Frozen II shimmies away from conventional Disney narrative into what feels like a kid’s version of Annihilation. In fact, it’s at its best when it ventures into abstraction, providing dazzling visuals for its bold, artsy set pieces.
This is great, but also quite jarring for a film starring a wacky snowman, a wacky reindeer and a wacky boyfriend. It’s pretending like there’s a real story arc unfolding when really if you strip that away, it’s a venture into the unknown.
The Disney safety blanket of jokes and music is necessary to avoid petrifying kids, but it does significantly muddy the tone of the film. Rather than being a beautiful abstract piece of animation, it instead feels like a Disney story with its guts ripped out.
They should be applauded for what they set out to make here, but ultimately Frozen II just doesn’t take quite enough risks to bear any reward. It leans too heavily on jokes about Frozen I to be a decent ‘Disney movie’, and when it tries something different it is hampered by its need to sell toys of its characters.