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Disney's Frozen II (2019)

Jake Lipson

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Title: Disney's Frozen II

Genre: Adventure, Musical, Comedy

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Cast: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff

Release: 2019-11-22

Runtime: 103

Plot: Sequel to Disney's Frozen.

 

Jake Lipson

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Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown are joining Frozen 2. They seem to be the first new additions to the voice cast who weren't also in the first film. Obviously, Kristin Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad will return as well.

https://deadline.com/2018/07/frozen-2-evan-rachel-wood-sterling-k-brown-disney-1202426535/

I'm really excited about this. Both of them are exceptional actors and should be interesting new additions to Arendelle. I love Evan Rachel Wood's singing voice in Across the Universe, and hope/expect that Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez will take advantage of having her by giving her something great to sing.

The movie is set for release on November 27, 2019 (which, coincidentally, is the same date the original movie went wide in 2013.)
 
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Jake Lipson

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Allison Schroder is joining the film (which is already in the middle of production) as a new co-writer, which frankly feels a little odd to me. The Hollywood Reporter says this is related to Jennifer Lee's new job as the head of the studio. But if the film is in the middle of production, how much more work will the script need beyond what Lee has already done? I get that animated films work somewhat differently than live-action films do in terms of the writing process, but still. This thing is coming out next November.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/h...ter-allison-schroeder-joins-frozen-2-1137124?
 
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Sam Favate

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The animation has to be long in production by now if they're going to make the Nov. 2019 release.
 

Jeff Cooper

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I can't see how this film is going to be a big hit. The original was great when it came out, but I can't think of a single film that has been more driven into the ground with overexposure. By now when the term 'Frozen' comes up, it's more like "Oh god please make it stop!"
 

Malcolm R

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I'm not sure how we can decide if it "tanked" since it was pared with Coco in theaters and that film did quite well at the box office ($209 million domestic). I know there were some complaints about the length of the Frozen "short" (over 20 minutes) because people paid to see Coco and with all the previews and commercials probably had over 40 minutes of content before the feature even started.

When it premiered on ABC a few weeks later, it was viewed by 5.64 million people. Not a huge number but respectable for a new holiday special and a good share of the target audience had probably already seen it by attending Coco.
 

Jake Lipson

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Olaf's Frozen Adventure, which I loved and thought was much superior to Coco personally, was produced to be aired on television. It was designed as a half-hour special (21 minutes with commercials) to air alongside ABC's other holiday shorts, which explains its running time. Then they decided to place it in theaters with Coco after the fact.

I don't think the reception to it would have been as negative if it had premiered on TV as it was originally intended. I also think Disney saw Coco as something of a hard sell, and genuinely wanted to give it the best chance to succeed by pairing it with Frozen. I don't think they anticipated that Coco itself would generate such a strong response. Regardless of the complaints, it was always their plan to run Olaf only for the first two weeks of Coco's run, so that ABC could get it in December, which is exactly what happened.

The Frozen Fever short, which played before Cinderella and was actually deigned as a short, had a 7-minute running time and was much better-received.

I don't think that the response to Olaf can be taken to mean that people don't want to see Frozen. It just means that when they paid for Coco, they wanted to see Coco. Frozen 2 will be marketed as an hour and a half of Frozen, and I think people will be lining up for that.

If you need proof of the continued success of the brand, just look at Broadway, where the stage musical is often doing $1 million gross a week.
 
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Jake Lipson

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The teaser trailer is here:



No real indication of what the new story is yet, but it looks much bigger in scope.

Also, from the trailer, they are stylizing the title Frozen II with a Roman numeral rather than a number 2.
 

Sam Favate

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It looks great. It's going to be a tall order to get the music to be up to par with the first movie.
 

Jake Lipson

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And here's a teaser poster from Disney's social media:

Frozen II poster.jpg
 

Jake Lipson

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t's going to be a tall order to get the music to be up to par with the first movie.

I don't necessarily agree with that. They have everyone back from the first film, including the songwriters, so I'm sure they're going to do a good job. Also, as good as the music that is in the first one is, I have a real issue with that area of the movie because it stops being a musical two thirds of the way through after the troll song, which stops the movie dead in its tracks for the sole purpose of having a number, and then they don't actually have any songs at all for the final section that comes after it. Structurally, if you're going to be a musical, you need to be a musical all the way through. So I really hope that this one can improve on that by giving us songs that are more evenly distributed throughout the movie.

Other questions that popped into my head:

1) It looks like they're leaving Arandelle. If so, why? And who's in charge backk home? Both royal sisters are together, so who's running the kingdom in their absence? (Also, who ran the kingdom in the first film in the time jump between the deaths of their parents and when Elsa came of age? The movie glosses over that.)

2) Are they going to run into Hans again? They very specifically left him alive in the end of the last film when the more traditional thing for a Disney movie to do would be for the villain to die. Obviously, they were trying to subvert a lot of their own tropes in the first film, but I can't help but think it would be dramatically interesting to see Hans again and have him become even moreso the "Disney villain" type. I thought that one of the obvious spots in the final act of the last film where a song should have gone was giving him an "evil reprise" of Love Is An Open Door when he reveals his true nature and locks Anna in the room to die. So, it would just be fun to see that character again and let him embrace the villainy in a more full-on straightforward way. I'd love for him to get a true villain song along the lines of a Poor Unfortunate Souls or Be Prepared type thing. Santino Fontana has not been confirmed as part of the voice cast this time around, but they very well could have him in it and just not say anything in order to preserve a big reveal when he returns.
 

Jake Lipson

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I must be one of the few not "wowed" by the music in the first film. It was OK, but not up to the level of past Disney efforts, IMO.

I have to agree. I'm a big fan of the first film and think it has some great songs in it -- mainly For The First Time In Forever, Love Is An Open Door and Let It Go -- but also has some that don't work as well. Like I said in my above post, the troll song just stops the movie dead in its tracks for no other reason than to have a song, and that's the kind of thing that wasn't common in the '90s musicals that Alan Menken was involved in, or The Lion King, which is the differentiating factor for me with Frozen. It's good -- and it improves a lot on repeat viewings on disc -- but the storytelling through the music is not as tight as it should be. Hopefully they can improve that going forward.
 

Tommy R

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I have to agree. I'm a big fan of the first film and think it has some great songs in it -- mainly For The First Time In Forever, Love Is An Open Door and Let It Go -- but also has some that don't work as well. Like I said in my above post, the troll song just stops the movie dead in its tracks for no other reason than to have a song, and that's the kind of thing that wasn't common in the '90s musicals that Alan Menken was involved in, or The Lion King, which is the differentiating factor for me with Frozen. It's good -- and it improves a lot on repeat viewings on disc -- but the storytelling through the music is not as tight as it should be. Hopefully they can improve that going forward.
I’ve always liked “Let It Go” and thought it worthy of the hype, but other than recognizing the titles of some of those songs and their context to the story, I don’t remember anything else about any of the songs. Not that I didn’t like them, I remember chuckling at a few of the jokey aspects of them, something about finishing each others sandwiches and Olaf not understanding he would melt in the sun, but I just didn’t find the songs particularly memorable. Though, if we get another wonderful Frozen movie with a great story, I’m fine if the songs are the same caliber as the first; cute when I’m watching it but will never find myself humming them in the car like Disney tunes of old.
 
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