It’s pretty weird to think that Disney used to recycle its own animations to save a few bucks. So, Baloo from ‘The Jungle Book’ magically became Little John in ‘Robin Hood’ with a little sleight of hand by its toiling animators. Of course, that was long before the Mouse House became a world-conquering animation behemoth on the back of Pixar’s success and smash hits like 2013’s ‘Frozen’. That made $1.3 billion, so around one dollar for every time your kids have made you watch it. Happily, this long-anticipated sequel feels entirely fresh. The world it creates is charming, the wit sparkles and – one brief burst of ‘Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People’ aside – the songs are all new. So let go of ‘Let It Go’ and clear some room for a new batch of earworms.
As you’d expect, the self-contained Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) remains at the heart of the story, but ‘Frozen 2’ also belongs to her exuberant sister Anna (Kristen Bell). She’s very much a co-conspirator here, sharing ‘When-Harry-Met-Sally’-ish tiffs with lovestruck Kristoff (Jonathan Groff, blessed with a genius ’80s-style power ballad from songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez) and helping to guide the scene-stealing Olaf (Josh Gad) through a very funny coming-of-neige plotline. The hilarious ‘When I Am Older’ and some philosophical musings on the nature of existence are an absolute delight.
If there’s a flaw, it’s the slightly fiddly plot that has more folky symbols and elemental runes than a Hoxton tattoo