Frozen II, U, 103 mins - Chichester Cineworld
Disney pull off a remarkable piece of pre-Christmas magic with the arrival of Frozen II.
Frozen I (as it presumably must now be called) was a perfect piece of cinema. It was hard not to think that it really, really, really didn’t need a sequel.
Time to think again.
Disney have now given us a film which brilliantly pulls together all the elements that made Frozen such a superb film. But they have added new aspects that almost certainly take it to new levels.
On first viewing, it feels that Frozen II is very, very nearly as good as Frozen I (which is astonishing in itself); but you suspect that it will equal it on second viewing and surpass it on third, fourth and endless rewatchings. It is hugely entertaining, just as the first one was; but there is also something rather more substantial going on here in terms of plot and its implications.
The first thing that strikes you, again just as it did with the first film, is that this is film-making of the most extraordinary beauty. The ambition, the sweep, the colours... just about any moment could be captured as the most sumptuous still to be studied and admired.
But it is also the pace and the expression that soar as we rejoin our cast of very familiar heroes. It’s remarkable to be watching animation that gives us this degree of facial insight into just what the characters are thinking. Superbly realised.
Once again, the key dynamic is sister and sister, the deeply contrasting Elsa and Anna (voiced by Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell). But Frozen II goes deeper.
In Frozen I their parents were sent to the bottom of the sea in the blink of an eye. Here we travel to unravel just what happened to them as Elsa hears and eventually follows a siren call into the heart of her own family’s past and a betrayal which shaped everything that followed.
Maybe it’s a tale which takes a little while to get going; and occasionally it seems just a little convoluted; but before long it is completely engrossing as it gathers pace against the most gorgeous, jaw-dropping succession of backdrops.
Olaf remains deeply annoying. A blow torch is the only answer. Otherwise, this is a stunning addition to a much cherished tale.