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Since Frozen was a nearly perfect Disney feature, Frozen II brings with it the expectation of magic. Magic is really hard to pull off, though, and this time the sparkle is gone. In Frozen II, the story is strange, the jokes are terrible, the romance is nonexistent, and the songs are clunkers. Fairy tales that end in the happily-ever-after don’t lend themselves to sequels, and this movie shouldn’t have been made. The good news for Disney, I guess, is that someday people will forget it ever was.
The movie begins like a sleepy Saturday in bed, torpid and creaky and lacking purpose. Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel), Princess Anna (Kristen Bell), Anna’s boyfriend Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), and Olaf the snowman (Josh Gad) live contentedly, so where’s the drama? Well, you see, the sisters’ parents used to tell them this bedtime story about an enchanted forest that hosted the magical spirits of earth, air, fire, and water. In the far north, a river holds all the answers to their family’s long-ago disputes and maybe even has some additional information on their parents’ death at sea.
That’s it? I’m sorry I can’t make this sound more exciting than it is, but that’s what six writers came up with as the answer to the question of how to get two sisters, a male bystander, a reindeer, and a snowman on the move. Everyone heads for the wilderness up north to find the mysterious enchanted forest and learn some uncomfortable truths about their heritage. It’s a thin, contrived, diffuse, and emotionally unengaging narrative engine. If there is a question that needs urgently to be answered here, I don’t see it.
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