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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Frozen II has quite the bar to hit when it comes to both popularity and overall quality. That first movie went on to be the highest-grossing animated film of all-time until The Lion King remake recently unseated it. But even beyond that, the original movie launched a whole slew of merchandise and enthusiasm that helped reinvigorate Disney Animation.

And most important of all, the movie was really good. Could this sequel ever live up to what came before? Well, some critics have already seen the movie, and as of now, it has an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 46 reviews. It’s a good start, but here are some actual quotes.

First up, The New York Post claims this is actually the superior movie to the first one, saying:

“The second Frozen is even better than the first, with dazzling animation and a more mature and tuneful score. Call it The Icicle Strikes Back. Elsa once sang, “I’m never going back! The past is in the past!” And Frozen II has wisely followed that path. Instead of rehashing the 2013 film, and piling on complications involving the queen’s magical ability to freeze with her fingertips, we start fresh with a new, out-of-the-icebox adventure.”

The Los Angeles Times was less glowing, calling the film “far from essential” but going on to give it a positive review.

“Their latest adventure feels darker yet less consequential than the last one; the mythology is somehow both overly complicated and oddly perfunctory. Really, the plot is mainly an excuse for the characters to hang out. And why not? Sometimes you want to go to a Scandinavian sauna where everybody knows your name. Elsa and her companions may not be the most richly drawn (sorry, computer-animated) characters, but they’re such congenial company that you could happily watch them play charades for two hours, rather than just a brief five-minute stretch at the beginning.”

RELATED – Frozen 2 Reactions Praise Darker Sequel And Amazing Songs

Another positive review comes from Empire, who celebrates the story’s tendency to skew away from the standard good and evil shtick Disney once made famous.

“It’s also a more mature film that deals with notions of maturity, for an audience that has itself grown up in the six years since the previous outing. That means an expansive, mythical tone as the gang sets off on a quest tied into a mystery around Elsa and Anna’s family history, incorporating epic fantasy elements from Middle-earthian stone giants, to elemental spirits and indigenous tribal communities. Like Moana before it, Frozen II takes Disney further into Studio Ghibli territory, dropping binary good-and-evil storytelling for more nuanced depictions of the balance between humanity and nature.”

But, of course, as its 83% score indicates, not everyone enjoyed the movie, and BBC gave a negative review, chastising the movie for being “an avalanche of half-formed ideas,” and it seems to have the most cynical view of the franchise as whole, saying:

“It takes an ice age for it to get going. In the early scenes, the film-makers’ priority isn’t to send Anna and Elsa off on an adventure, but to show off their Nordic haute couture. There are more costume changes in Frozen II than there are at a Beyoncé concert. Most Disney princess animations are intended to sell party dresses to children, but this is the first which is so obviously meant to launch a fashion line.”

But it digs deeper into the cricitism.

“Lacking any real jeopardy, Frozen II is a meandering psychedelic journey involving standing stones, elemental spirits, time-warping glaciers, the Dark Sea, and a supernatural fog reminiscent of Alex Garland’s sci-fi horror movie, Annihilation. It’s also reminiscent of a Tolkien fantasy saga, although its fixation on the characters’ origins and their homeland’s politics may bring back traumatic memories of the Star Wars prequels. The script tries to answer the questions raised in the first film, even though none of them needed answering, but its convoluted explanations are so perplexing that there may need to be a third film just to answer all the questions raised in this one. Strangely, one sequence comes very close to explaining why Kristoff had no parents in Frozen, just a reindeer and an adoptive family of trolls, but someone must have cut the sequence in which everything becomes clear.”

So, what do you think of these first thoughts? Do they have you worried or excited for what’s to come? Let us know down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.