Frozen II

Called to an ancient enchanted land Anna, Elsa, Kristof, Olaf, and Sven the reindeer (Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad) set out into the unknown in search of the origin of Elsa’s powers and perhaps a way to save the kingdom. Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee with Screenplay by Lee this return to Arendelle digs deep to find the humor, joy, and musicality but ultimately comes out a little less catchy, a little less joyous, and a little more forgettable when placed toe to toe with its 2013 predecessor. Sure, crisp animation, art direction, and sound design all make notable impressions, but ultimately the film’s success (or lack there of) comes down to songwriting, and, in this case it’s the lack of hooky and memorable tunes that lowers the caliber of this attempt by several clicks. That’s not to say the film is a waste or a wash, but, following the cues of successful American Musical Theatre, audiences need two or three strong memorable tunes to really make inroads, in this case we’re given one and a half. That in mind, there’s still plenty to laugh at, and Gad’s quirky Olaf manages to steal every scene he’s in, just don’t expect the massive onslaught of Frozen II musical hits to permeate your holiday experience this year, then again, maybe that’s okay. Still a fun matinee for the family. Frozen II is rated PG.