Quantcast

Frozen II (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

In 2013, Frozen launched itself into quite the phenomenon that Disney hadn’t seen from a Princess movie in decades.  Elsa climbed atop a pedestal with Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora and others. And she did so in a very new and exciting way. Everyone felt the fever of “Let It Go” and the other tunes that masterfully built up one of the best collection of showtunes for a musical in eons (“Do You Want To Build A Snowman” is my personal favorite, though “Love Is An Open Door” offers a lot!). Hell, I am an avid lover of Frozen, despite my children doing their best to try and tire me of it. Unlike those other princesses, have a huge hit movie mean Elsa was getting a sequel instead of just moving on to the next princess (Which they did as well with Moana). Six years later, Frozen II was unveiled to the world and became an even bigger hit than its predecessor. You be able to venture “Into The Unknown” with Anna, Else, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven when it arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray and DVD February 25th.

Film

Elsa the Snow Queen has an extraordinary gift — the power to create ice and snow. But no matter how happy she is to be surrounded by the people of Arendelle, Elsa finds herself strangely unsettled. After hearing a mysterious voice call out to her, Elsa travels to the enchanted forests and dark seas beyond her kingdom — an adventure that soon turns into a journey of self-discovery.

Disney’s second venture into the world of Arendelle as lived in by Anna and Elsa is an intriguing attempt that manages to surpass the original in areas, fall short of it in places and coast along with it all at the same time. Whereas if someone says its better, they are probably just as right as the person who found it lesser a film than the original. Honestly, at best and mostly, the film is probably just as good as the original one, we just have a hard time realizing that. And while matching its predecessor is a daunting task that this one more or less gets there, riding alongside isn’t as magnificent as capturing lightning in a bottle. It will never become the phenomenon that the first film was. And that’s perfectly fine, it is still bold and delivering its audience a quality product that furthers the story.

Frozen II‘s narrative and character journeys are its strong suit. While the film has a prototypical sequel first act of “Hey, remember all of us and what we were like last time?” as well as needless recaps from Olaf, where it leads our characters and challenges them is its strong suit. We see real growth and surprising revelations that have come to make many second chapters well known. Its almost word for word from the Rian Johnson/Blade Runner 2049 playbook of understanding what a character in the “chosen one” motif needs to come up against and how they react to knew knowledge that rocks their core. The choice is a welcome, relevant and reflective one of cultural significance handled very well in its metaphor without feeling heavy handed. It cares as much about its narrative and characters as opposed to just trying to squander it in.

Where Frozen II doesn’t necessarily falter, but finds a bit of misguided effort is in the songs department. This film and its composers spend too many of the songs in the film chasing after the next “Let It Go” instead of finding fun in bouncing around from different emotive song types. “Into The Unknown” is the clear one to carry the “Let It Go” torch, though “Show Yourself” makes a nice case. There lacks many a “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” or “In Summer” to just have a silly song or something to dance around to. Frozen II‘s one big golden ticket that stands tall above with both films is the Kristoff 80s power ballad “Lost In The Woods” which both finds itself comical and wonderfully progressive. The number is fitting with his character journey and moments of “just doing” for Kristoff rather than making a big deal to call stuff out.

Disney has delivered another winner and terrific animated sequel in Frozen II. The film makes some admirable turns and honestly has the plot and character growth done to spades. Its in the songs that don’t quite jump out right away and spend too many of them seeking the next big radio hot ballad. That’s not that they aren’t completely enjoyable, they just don’t feel instantly iconic like first one did. As mentioned though, that first one was lightning in a bottle and even a sequel surpassing it would never be the phenomenon, it merely would keep the flame burning. Frozen II does do that and as a high compliment, it is as good as the original for the most part and a welcome addition to the continuing the story of Elsa and Anna.

Video

Screen captures displayed in this review are from the redeemed Movies Anywhere 4K UHD presentation included in this set.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Frozen II debuts on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray as a 4K upscale, having been finished with a 2K digital intermediate. Enter my umpteenth complain about this here. Regardless, this looks pretty fantastic and a clear jump from the Blu-ray where you get an enhanced crispness, more detail and a better display of the colors. 4K upscales can look pretty great and convincing and this one lands on the upper end of the spectrum.

Depth: These computer animated films simply lend themselves easily to a three dimensional appearance, making their depth of field look so natural and easy. Character movements are confident, smooth and quite natural with no issues from rapid movement causing a blur or jutter during big action moments.

Black Levels: Blacks are deeper, darker and natural here with a fantastic help on defining the characters and strengthening things around the edges. Shadow and darkness improves here as well, and impressively keeps plenty of detail intact in the darker caverns or the cover of forest night. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are really beautiful in this image, featuring improved saturation and ability to stand out and bump when necessary over its Blu-ray counterpart. The fantasy forest fire, magical beams and creatures lighting up really does pop with the help of the HDR assist.

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.

Audio

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Japanese 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, Spanish 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Japanese, Spanish

Dynamics: Lets just start accepting that Disney on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with Atmos is gonna be what its gonna be. Just know you’re going to have to turn the volume up and hope for the best. Frozen II lands on “the best”. Its a pretty full and frisky track as it fills your room and zip zaps around it. It also is able to knock out a lot of the deeper tones, giving you the impact you’re anticipating rather than a bit of a soft landing. There are big rock monsters in this movie and they stomp around, thrown boulders and destroy a big structure. There is also a lot of roaring waters. You want this to translate well, and it does.

Height: Taking place in a magical forest really helps things from overhead, but you get plenty to enjoy up top. From whistling breezes to falling debris or even some added bumps for the music, the channel is never not utilized when it should be.

Low-Frequency Extension: As mentioned up top, there are some actually good rumbles here unlike plenty of Disney Atmos titles (*Sob* RAGNAROK!!!!!). The music feels a good beat, rocky destruction, waves crashing, magic blasts, fire and more get a pretty nice bump and rumble from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: Elsa works the magic in a 360 degree arena with every corner providing some overtime to make the movie come to life. Whether it be a unique sound to complete the onscreen action, taking on a wave of action sound movement or just providing some quieter ambiance, your speaker set up touches every base with great effectiveness and efficiency.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp. Impressively, every time a character turns to a song it feels so in the moment and a natural transition. Not jarring or like it skipped to a differently mixed track.

Extras

Frozen II comes with the Blu-ray edition and a Movies Anywhere digital code. All bonus material is found on the Blu-ray disc, with the exception of the Sing Along that appears on both.

Sing Along With The Movie

Outtakes (HD, 2:26)

Did You Know??? (HD, 4:27) – Kristen Bell narrates some fun facts about behind the scenes stuff for the movie.

The Spirits Of Frozen 2 (HD, 12:02) – Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck tell us about the spirituality, customs and such that were introduced into the film. Research footage also accompanies them.

Scoring a Sequel (HD, 3:49) – Tom MacDougal and Christophe Beck discuss the importance of a musical marrying the score with the songs and also go into really getting into scoring elements and reintroducing stuff to be familiar with the original.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 17:58) – The directors introduce and talk about deleted scenes in the film.

Deleted Songs (HD, 11:42) – The directors also introduce and discuss “Home” and “I Wanna Get This Right”.

Gale Tests – A couple of animation tests for the wind spirit in the film, introduced by the directors.

  • Gale Test (HD, 3:01)
  • Hand Drawn Gale Test (HD, :55)

“Into The Unknown” In 29 Languages (HD, 3:07) – Subject says it all.

Music Videos (HD, 6:23) – “Into the Unknown” (Panic! At The Disco Version), “Lost In The Woods” (Weezer Version)

Song Selection (HD, 21:45) – Choose any song and jump right to it, or Play All.

Summary

Frozen II had humongous shoes to fill to carry on the iconic animated original, but it does so with plenty of terrific gusto and great narrative choices. Disney made a great choice in putting this on 4K Ultra-HD as it both looks and sounds pretty wonderful. They’ve also loaded it with plenty of extras to keep yourself or the kids busy well after the movie. And as a parent, the digital version is always welcome for when we do some traveling. This clearly the best version to own and the movie is terrific, so yeah, don’t be afraid of the unknown, go into it and grab a copy of Frozen II.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

Share

Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

  1. No Comments