Queen Elsa ventures into an enchanted forest.
The sequel to Frozen “has no more reason to exist than the direct-to-DVD offerings Disney used to churn out,” said David Sims in TheAtlantic.com. The original was a colossal success because it paired catchy show tunes with a princess story that centered on sisterly love instead of rote romance. Here, Queen Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) and sister Anna (Kristen Bell) are still belting out ballads, “but the sequel doesn’t build on what made the first movie so agreeable,” and its convoluted plot requires lengthy passages of exposition. “Luckily, after those big story dumps, the film gets sent off in wondrous new directions,” said Germain Lussier in Gizmodo.com. Once Elsa and friends begin journeying toward a magical forest, “there’s rarely a moment that couldn’t be a poster all on its own.” As for the songs, “there isn’t a dud in the bunch,” even if none matches Frozen’s “Let It Go.” Who can complain, though, about spending time with “such congenial company?” said Justin Chang in the Los Angeles Times. Elsa, for her part, “remains a striking ideal of female power—living proof that you can command the elements, save your kingdom, and look fabulous doing it.” ■