Frozen II

Frozen II

2019, PG, 104 min. Directed by Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee. Voices by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Jeremy Sisto, Alfred Molina.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Nov. 22, 2019

“Into the Unknown” goes this sequel’s insta-anthem, but we’re in fairly familiar territory here. Frozen II revives and doubles down on the good (the easy tonal glides between dark and doofy, the earworm songcraft) and the bad (how the story is at once basic and too busy, that earworm songcraft) of its 2013 monster hit predecessor. Ice Queen Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) may no longer be the burn this mother down bad bitch of the first film’s “Let It Go,” but she’s still pretty conflicted about where best she fits in – ruling her tiny Nordic kingdom of Arendelle, or following her icy bliss to the way north, where things are way weirder? A mysterious environmental crisis makes the decision for her, sending Elsa north on a quest to an enchanted forest with her spunky sister Anna (Bell) and Anna’s steady Kristoff (Groff), where they meet an imprisoned indigenous people, an ice horse, rock giants, and a tiny Toothless the dragon knockoff with plush toy ambitions.

The sweetly dopey snowman Olaf (Gad) goes along for the ride, too, and once again Oscar-winning songwriting team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez hand him the best song of the film – ”When I Am Older,” a Broadway hoofer cleverly smuggling lessons about mortality into a very peppy step. Alternately, the low point is “Lost in the Woods,” a confused power ballad that melting-pots its influences. Musically, it vibes Peter Cetera-like Eighties synth and electric guitars; visually, the cues are late Nineties boy band choreography and a throwaway Queen sight gag; lyrically, it’s numbingly straightforward, and so bereft of wit I wondered if I’d imagined the parody altogether, until the song’s reprisal in the credits, this time performed by Weezer, confirmed the joke. (The credits also smartly match doomy lullaby “All Is Found” to Kacey Musgraves, while Panic! at the Disco tackles “Into the Unknown” with theatre geek abandon.)

When the first trailer for Frozen II appeared, the Internet gasped and wondered if it was going to be too intense for kids. Personally, I think we don’t give kids enough credit. But sure – maybe eternally perky Kristen Bell cry-singing “Hello darkness/ I’m ready to succumb” is a bridge too far for some tiny humans. Thing is, the lesson of that song – a late, moving ballad about grief called “The Next Right Thing” – is that you pick yourself up off the floor. In the same vein is the way the script (credited to co-director Jennifer Lee) considers a historical wrong done against a people – the kind you don’t have to stretch your imagination far to find an analogy of in American history. What is notable is how the film gives children a framework, and the language, to process this act of violence, same as it does the pain of grief, the bitter rub of mortality. I don’t know if that sensitivity will translate to a gajillion more princess dresses sold, but as a teaching aid for kids – a tool for taking on more adult concerns – I found it surprisingly impactful.

Showtimes

Sun., Dec. 15

9:05am, 11:35am, 2:45, 5:35, 8:30, 11:20

Mon., Dec. 16

12:00, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30, 11:20

Tue., Dec. 17

2:50, 5:40, 8:30, 11:20
AFA 12:00

Wed., Dec. 18

12:00, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30, 11:20

Sun., Dec. 15

11:10am, 2:30, 5:45, 8:45

Mon., Dec. 16

11:45am, 2:45, 5:50, 9:45

Tue., Dec. 17

5:45, 8:45
AFA 11:55am, 2:50

Wed., Dec. 18

11:50am, 3:00, 6:10, 9:00

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sun., Dec. 15

10:50am, 3:00, 6:20, 9:30
AFA 1:10

Mon., Dec. 16

12:10, 4:05, 6:40, 10:35

Tue., Dec. 17

4:05, 5:25, 8:30
AFA 12:50

Wed., Dec. 18

12:30, 4:00, 6:00, 9:05

Sun., Dec. 15

11:10am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:45, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 16

11:45am, 2:55, 6:00, 9:00

Tue., Dec. 17

3:10, 6:15, 9:25
AFA 12:20

Wed., Dec. 18

12:45, 3:40, 6:40, 10:20

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson #701, 512/861-7030, www.drafthouse.com/austin/theater/village

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sun., Dec. 15

10:00am, 1:00, 5:00, 8:00, 10:55

Mon., Dec. 16

12:00, 4:00, 6:05, 10:05

Tue., Dec. 17

4:00, 6:10, 10:10
AFA 12:45

Wed., Dec. 18

12:25, 4:05, 6:05, 10:05

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Sun., Dec. 15

3-D, CC/DVS 4:50, 10:10
3D, CC/DVS 4:50, 10:10
CC/DVS 11:30am, 1:10, 2:10, 3:50, 7:30

Mon., Dec. 16

3-D, CC/DVS 2:10, 4:50
3D, CC/DVS 2:10, 4:50
CC/DVS 3:50, 6:30, 7:30

Tue., Dec. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 2:10, 4:50
3D, CC/DVS 2:10, 4:50
CC/DVS 3:50, 6:30, 7:30

Wed., Dec. 18

3-D, CC/DVS 2:10, 4:50
3D, CC/DVS 2:10, 4:50
CC/DVS 3:50, 6:30, 7:30

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Sun., Dec. 15

10:30am, 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
digital 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 16

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
digital 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:30

Tue., Dec. 17

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
digital 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:30

Wed., Dec. 18

1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
digital 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 6:30, 7:30, 9:30, 10:30

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Sun., Dec. 15

digital 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:45, 1:45, 3:30, 4:30, 5:20, 6:10, 7:10, 8:15, 9:00

Mon., Dec. 16

digital 12:00, 12:45, 1:45, 2:40, 3:30, 4:30, 5:20, 6:10, 8:15, 9:00

Tue., Dec. 17

digital 12:00, 12:45, 1:45, 2:40, 3:30, 4:30, 5:20, 6:10, 8:15, 9:00

Wed., Dec. 18

digital 12:00, 12:45, 1:45, 2:40, 3:30, 4:30, 5:20, 6:10, 8:15, 9:00

Thu., Dec. 19

digital 12:00, 12:45, 1:45, 2:40, 3:30, 4:30, 6:10, 9:00

Sun., Dec. 15

digital 10:55am, 12:15, 1:35, 2:55, 4:15, 5:35, 7:10, 8:15, 9:55

Mon., Dec. 16

digital 10:55am, 12:15, 1:35, 2:55, 4:15, 5:35, 7:10, 8:15, 9:55

Tue., Dec. 17

digital 10:55am, 12:15, 1:35, 2:55, 4:15, 5:35, 7:10, 8:15, 9:55

Wed., Dec. 18

digital 10:55am, 12:15, 1:35, 2:55, 4:15, 5:35, 7:10, 8:15, 9:55

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., Dec. 15

digital 10:50am, 12:35, 1:30, 3:15, 4:10, 6:05, 6:55, 8:55, 9:40

Mon., Dec. 16

digital 10:50am, 12:35, 1:30, 3:15, 4:10, 6:05, 6:55, 8:55, 10:30

Tue., Dec. 17

digital 10:50am, 12:35, 1:30, 3:15, 4:10, 6:05, 7:20, 8:55, 10:20

Wed., Dec. 18

digital 10:50am, 12:35, 1:30, 3:15, 4:10, 6:05, 7:30, 8:55, 10:20

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Sun., Dec. 15

digital 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:10, 2:15, 3:50, 5:00, 6:30, 7:40

Mon., Dec. 16

digital 12:00, 1:40, 2:45, 4:20, 5:30, 7:00, 8:20

Tue., Dec. 17

digital 12:00, 1:40, 2:45, 4:20, 5:30, 7:00, 8:20

Wed., Dec. 18

digital 12:00, 1:40, 2:45, 4:20, 5:30, 7:00, 8:20

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Sun., Dec. 15

12:45, 1:10, 3:45, 4:10, 6:45, 7:05, 9:45, 10:10

Mon., Dec. 16

12:45, 1:10, 3:45, 4:10, 6:45, 7:05, 9:45, 10:10

Tue., Dec. 17

12:45, 1:10, 3:45, 4:10, 6:45, 7:05, 9:45, 10:10

Wed., Dec. 18

12:45, 1:10, 3:45, 4:10, 6:45, 7:05, 9:45, 10:10

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Sun., Dec. 15

10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 16

10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Tue., Dec. 17

10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Wed., Dec. 18

10:00am, 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Sun., Dec. 15

10:45am, 3:15, 4:15, 5:30, 6:45, 10:15

Mon., Dec. 16

11:45am, 12:15, 2:30, 3:45, 5:30, 6:30, 10:15

Tue., Dec. 17

10:45am, 12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 4:00, 5:45, 9:45

Wed., Dec. 18

11:00am, 2:30, 4:00, 5:30, 7:45, 8:30

Thu., Dec. 19

11:00am, 1:00, 2:00, 2:45, 4:30

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Sun., Dec. 15

CC 10:00am, 12:35, 3:20, 6:00, 8:30, 11:00

Mon., Dec. 16

CC 10:00am, 12:35, 3:20, 6:00, 8:30, 11:00

Tue., Dec. 17

CC 10:00am, 12:35, 3:20, 6:00, 8:30, 11:00

Wed., Dec. 18

CC 10:35am, 1:10, 3:20, 6:00, 8:30, 11:00

Thu., Dec. 19

CC 10:00am, 12:35, 3:20, 6:00, 8:30, 11:00

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Sun., Dec. 15

12:15, 3:15, 6:00, 9:00

Mon., Dec. 16

12:15, 3:15, 6:00, 9:00

Tue., Dec. 17

12:15, 3:15, 6:00, 9:00

Wed., Dec. 18

12:15, 3:15, 6:00, 9:00

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Sun., Dec. 15

9:00am, 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

Mon., Dec. 16

12:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

Tue., Dec. 17

12:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

Wed., Dec. 18

12:00, 3:00, 6:00, 9:00

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Sun., Dec. 15

10:00am, 11:30am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:05

Mon., Dec. 16

10:00am, 11:30am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:05

Tue., Dec. 17

10:00am, 11:30am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:05

Wed., Dec. 18

10:00am, 11:30am, 2:45, 6:00, 9:05

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Sun., Dec. 15

10:10am, 10:50am, 1:45, 4:35, 7:30, 10:20

Mon., Dec. 16

10:10am, 10:50am, 1:05, 1:45, 4:35, 7:00, 7:30, 10:20

Tue., Dec. 17

10:10am, 10:50am, 1:05, 1:45, 4:35, 7:00, 7:30, 10:20

Wed., Dec. 18

10:10am, 10:50am, 1:05, 1:45, 4:35, 7:30, 10:20

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Sun., Dec. 15

10:50am, 1:20, 4:10, 6:40

Mon., Dec. 16

1:10, 4:15, 6:55

Tue., Dec. 17

1:10, 4:15, 6:55

Wed., Dec. 18

1:10, 4:15, 6:55

Thu., Dec. 19

1:10, 3:35

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Sun., Dec. 15

10:40am, 11:40am, 1:30, 2:10, 3:50, 4:40, 5:45, 6:15, 7:10, 8:45, 9:50

Mon., Dec. 16

10:40am, 11:40am, 1:30, 2:10, 3:50, 4:40, 5:45, 6:15, 7:10, 8:45, 9:50

Tue., Dec. 17

10:40am, 11:40am, 1:30, 2:10, 3:50, 4:40, 5:45, 6:15, 7:10, 8:45, 9:50

Wed., Dec. 18

10:40am, 11:40am, 1:30, 2:10, 3:50, 4:40, 5:45, 6:15, 7:10, 8:45, 9:50

Southwest Theaters at Lake Creek 7

13729 Research #1500, 512/291-3158, www.southwesttheaters.com

$3.50 extra for 3-D.

Sun., Dec. 15

CC 10:50am, 1:20, 4:30, 7:00, 9:20

Mon., Dec. 16

CC 10:50am, 1:20, 4:30, 7:00, 9:20

Tue., Dec. 17

CC 10:50am, 1:20, 4:30, 7:00, 9:20

Wed., Dec. 18

CC 10:50am, 1:20, 4:30, 7:00, 9:20

Thu., Dec. 19

CC 10:50am, 1:20, 4:30, 7:00, 9:40

Sun., Dec. 15

10:35am, 1:30, 4:35, 7:30, 10:30

Mon., Dec. 16

10:35am, 1:30, 4:35, 8:00, 11:00

Tue., Dec. 17

10:35am, 1:30, 4:35, 8:00, 11:00

Wed., Dec. 18

10:35am, 1:30, 4:30, 8:00, 11:00

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Sun., Dec. 15

10:45am, 1:25, 4:05, 6:45, 9:30

Mon., Dec. 16

11:45am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 10:05

Tue., Dec. 17

11:45am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 10:05

Wed., Dec. 18

11:45am, 2:15, 4:45, 7:15, 9:45

Thu., Dec. 19

11:45am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 10:05

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., Dec. 15

CC/DVS 11:00am, 2:10, 4:35, 7:35, 10:10

Mon., Dec. 16

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:45, 10:10

Tue., Dec. 17

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:35, 4:10, 6:45, 9:20

Wed., Dec. 18

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:35, 4:10, 7:25, 10:10

Thu., Dec. 19

CC/DVS 11:30am, 2:05, 4:40, 6:00, 9:45

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

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