Between its Marvel films and live-action remakes, Disney has been having quite the lucrative year at the box office. However, one of the studio’s most-anticipated films hasn’t even hit theaters yet. Ladies and genetlemen, it’s almost time for Frozen 2.
Given the first film’s epic 2013 box office haul — and even larger pop cultural impact — perhaps Disney deserves credit for waiting this long to release a sequel. Still, fans of Frozen might be wondering whether the sequel measures up to the original. Thanks to some early critics’ screenings, we have our first reactions to Frozen 2.
Is it as good as the first movie?
Although we won’t know the full critical reception of the film until closer to its release, Frozen 2 arguably might be a better movie. Angie Han of Mashable said, while the sequel seem to exist for its box office potential, its “eye-popping fantasy sequences” and “nice moments” for each character should satisfy fans.
Skyler Shuler of The DisInsider concedes that Frozen 2 tops its predecessor with a “darker” and “more mature” follow-up. Although Ashley Menzel of We Live Entertainment doesn’t think the film quite reaches those heights, she agrees that Frozen 2 “feels like it is for a much older crowd than the target demo.”
Most critics agree that the somewhat darker vibe suits the film’s deeper depiction of its characters. Mike Ryan of Uproxx calls it a “movie that doesn’t even try to have a traditional villain but instead explores the fears of people, groups you haven’t met yet. And what happens when you learn your own tragic truth.”
By the looks of it, Frozen 2 does what all great sequels do: carry their characters to the next logical step in surprising ways. The film’s story is “not just an evolution of its characters,” according to Clayton Davis at Awards Circuit, “but it sincerely acknowledges that it’s fanbase has grown over the last 6 years.”
Get ready to ‘Let It Go’ all over again
Even though not all critics agree whether Frozen 2 tops the first one, the music unanimously delivers. In particular, many reactions applaud the film’s dedication to serving everyone in its cast. As Alisha Grauso of Atom Tickets said, “good news, every one of Team Elsa gets at least one solo this time around.”
More than one critic took the time out to name-check Jonathan Groff. The Tony-nominated star voices Kristoff in Frozen but only had a brief song to himself. Frozen 2 apparently makes up for that oversight.
“FROZEN II radiates such strong ‘does not need to exist’ vibes up until they give Jonathan Groff the best song,” tweeted The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan. Likewise, Alison Foreman of Mashable said Frozen 2 “doesn’t capture all the magic of the first” but calls out “Kristoff singing a ‘90s rock ballad.”
And the film has a lot more where that came from. With tons of music packed into its 103-minute runtime, Frozen 2 seems to have a bit of everything audiences are expecting. And then some.
“The song ‘Into the Unknown’ is primed to be ‘Let It Go’-like addictive (sorry parents),” Jason Guerrasio of Business Insider said. “And there’s even an ‘80s ballad… sung [by] Weezer in the end credits! Get ready!!!”
Considering the Oscar-winning music of the first one, it looks like Frozen 2 has beaten the odds and at least lived up to its predecessor.
Can it outdo the original ‘Frozen’ at the box office?
Of course, a film like Frozen 2 is bound to be a hit regardless of what critics say. After all, fans have been anticipating what the sequel might bring ever since the trailer was released. But can Frozen 2 possibly hope to beat the first film at the box office?
Back in 2013, Frozen earned more than $1.2 billion worldwide. Nevertheless, its success came as something of a surprise, confirming what is essentially the second Disney Renaissance. With six years of hype behind it and riding Disney’s unstoppable 2019 momentum, Frozen 2 is almost certain to outearn it.
Even if fans aren’t concerned with Frozen 2‘s box office prospects, the reviews indicate they should feel the sequel’s worth the wait. The film promises more Anna and Elsa as well as a host of new characters. So expect Frozen 2 — much like the first one — to be everywhere this holiday season. Moviegoers hoping for anything otherwise will just have to, well, let it go.
Frozen 2 hits theaters on November 22.
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