creature design and plot elements) from the work of Hayao Miyazaki. That’s not surprising since many of the animators at Disney have admitted admiration of the output of Studio Ghibli.

Frozen 2 opens in the comfortable terrain established by the ending of Frozen. Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), having harnessed her magical abilities, rules over the peaceful and prosperous city of Arendelle. Her sister, Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), provides advice and support, as befits the beloved younger sibling of a ruler. Anna’s beau, ice-cutter Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), has decided to ask his royal girlfriend for her hand in marriage but, every time he starts a proposal, he botches it.

Finally, snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), now immune to melting (due to his “perma-frost”), provides on-going comic relief. However, although all seems well, Arendelle is threatened by forces from within a mysterious enchanted forest. Accompanied by her sister and friends, Elsa must penetrate the mist that surrounds the woods, tame the forces of air, water, fire, and earth, and discover the dark secret that threatens her kingdom.

Visually, Frozen 2 boasts the best photo-realistic imagery of any computer-generated Disney animated release (including those segregated on the Pixar side of the shop). Stunning, crystal-clear visuals are rendered with vibrant hues and just enough of an “animated” touch so as not to appear too realistic – this isn’t an attempt to go toe-to-toe with this summer’s The Lion King.

The movie’s fantastical scenes show a deftness of touch that bring life to the animators’ imaginings. One problem with many of today’s animated films is that, at least insofar as the visual elements are concerned, a plateau seems to have been reached. What was once eye-popping has become routine. Frozen II has a clarity and purity of appearance that moves the bar, if only by a little.

Musically, it’s a little surprising that there weren’t more obvious callbacks to the first film’s songs. The new material, which will undoubtedly be marketed to the hilt by Disney, is in line with that of Frozen: appealing melodies that, although not immediate standouts, could become popular through pop culture saturation. While the Frozen II soundtrack falls considerably short of Disney’s recent best (that of Moana), it’s good enough to find favor with its target audience.

Although the movie introduces several new characters, including ones voiced by the likes of Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Ciaran Hinds, and Alfred Molina, it’s the returning quartet that most viewers will care about and each of the vocal actors – Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad – slide seamlessly back into their roles, almost as if a day hadn’t passed. However, while the characters’ voices may have remained frozen in time, the same isn’t true of those who fell in love with Frozen during its theatrical release and subsequent home video offering.

For children, six years is a long time and it’s an open question whether the passage of time will diminish the franchise’s magic. (In acknowledgment of this, one of the movie’s themes is dealing with the change that comes from growing up.) Frozen 2 is a worthy follow-up with enough heart, action, and music to entertain younger and older viewers alike.

It deserves to be held in as high esteem as its predecessor and will hopefully open this world to a new group of youngsters while satisfying the slightly more mature demands of the original film’s most devoted adherents.

  • A movie review by James Berardinelli

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Frozen 2 (2019) Credits

Frozen II movie poster

Frozen 2 (2019)

Rated PG for action/peril and some thematic elements.

104 minutes

Cast

Kristen Bell as Anna (voice)

Idina Menzel as Elsa (voice)

Jonathan Groff as Kristoff (voice)

Josh Gad as Olaf (voice)

Sterling K. Brown as Lieutenant Mattias (voice)

Evan Rachel Wood as Iduna (voice)

Ciarán Hinds as Pabbie (voice)

Jason Ritter as Ryder (voice)

Rachel Matthews as Honeymaren (voice)

Alfred Molina as Agnarr (voice)

Jeremy Sisto as King Runeard (voice)

Director

  • Chris Buck
  • Jennifer Lee

Writer (story by)

  • Jennifer Lee
  • Chris Buck
  • Marc Smith
  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez
  • Robert Lopez

Editor

  • Jeff Draheim

Composer

  • Christophe Beck

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Frozen 2 (2019) Plot

King Agnarr of Arendelle tells his daughters Elsa and Anna that their grandfather, King Runeard, forged a treaty with the neighboring tribe of Northuldra by building a dam in the Enchanted Forest (their homeland). A fight occurs, resulting in Runeard’s death and enraging the forest’s classical elements of earth, fire, water, and air. The elements disappear, and a wall of mist traps everyone in the forest; Agnarr barely escapes, helped by an unknown savior.

Three years after her coronation, Elsa celebrates autumn in the kingdom with Anna, the snowman Olaf, the iceman Kristoff, and Kristoff’s reindeer Sven. One night, Elsa hears a mysterious voice calling her. She follows it, unintentionally awakening the elemental spirits and forcing everyone in the kingdom to evacuate. The Rock Troll colony arrives, and Grand Pabbie tells them that Elsa and the others must set things right by uncovering the truth about the past.

Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven follow the mysterious voice, and travel to the Enchanted Forest. The mist parts at Elsa’s touch, while the air spirit appears as a tornado, catching everyone in its vortex before Elsa stops it by forming ice sculptures. She and Anna discover that the sculptures are images from their father’s past, and encounter the Northuldra and a troop of Arendellian soldiers who are still in conflict with one another. When the fire spirit appears, Elsa discovers that it is an agitated magical salamander and calms it.

Elsa and Anna arrange a truce between the soldiers and the Northuldra after discovering that their mother, Queen Iduna, was a Northuldran who had saved Agnarr (an Arendellian). They later learn about a fifth spirit, who will unite the people with the magic of nature.

Elsa, Anna, and Olaf continue north, leaving Kristoff and Sven behind. They find their parents’ wrecked ship and a map with a route to Ahtohallan, a mythical river said to explain the past. Elsa sends Anna and Olaf to safety, and continues alone. She encounters and tames the Nøkk, the water spirit who guards the sea to Ahtohallan. Elsa discovers that the voice calling to her is the memory of young Iduna’s call; her powers are a gift from nature because of Iduna’s selfless saving of Agnarr, and Elsa is the fifth spirit.

She learns that the dam was built as a ruse to reduce Northuldran resources, because of Runeard’s contempt for the tribe’s connection with magic and his intention to eliminate them and incorporate their region into the kingdom. Elsa learns that Runeard began the conflict by murdering the unarmed Northuldran leader in cold blood. She sends this information to Anna before she becomes frozen (causing Olaf to fade away) when she ventures into the most dangerous part of Ahtohallan.

Upon discovering the truth, Anna concludes that the dam must be destroyed for peace to be restored. She awakens the Jötunn, and lures them towards the dam. They hurl boulders, destroying the dam and sending a flood down the fjord towards the kingdom. Elsa thaws and returns to Arendelle, diverting the flood and saving the kingdom. As the mist disappears, she rejoins Anna and revives Olaf; Anna accepts Kristoff’s marriage proposal. Elsa explains that she and Anna are the bridge between the people and the magical spirits.

Anna then becomes Queen of Arendelle; Elsa becomes the protector of the Enchanted Forest, who visits Arendelle since peace has been restored. In a post-credits scene, Olaf visits Elsa’s ice palace and recounts the events to Marshmallow (a snow monster created by Elsa as palace guard) and the Snowgies, miniature snowmen inadvertently generated by Elsa on Anna’s nineteenth birthday.

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Frozen 2 (2019) Box office

Frozen 2 earned $477.4 million in the United States and Canada and $972.7 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.450 billion. It was the third-highest-grossing film of 2019, the tenth-highest-grossing film of all time, and the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time. On December 15, 2019, Frozen II passed the $1 billion mark at the global box office.

Deadline Hollywood calculated the film’s net profit as $599 million, accounting for production budgets, marketing, talent participations, and other costs; box office grosses and home media revenues placed it second on their list of 2019’s “Most Valuable Blockbusters”. According to Disney (who did not consіder the 2019 Lion King remake an anіmated fіlm but a live-action reboot), Frozen II is the hіghest-grossing anіmated fіlm (surpassing Frozen).[121] Frozen II‘s box-office success was attributed to its release date near Thanksgiving.

According to Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian, the film was “perfectly positioned to play well into 2020.”

The film was released with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and 21 Bridges on November 22, 2019, in 4,440 theaters: 2,500 in 3D, 800 in the premium large format (including 400 in IMAX), and 235 in D-Box/4D. Frozen II earned $41.8 million on its first day, including $8.5 million from Thursday night previews. The film debuted earning $130 million, the highest opening for an animated film that month.

Its second weekend earnings dropped by 34 percent to $85.6 million (with a record $125 million over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend) and followed by another $34.7 million the third weekend. By December 29, the film’s domestic earnings topped $400 million. Frozen 2 completed its theatrical run in the United States and Canada on March 19, 2020, as the film industry became significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Worldwide, Frozen 2 earned $228.2 million in its opening weekend in 37 markets, for a global debut total of $358.5 million: the highest for an animated title, surpassing the 2019 remake of The Lion King. It had the best all-time opening of an animated film in the United Kingdom ($17.8 million) and France ($13.4 million); the biggest start for a Pixar or Disney Animation title in China ($53 million), Japan ($18.2 million), Germany ($14.9 million) and Spain ($5.8 million), and the third-biggest opening of any film in South Korea ($31.5 million).

The film earned $11.4 million in its second week in the United Kingdom, bringing its total gross there to $35.3 million. By January 5, 2020, the film’s offshore gross had exceeded $875.3 million.[135] As of July 2021, its top international markets were Japan ($122.6 million), China ($122.3 million), South Korea ($95.5 million), the United Kingdom ($69.7 million), Germany ($60.6 million), and France ($53.9 million).

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Frozen 2 (2019) Critical Response

Frozen 2 has an approval rating of 77% based on 336 professional reviews on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.7/10, lower than Frozen‘s 90% rating out of 250 reviews. The former’s critical consensus reads, “Frozen 2 can’t quite recapture the showstopping feel of its predecessor, but it remains a dazzling adventure into the unknown.”

Metacritic (which uses a weighted average) assigned Frozen 2 a score of 64 out of 100 score based on 47 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”, whereas Frozen received a higher 75 score out of 48 critics. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of A− (lower than Frozen‘s A+) on an A+ to F scale, and PostTrak rated it 4.5 out of five stars on the film’s opening day. 

Frozen 2 continues in the same nonthreatening, emancipatory vein, jumping to life when Elsa responds to the siren’s call. As before, the songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez are pleasantly melodious with lyrics that can have the quality of a confession, as if a friend were sharing her inner-voice struggles.

Reviews were moderately positive, critics praising the film’s craftsmanship, delivery, and themes. The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis called the narrative a “pink world of adventure and aspirational uplift”, and Nell Minow of RogerEbert.com noted its frank, compelling depiction of issues which were understandable by audiences of all ages. Dargis cited Frozen II‘s engaging visual imagery, balanced by romance and history, and Minow noted the film’s autumnal palette.

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Simran Hans (The Guardian), and Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter) praised the film. Travers, who enjoyed reconnecting with the characters, called the animation stunning and referred to the music as “tantalizing earworms”. Hans compared the film’s narrative to real-world efforts to mitigate climate change. McCarthy praised its “catchy songs”, “easy-to-like characters”, and “astonishing backdrops”, with humor and a plot driven by “female empowerment galore”.

Frozen II‘s narrative, music, and focus were criticized. In The Wall Street Journal, John Anderson noted that the sequel was not innovative and criticized the film’s flawed narrative and low-quality music in comparison with Frozen. In an Empire review, Ben Travis said that the narrative relied too much on mythology and hazy backstories.

Minow criticized the film’s excessively detailed narrative, and Observer writer Oliver Jones said that the film’s energy and originality were overly focused on the sisters. Reviewers for the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post cited Frozen II‘s complicated story and dark tone.

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Frozen 2 (2019) Accolades

At the 92nd Academy Awards, Frozen II‘s “Into the Unknown” was nominated for Best Original Song. The film’s other nominations include eight Annie Awards (winning two), a British Academy Film Award, two Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards.

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Frozen 2 (2019) Movie Info

Elsa the Snow Queen has an extraordinary gift — the power to create ice and snow. But no matter how happy she is to be surrounded by the people of Arendelle, Elsa finds herself strangely unsettled. After hearing a mysterious voice call out to her, Elsa travels to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond her kingdom — an adventure that soon turns into a journey of self-discovery.

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