Frozen 2 suffers from problems similar to many of Disney’s live-action remakes. Frozen was released in 2013, winning over the hearts of children everywhere with memorable music, goofy humor, and lovable characters. Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic The Snow Queen, Disney revamped an already great story by removing Elsa from the villain role of the titular character and created a new backstory for her that involved having a sister.
Audiences connected with the musical adventure featuring familial love at the core of its story instead of the expected romance between a prince and princess. Having grossed over $1 billion at the box office, making a sequel seemed like a no-brainer for Disney. Frozen 2, directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, features Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff, along with Olaf and Sven, as they travel to a forest in an enchanted land in hopes of discovering the origin of Elsa’s powers.
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Although Frozen 2‘s story varies from the original, it never strays far enough from its predecessor to become its own unique entity. The movie instead heavily depends on the established fanbase’s affectionate attachments to the preexisting characters and the universe to please viewers. Like the stories in Disney’s live-action remakes, Frozen 2‘s plot isn’t as strong or creative as the original. Similar, there’s a real focus on making the sequel’s visuals much more technically impressive, despite the weaker narrative structure. And again, there are many songs in this new, animated adventure, but none of which are as memorable as “Let it Go” or some of Frozen‘s other hits, which is another problem faced by Disney’s live-action remakes.
Frozen 2 is perhaps best compared to Disney’s Aladdin remake, which offers some interesting and even entertaining story differences that are lost amongst its efforts to infuse every iconic, nostalgic moment into the movie whenever possible. The director rushes through various segments of the movie due to knowing that audiences are already familiar with the story and doesn’t elaborate when moments could benefit from doing so. Also, there is so much emphasis on retreading old material that the new story content remains underdeveloped. What’s left is a stale replica of a well-loved childhood classic. This is the unfortunate flaw that Disney’s live-action remakes and sequels seem to have in common.
The Lion King remake takes things a step further by not even trying to infuse any original content into the movie. Everything is the same even down to the dialoguee, yet the charm from the original is absent due to the 3D animated characters’ inability to emote like its 2D counterparts. There are a few variations in Beauty and the Beast, but none are distinctive enough to make a dramatic difference. Like the other aforementioned Disney remakes, this one pales in comparison to the original.
It isn’t just remakes that Frozen 2 shares similar problems with either. Frozen‘s popularity garnered two side companion shorts, which are Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and Frozen Fever. Like most companion film pieces, the animated shorts are unnecessary and don’t enhance the existing franchise. The short films seem like deleted scenes or a DVD bonus feature. Like the shorts and live-action remakes, Frozen 2 has many of the same issues when it comes to story and having such reverence to the original. The Mouse House seems content with staying in the past, which is the opposite of what Walt Disney stood for as an innovative visionary who was always looking ahead. Perhaps the Disney company needs to be reminded of what made their movies so memorable in the first place.
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