Hey, this is Patreon exclusive content just for you! I watch a ton of movies and series every week, and not all of it is destined for a full review, but I can point you towards some cool stuff from time to time, and give you a bit of a bonus for supporting my writing.  

So,I missed the boat on Frozen, but by the time I caught it on home release a couple years after its 2013 its position as this generation’s number one Disney animated flick was well and truly cemented. It didn’t knock my socks off, but am no one to be arguing with a billion littler girls in blue dresses, so I let it go.

Frozen II, however, really packs a punch. The first half hour didn’t arrest me, but once the narrative kicks in and the thematic and personal weight of the story is felt… well, there were a few teary-eyed moments.

Picking up a couple years after the first film, Frozen II sees now-Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), sister Anna (Kristen Bell), lovable lunk Kristoff (Johnathon Groff), and animated snowman Olaf (Josh Gad), plus reindeer Sven, heading off to a hidden enchanted forest north of Arendelle to hopefully stave of a series of magical disasters threatening the picturesque pseudo-Nordic fantasy kingdom. There they find an Indigenous people, the Northuldra, who are a) in touch with the magical rhythms of nature, b) trapped in the forest, and c) victims of a dirty deed perpetrated by the Arendellians a generation back. The sisters must unravel the mystery, learn new things about their own personal destiny and heritage, and grapple with some nasty truths about what happened in the past to make Arendelle so prosperous.

So, there’s strong theme of colonialism running through the film, focusing on the price thereof, coupled with the difficulty and reward of acknowledging who your parents actually were, both of which resonated with me more than anything in the first film (and I wonder how Australians in general will respond, given our ongoing and growing conversation on the former). 

It looks absolutely wonderful, of course. The scene from the trailers with Elsa using her ice powers to try and break through crashing waves on a nighttime beach is just jaw-dropping and heart-stirring on the big screen. The design work and animation in general is amazing – I’m a big fan of how they contrast they more “civilised” Arendelle people with the “primitive” Northuldra (based to some degree on the Sami people), and if I’m going to pull out one favourite fantastic element, it’d be the Earth Giants, narrowly edging out the mystical waterhorse that shows up at a key moment.

It is a musical, so strap in for that – there’s a lot of singing going on, to the point where it’s damn near an opera (note to Disney – just do that). Nothing strikes me as comparable to the world-beating “Let it Go”, but I dug Kristoff’s rock ballad, “Lost in the Forest”, and the mournful, hopeful, “The Next Right Thing”. 

I dug the whole thing, in fact, and your kids doubtless will. In point of fact, I can’t see too many people having a dud time with this one. Disney doesn’t need me pimping their stuff – I only scribble a few thoughts when I think it’s worth it. Frozen II is. 

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