In some ways more charming than the first, in others less inspired.
Kind of a mixed bag — half the songs were forgettable and the overall story felt like a bridging episode between a strong first film and a bigger, more creative third one.
But the visual design is wonderful, painted on an autumnal Scandinavian pallette and the colonialist narrative touched on some darker concepts without really confronting them, which I suppose is understandable as this is still ostensibly a film for kids.
Doesn’t really transform the franchise in any meaningful way despite heaping on new elemental mythology and expanding the world, something that plays more like the setup to a more interesting trilogy rather than a really solid standalone in its own right.
That said, Kristoff’s 80s power ballad backed by imaginary reindeer harmonies is a brilliant bit of tonal anachronism and I like that the fundamental messages are of community support and reparations.
Overall not bad but I assume the next one will be better.