MOVIE REVIEW: Frozen II

“Frozen” grew up.

If there’s one central point to be made about “Frozen 2,” it’s that everything about the film feels more mature in some way. Thematically, it deals with tougher relationship challenges as Queen Elsa and Princess Anna, now happily enjoying life with their friends in Arendelle, risk disruption of their peaceful lives to venture off into the unknown enchanted forest on a quest to discover the origins of Elsa’s powers and potentially learn more about their deceased parents. Change is a constant threat throughout this darker story, and all of the primary characters must wrestle with what that means for them both individually and with regard to the relationships they value. The drama is heavier, the stakes are higher, and Olaf uses self-aware humor to pose some pretty fun questions for viewers to consider. It really seems as if Disney knows their target audience of kids has aged up by 6 years and is now ready to handle a little more emotional weight, while also being sure to allow adults the opportunity to engage a little more this time around. It’s a bold choice, reminiscent of how the House of Mouse handled its “Wreck-it Ralph” sequel “Ralph Breaks the Internet”.

The music also feels slightly more aimed at older kids and adults. The songs are a little more Broadway and a little less pop this time around but are no less singable. One song in particular midway through the film, an 80’s rock ballad solo by Kristoff that is shot like a music video from that era, is sure to leave audience members in stitches and is easily among the film’s most memorable scenes. And then there’s the new “Let it Go”, the anthem-like “Into the Unknown” which your kids will be singing and listening to non-stop for the next few months. While it’s not quite as catchy or memeable as the aforementioned track, it’s still likely to be in heavy radio play rotation just like its predecessor.

Another aspect of the film that has definitely gotten better with age is the animation. As should be expected, everything is more crisp and bright than before, and details on the new costumes really stand out. There are a few different mesmerizing sequences of magic being put to use, as well, that easily rival or improve upon anything in “Frozen”. This is simply a gorgeous film to look at, and even if other faults are found, your eyes can’t help but enjoy themselves.

I’m not quite ready to say “Frozen 2” is better than the original after only one viewing, but the feeling I had while watching it was similar, and I think it comes awfully close. Time will also be needed to tell whether the entire soundtrack becomes as unforgettable as the first film’s. But on the strength of deeper themes, solid character development all-around, some fantastic humor, and a dose of that Disney magic, “Frozen 2” is a triumphant sequel to one of the animation giant’s biggest smash hits.

Rating:


Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

Episode 186: My Neighbor Totoro

This week’s episode is all joy and smiles as we discuss a Studio Ghibli animated classic. It’s a film with innocence and purity that rarely exists, and is worth celebrating for the unique emotional response it creates in us.

 

My Neighbor Totoro Review – 0:00:55

Connecting Point – 1:13:41

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Lion King (2019)

This remake of my favorite animated film of all-time was coming up against some very high expectations, and despite being only my third favorite version (behind the original and theater musical), it is nonetheless an outstanding telling of this story in its own spectacular way.


 

Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

Episode 172: Toy Story 4

We approached TOY STORY 4 with apprehension, counting ourselves among those that considered Pixar’s trilogy to be one of the best ever made and already “perfect”. In this episode, Caless Davis joins us to discuss the new end of the TOY STORY franchise. We talk through our concerns and share what impacted us about Woody and the gang’s latest chapter.

Toy Story 4 Review – 0:01:38

The Connecting Point – 1:13:22

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MOVIE REVIEW: Toy Story 4


 

Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

MOVIE REVIEW: The Secret Life of Pets 2

I laughed harder during THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 than at any other film this year and emerged from the theater with tears in my eyes because of it. The film doesn’t break new ground, but I’ll own it and watch a dozen more times for sure. Take the family! 😻


 

Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

Episode 160: Missing Link

LAIKA Studios is back with another beautifully animated and charming tale, this time a globe-trotting adventure with an unlikely trio of characters exploring not only mythical lands but themes such as identity and colonialism, as well. This film also gives us gut-busting laughs and endearing moments, plenty of material to discuss for this week’s conversation.

Missing Link Review – 0:02:31

The Connecting Point – 0:55:48


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MOVIE REVIEW: Missing Link

Coming this week, MISSING LINK is my favorite animated film of 2019 thus far & will be covered on Episode 160 of the podcast. Fans of Laika Studios should ignore any lack of excitement from the trailers. It’s great family fun & exciting to see an original animated story so well told.

 


 

Aaron White is a Seattle-based film critic and co-creator/co-host of the Feelin’ Film Podcast. He is also a member of the Seattle Film Critics Society. He writes reviews with a focus on the emotional experience he has with a film. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.

FF+ How To Train Your Dragon 3, Oscar-Nominated Short Films & 2019 Oscar Predictions

In this week’s episode of FF+, Aaron reviews an animated trilogy finale, we discuss all 15 Oscar-nominated short films, and then we give our 2019 Oscar Predictions with confidence points. There is also a giveaway included in this episode so tune in to find out how you can win a Blu-ray copy of the outstanding film Burning.

New For You (How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World) – 0:04:24

Reviews of Oscar-Nominated Short Films (Live-Action, Animated, Documentary)  0:10:11

2019 Oscar Predictions – 1:08:53


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Music: City Sunshine – Kevin MacLeod

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Episode 149: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Who would have thought that an animated movie based on Lego minifigs would ever become must-see cinema? But here we are. THE LEGO MOVIE 2 goes bigger than ever before and we’re a bit split on just how well that worked. We talk through the pop culture reference-heavy thematically rich sequel with so much going on that it couldn’t help but give us plenty to discuss. Our hope is that this podcast is gonna stuck inside your heeeeeeaaaad.

The Lego Movie 2 Review – 0:3:52

The Connecting Point – 0:56:06

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