(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Frozen II)
Doug (vo): It's the sequel to one of Disney's biggest phenomenons in years, Frozen II. It's been over six years since the first film graced the big screen, and, man, did it just explode. So, naturally, there must be a lot of pressure to make its sequel even bigger and better and brighter and more songs and more complications and more character, and...yeah, you can definitely feel that pressure in this movie, because...boy, talk about trying to do too much and achieving too little. People's reaction to this movie seems to be pretty mixed, with kids liking it fine and some adults liking it fine, but I think everyone agrees it's not the first one.
Story and reviewEdit
Doug (vo): The problems, you can pick out actually very early on, as Elsa and Anna's non-Maurice LaMarche father talks about an old enchanted forest, and they had tribes that believed in water, wind, earth and fire, and their kingdom discovered them, and they built a dam for them, but then something went wrong, and there's this big fight, and then this curse was laid, and this giant wall of smoke went up, and everybody was trapped there, and there's a lullaby they used to sing, and there might be a connection to Elsa, and this is all in the first few minutes. At first, I thought, "Well, the first film was pretty top-heavy, too. They threw a lot of information very early on, but then it slowed down and allowed character and story to really take place." But, nope. It stays this pace throughout the entire film, and I think the reason for that is, they had a really cool idea with smart elements, but there's kind of all these boxes they have to check off, because it's Frozen II, and they've had a bunch of shorts, and they were mostly successes, and we got to keep this merchandise train going.
(Several clips focusing on the characters' whole journey are shown)
Doug (vo): So you have this story where Elsa wants to go and find the enchanted forest because this voice is calling out to her, and it's weird, and it's haunting, and she doesn't know what it means, so she's gonna go and travel there. She discovers she's the only one that can open the fog and go inside, but why? She also discovers that water has memory, and she can use this power to look into the past and see kind of these frozen statues. There's different monsters and creatures that all take on the different elements, and they all seemingly try to lead her to a certain place, a place that may have a tie into her mother. Well, yeah, okay, that's all...brilliantly interesting. On top of all that, we're gonna find out what happened in the past and how everything crumbled and how this curse was put on it, and...okay, cool. I'm sold. This sounds like a really neat idea.
(Several clips focusing on Anna and Kristoff, as well as the film's new supporting characters, are shown)
Doug (vo): But...that's just Elsa. We also have to have Anna in there. You see, she wants to come with, and there's honestly not much to do except be supportive, and, yeah, then, at the end, suddenly, there's this big decision made about her like it was built up, but it really wasn't. And we also need Kristoff, who wants to propose to Anna, and...that's it. Yep, that's his entire character. It's Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story 4 all over again. We so don't know what to do with him, we give him an 80s ballad in the middle of the movie, which...completely doesn't tie into Frozen at all! Oh, and, of course, you have new characters, like the tribe and the old guards who have been living there for years, and, yeah, maybe we can get an idea of all the pain and suffering they've been going through, but...not really. They're just kind of there, and then vanish. Sometimes, they give a little exposition, but that's it.
(Several clips focusing on Olaf are shown)
Doug (vo): Oh, and that goddamn comic relief, Olaf. I stomached him okay in the first one, and even in the shorts, I kind of thought it was alright, because it's for little kids. It's these little shorts, I get it. This is a sequel to one of the biggest Disney movies ever made, and he just comes in and pretty much holds the movie hostage whenever he wants. Anytime it's going somewhere interesting, he'll just come in and tell a ton of jokes. It never feels organic, it never feels like it belongs. Even when they come across the tribes and the guards and they finally see them after all these years, suddenly, the camera's on him, and he's talking about everything that happened in the first film in this little...what I can only describe as a Bum Review. (An image of Chester A. Bum is shown) He does a Bum Review!
(Various clips resume showing)
Doug (vo): And on top of all of that, the climax, if you can even call it that, there's not really that much action or anything that happens in the end, tries to do this really big correction to make up for the sins of the past, which, at first, I thought was a little extreme, but then I realized, "Fairy tales. Go extreme. That's the idea." But then, they don't even do that. They completely renege on it at the last minute, taking away all responsibility. There is so much going on in this movie that doesn't connect together that it's just boring. It somehow feels really rushed and really meandering at the same time. All this stuff with Elsa seems pretty good, but it's rushed because they always have to make room for Olaf and Kristoff and Anna and everything else. I remember there's a moment where she freezes the air, and all these statues are around her, and they're like, "What's this?", and she's like, "I don't know. Frozen memories of the past?" Lucky friggin' guess! Had this movie been given time just to be with her, maybe that could've been more of a mystery, maybe she could've put it together, maybe even just a few seconds more. But, nope. She just immediately came to that conclusion, and that's how so much of this story feels, like there's either these big leaps in logic that nobody would figure out right away, or these incredibly obvious plot devices that everybody has figured out, but for some reason, they haven't yet, and they're really gonna draw it out. The songs pretty much work the same way. Anything with Elsa is pretty good. Granted, they all sound like they're trying to recreate "Let It Go" three or four times, but I still like "Let It Go", and even a good imitation done by the same people [Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez] is still a good imitation. The other songs, though, around Olaf and Kristoff and everything else feels more like they were written for Frozen shorts. And that's what this movie feels like, a decent Frozen sequel trying to get off the ground, but these direct-to-DVD movies somehow getting in the way.
Doug (vo): I guess I'll say this. Kids can watch it fine. I mean, I think they might be a little lost with the story, but they'll follow it enough, and, yeah, Olaf is annoying to me, but the screening I went to, a lot of the kids were laughing, so I'm sure he'll entertain them. But if I had to guess, even if kids like it, they're going to rewatch the first one over and over and over, and this one only a few times. Honestly, once was enough for me. This isn't like an awful, terrible movie or anything like that, it's honestly a passable kids' film, I suppose, though, again, probably overly-complicated. But as a sequel to one of Disney's biggest hits that both enchanted children and adults, I just didn't think it worked. But who knows? At the time of me recording it, it's still pretty close to when it came out, so maybe people are seeing something really special about it. Maybe over the years, the more we watch it, we'll figure out it was actually better than the first one. But for me, now, this is a trip into the unknown I don't need to take.
(A shot of the "Into the Unknown" song sequence is shown)